Green wall #2: construction

gutter_post_cover.jpgI’m happy to announce that the green wall #2 is finally assembled! For this wall, I used aluminum rain gutters. I opted not to use the side stoppers, as they each cost almost as much as an entire gutter segment, and you need two of those per level. This would triple the cost of the project. I do have to admit that side stoppers would have looked much more attractive, though…

So here’s how I set up the planters:

  1. To make the planters, I bought two 10-foot-long aluminum gutter segments. I chose aluminum over plastic, since it is soft and easy to cut and bend. I cut each gutter in half, so in the end I had four 5-foot-long segments.gutter1.jpggutter2.jpg
  2. Now, I had to create some sort of end barriers to prevent the soil from pouring out. I made incisions at the gutter ends like this:               gutter3.jpg
  3. Then I folded the resulting flaps like this:                 gutter4.jpg
  4. The last step was to mount the gutter planters onto the balcony wall with aluminum wire (again, I use aluminum, because it’s quite sturdy, yet flexible and easy to cut). And here is the assembled setup:                            gutter_garden.jpg
  5. Vertical garden requires a special soil mix: it has to be “fluffy”, yet heavy enough to retain moisture, because the relatively small soil volumes used in living wall setups are more prone to drying out than conventional flat-earth, raised bed or container gardens. Here is the recipe I used:

1 part top soil

1 part coir peat

1 part mushroom compost (any other compost should work, as well)

1 part worm castings

1 part pearlite

So far, I have only populated the top level. I chose strawberries, because they require as much sun as possible for the fruit to be sweet.

gutter_strawberry.jpg

Of course, I covered the planters with bird netting right away.

strawberry_net.jpg

And here is why…squirrel.jpg

Fear not, however, because Felix the cat is keeping watch!      felix_eye.jpg

So this is my green wall.

If you use similar setups, I’d love to hear about your experience!

Also, this is my first how-to post, so I would love to hear back from you, especially any feedback on what details I forgot to provide.

Happy DIY gardening!

Tatiana

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3 thoughts on “Green wall #2: construction

  1. Pingback: State of the garden: late September – The Fire Escape Garden

  2. Pingback: Lessons from the balcony: mid-summer – The Fire Escape Garden

  3. Pingback: Green wall #1: Construction – The Fire Escape Garden

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