Getting started with your GreenStalk vertical planter

Tips for a successful installation: Assembly, Planting and Watering your GreenStalk Vertical Planter

Unpack your new GreenStalk

GreenStalk planter disassembled and interstacked with water dispersion discs and water reservoir to each side
  • Your GreenStalk vertical garden comes with the number of growing tiers you ordered, intermediate trays for water distribution and a top water reservoir for watering. Bottom plates (Spinner and Movers) are sold separately.

Prepare your growing medium

  • Each level in the Original tower (deep pockets) needs approx. 30 liters of growing medium. Use potting soil of good, nutrient-rich quality.
  • Each level in the Leaf tower (shallower pockets) needs approx. 22 liters of growing medium. Use potting soil of good, nutrient-rich quality.
  • The watering function works optimally with an airy soil. Addjng coconut fiber or perlite to the potting mix before filling your GreenStalk will give you an even more porous soil. Read more under What soil should I use in the GreenStalk Vertical Planter?
  • Most gardeners prefer to add some form of organic substrate to the purchased potting mix - for example worm manure, shellfish meal, or kelp meal - manure and minerals to get an extra nutritious soil. This makes a noticeable difference in the cultivation of most vegetables. If you are reusing potting mix that has already been in use this is absolutely essential, to replace nutrients that have been used up by the previous plants.

Fill with soil and assemble the vertical planter

This can be done in two ways:
    1. Fill and plant each layer, place a grey water dispersion disc on each layer except the top one, then stack them. 
    1. Fill and plant one layer, add a a water dispersion disc, place the next layer, and repeat - filling and planting each layer after it is placed on the layer below. This method can be preferred by smaller persons to avoid lifting a layer when it is heavier with soil. It is also easier to position the feet correctly with an empty planter, if you don't have somebody to assist you.

      NOTE: If filling a planter already stacked on top of another, take care not to drop soil down the middle hole where it could land in the water dispersion disc below (tip! cover the hole with for example a shot glass while filling)
    tab and slot attachment for stacking layers of greenstalk vertical planter
  • The GreenStalk will not seem stable when stacked while empty - this is normal. The parts will fit securely together by the weight of the soil after filling. Make sure that the attachment feet are seated properly all around, so that the tower does not become warped or unstable.
  • Do not compact the soil in the planters, as this can reduce the effectiveness of irrigation and also cause the planters to become deformed over time. Fill each level to the top, shake or tap a little to settle the soil a bit, and top up if needed. The soil level will soon drop after a little watering and rain, leaving you room to mulch the pockets if desired.
  • Plant the larger plants at the bottom of your GreenStalk and the smaller ones at the top, for stability and so that the sun exposure to all plants is as good as possible.
  • When you have filled your containers with soil, place a grey water dispersion disc on top of all but the one to be mounted on top (the water reservoir will be mounted on top). The edges of the disc provide guidelines for how far in you can plant/sow your plants.

  • Important notes

    • Each grey disc has six small holes, for dispersing water to the planter. Place the tray so that these holes align with the middle of each growing pocket, this provides optimal drip irrigation directly to the roots of your plants. Make sure each water dispersion disc is clean and completely free of debris before assembling the next level on top of it.
    • Place your GreenStalk on a flat, firm surface to prevent it from tipping over and for the watering function to work correctly.
    • Your plant tower of 5 or 7 levels weighs a lot, and the weight of each level depending on soil mix and humidity can vary between 20-30kg. Avoid placing your plant tower directly on the lawn as it would most likely not stand straight, which leads to impaired irrigation function, and because the feet or wheels will sink into the lawn due to the weight. Instead, place the tower on stone slabs, a pallet or a board of a suitable type, and make sure it stands straight.
    • Consider the total weight also if you want your grow tower on, for example, a balcony. Are you unsure if your balcony can handle the weight? Check with your building company or landlord!
    • The top water reservoir should be left on the tower at all times, to prevent deformation of the top level due to the weight of the soil pressing the sides outward over time. The water reservoir will hold the sides in place. Clear the water reservoir of debris before watering so as not to obstruct water flow.
    • Most edible plants thrive best with plenty of sun (at least 6 hours a day) to produce a good harvest. A base plate with wheels - such as a Mover or a Spinner - will allow you to rotate your tower regularly and give the plants on all sides the same opportunity for sun.
    • In the event of very strong winds, move your GreenStalk to a protected area, unstack the planters until the wind subsides or secure the tower with for example rope and tent pegs.
    • Be kind to your back when gardening! Containers can be heavy - learn to lift correctly. Use your legs, hold heavy objects close to your body, and don't twist while holding something heavy. When possible, allow containers to dry out a bit before lifting or moving - saturated soil weighs much more.

    Watering advice for your GreenStalk

  • Stick a finger in the soil and check the moisture daily to determine the need for watering. Do not water if the soil is already saturated.
  • If you are growing from seed and have started the seeds in your GreenStalk, water/mist the pockets only by hand until the seeds germinate and grow somewhat - overwatering can easily kill tiny seedlings. Once the new plants are established, use the GreenStalk watering function as directed.
  • Cultivation pockets with plants that require extra water can also be watered by hand directly in the pocket, so as not to risk overwatering other plants.
  • When watering your GreenStalk Vertical Planter, fill the upper water reservoir until the water starts to drain into the lowest level. After the water has run through the system, check that the soil is saturated. You may need to fill the upper water tank more than once on hot days or the first time after installation.
  • Feed your plants! Well fertilized soil at planting gets your plants off to a great start, but those nutrients won't last all season - particularly if they are to bear fruit of some kind. As your plants reach maturity, you will get much better results if you add liquid fertilizer as appropriate - you can add it right in the top water reservoir when watering and feed them all at once.