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Old 29-04-2019, 03:27 PM
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Default Vertical Wall Garden advice

Bit of a gardening novice and could do with some advice on a vertical wall garden I'm creating.

We have a town house with a medium sized garden which is on a steep incline (2m drop from house to back of Garden). To make it useable we've raised it to the house level by creating a decked frame which has a combination of decking and artificial grass on a sub structure shed. This has also meant the walls have had to come up on 3 sides. To get some planting we added a bricked planter accross the rear wall and have some large pots placed around. But I wanted to mask the expanse of walls and spotted some grow up wall planters on clearance at Homebase (3 each) and ended up purchasing and installing 22 of them in 3 sections (pictures attached):

https://whitesgroup.com.au/garden-up...r-details.html

As you can see from the second picture i'm in the process of installing micro irrigation. On the lookout for a decent water timer for scheduled watering if anyone has any recommendations

So having done the technical/DIY bit which i'm comfortable with, I could really do with some advice on planting and drainage. Given the number of pots, the plants won't be cheap and I dont want to kill them if I can avoid it

For Drainage I'm thinking:

1) Drill 4 extra holes in the bottom of the pots.
2) Superglue geotextile (I have some left over from drive way) over the holes to prevent soil leakage.
3) Add around 1-2cm of gravel to the base of the pots to provide a drainage resevoir
4) Another layer of Geotextile to prevent soil getting into the drainage layer
5) Add some Westland water saving gel to the soil to provide reservoir for the plants whilst preventing soil from becoming waterlogged.

Each pot clips into the one below. So whilst they unhook quite easily, they have to be removed top to bottom. Given the number of pots it will get quite annoying doing this 2 or 3 times a year. Therefore for plants ideally we'd like predominantly evergreens.

My wife really likes the idea of herbs/etc. We visited our Garden Centre and she picked out (haven't bought yet):

1) Ajuga Catlins Giant
2) Lithodora
3) Rosmarinus officianalis prostratus
4) Seneco "Angel Wings" - probably not suitable for these pots, but would love something similar
5) Thymus Serpillum
6) Heuchera Carnival Electra
7) Hebe Magic Summer
8) Lavender

Please be gentle if these are bad choices and not suitable for this type of pot/installation We took a pot in with us and and asked what would be viable to plant in them and then shortlisted what we liked. With a mixture of upright plants for the centres and those that will cascade down for the edges. The idea being to mask the actually planters as much as possible (I sprayed them to match the wall as closely as possible to help).

We have a beautiful red mini acer which looks stunning against the blue walls. So any suggestions for something that sort of colour would be very welcome. Unfortunately we couldnt find anything in the garden centre.

If you've got this far thank you for baring with me, I will stop here. Any and all advice greatly appreciated
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Vertical Wall Garden advice-img_3711.jpeg   Vertical Wall Garden advice-img_3710.jpeg   Vertical Wall Garden advice-img_3709.jpeg  

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Old 29-04-2019, 09:40 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Vertical Wall Garden advice

On 29/04/2019 19:53, Chris Hogg wrote:
snipped description of proposed vertical garden wall

I'm not going to comment in detail of your choice of plants, other
than to say IME Angel Wings comes very easily from cuttings, so buy
one plant, strip off most (but not all) of the side shoots coming from
the base of the plant, pot them up in gritty compost, and it won't be
too long before you have a few more plants. Saves a penny or two.
Angel Wings isn't totally hardy BTW. https://tinyurl.com/y2vmemk2

Just seen on TV Charlie Dimmock recommending that water saving gel be
pre-soaked to swell it before adding it to the compost, otherwise
everything expands and the contents of the pot 'overflows'.

Yellow looks good with blue.

I think your plans for improving the drainage are way OTT. I'm not
sure I'm reading it right, but from the last image you posted
(IMG_3709.jpeg) looking down into one of those pots, it looked as
though there was a plastic mushroom in the bottom, suggesting that
they'd designed it like that so as to retain a little water after
watering. How that will work with your drip system I don't know, and
maybe your four extra holes will be needed, but those layers of
geotextile are quite unnecessary IMO. A layer of gravel, or a few
crocks from a broken clay pot, are all that you'll need.

I have used Swelgell for many years now and would mix it dry into the
compost, but then water the compost before filling the pots/containers
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Old 29-04-2019, 10:15 PM
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Thanks for the advice about Angel Wings. Was debating wether it was worth giving it a try but hesitant due to the cost. If I can multiply using cuttings it becomes more palatable.

Also I'll bare the advice about pre soaking the gel in mind, I hadn't thought of that.

WRT colours the plants I listed are what the local garden centre had that they though could work in the pots. It covers a few shades of green, silver and some muted yellow/red. I would really like some vibrant red and even yellow foliage, but as I want to avoid seasonal plants if possible they didnt have any options for that.

Due to the size of the pots, adequate water and drainage were two issues i'd been advised to consider by the garden centre. I may well have gone overboard on the drainage plan. Irrigation should hopeful remove watering as an issue.

The internal design of the pots is to
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Old 29-04-2019, 10:26 PM
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The internal design of the pots is indeed to provide a water reservoir and also help watering.

You have the option of using 5" pots, which then sit on the "mushroom". You fill the top row of pots until the reservoir is full and the water overflows down drainage channels to the next row of pots.

The other option is to fill them with soil. Since I have the irrigation setup we felt this would be the better route as it provides more soil for the plants.
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Old 30-04-2019, 07:39 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Vertical Wall Garden advice

On 29/04/19 19:53, Chris Hogg wrote:

How that will work with your drip system I don't know, and
maybe your four extra holes will be needed, but those layers of
geotextile are quite unnecessary IMO. A layer of gravel, or a few
crocks from a broken clay pot, are all that you'll need.


Geotextile has its uses in pots - it keeps ants out.

--

Jeff


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Old 30-04-2019, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hill View Post
[/i][/color]
I have used Swelgell for many years now and would mix it dry into the
compost, but then water the compost before filling the pots/containers
I guess the objective is the same, to ensure the gel swells before you pot it. We'll give it a shot both ways to see which is easier in practice. Have a lot of pots to fill
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Old 03-05-2019, 10:26 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Vertical Wall Garden advice

On 29/04/2019 19:53, Chris Hogg wrote:

Just seen on TV Charlie Dimmock recommending that water saving gel be
pre-soaked to swell it before adding it to the compost, otherwise
everything expands and the contents of the pot 'overflows'.


Pre-soaking the gel on its own and you end up with a jelly the
consistency of wall paper paste and it's difficult to judge how much gel
you are adding. You need approx 1 gram of "dry" gel per litre of compost
so for a 50l bag add 50g of dry water retaining gel (50g = approx 10
level tablespoons). From garden shops this gel can be very expensive.
I've purchased 1kg bags from Ebay for around £12.50 - there a few
sellers at this price.


I think your plans for improving the drainage are way OTT.


+1

watering. How that will work with your drip system I don't know, and
maybe your four extra holes will be needed, but those layers of
geotextile are quite unnecessary IMO. A layer of gravel, or a few
crocks from a broken clay pot, are all that you'll need.


I wonder how the drip system is going to be implemented. One dripper per
pot or just the upper layers being watered and gravity watering the
others with the overflow.
In my experience with a micro irrigation and a watering timer/computer
is that around 4 times a year you have to reprogram the timer. Say, one
watering of five minutes per day spring/autumn to 3 periods of 10
minutes during the heat of summer. Program the timer to water during the
middle of the night.

I've had a micro system for the past 15 years or so and I've found that
some of the cheap timers work just as well or better than some of the
more expensive offerings.
Example of £12/£13 models sold under many different brand names
https://storefeederimages.blob.core....4rirhxcav0.jpg

With this cheap timer if you set it up at, say, 3pm for a 24 hour cycle
it will go off every day at 3pm so if you want a watering period at 9pm
you reset it and then set it up at 9pm. The two AAA batteries last
approx 9 months so perhaps have routine to change them every 6 months,
especially if the batteries may be expected to die in the summer months.

I had two Hozelock (expensive) timers and both failed in just over a
year. Either through leaks or condensation water drips internally down
the circuit board to the battery terminals and components/PCB and
terminals corrode.


--
mailto : news {at} admac {dot} myzen {dot} co {dot} uk
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Old 03-05-2019, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan_m View Post

Pre-soaking the gel on its own and you end up with a jelly the
consistency of wall paper paste and it's difficult to judge how much gel
you are adding. You need approx 1 gram of "dry" gel per litre of compost
so for a 50l bag add 50g of dry water retaining gel (50g = approx 10
level tablespoons). From garden shops this gel can be very expensive.
I've purchased 1kg bags from Ebay for around £12.50 - there a few
sellers at this price.
Thanks for the pointers on how best to mix/use the gel. I shall pass these to my wife as that will be her job

The only gel I found that specifically states it's suitable for edibles was the Westland Water Saving Gel. The others either specifically stated they weren't suitable for use with edibles or didn't say either way. I picked up a couple of bags from Amazon:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Westland-Wa...gateway&sr=8-1

They currently have it at 3/250g as a filler item (free with delivery's of 20+), incase anyone else is looking for some. Was the cheapest price I could find.


Quote:
Originally Posted by alan_m View Post

I wonder how the drip system is going to be implemented. One dripper per
pot or just the upper layers being watered and gravity watering the
others with the overflow.
I have one dripper per pot and each is adjustable. You can make out the orange drippers on the first picture. I hadn't wired up the second one when I took the pictures.

Micro irrigation seems to be relatively cheap these days so I thought I may as well do one dripper per plant. That way I can adjust the flow independently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alan_m View Post

In my experience with a micro irrigation and a watering timer/computer
is that around 4 times a year you have to reprogram the timer. Say, one
watering of five minutes per day spring/autumn to 3 periods of 10
minutes during the heat of summer. Program the timer to water during the
middle of the night.
This is useful info for a novice It gives me a good starting point and I can then adjust to my own conditions. I guess you just have to keep an eye on the plants/soil and vary timer or the dripper periodically.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alan_m View Post

I've had a micro system for the past 15 years or so and I've found that
some of the cheap timers work just as well or better than some of the
more expensive offerings.
Fortuitously AMEX sent my wife and I 25 off 40 spend codes for Amazon. So I grabbed the Orbit HF Buddy II:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Orbit-96782...gateway&sr=8-1

After the code it was 15.99

I used my wife's code for the other bits I needed to complete the setup. I'm sure the 50 saved will just go on plants instead :/
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Old 03-05-2019, 07:05 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Vertical Wall Garden advice

On 03/05/2019 14:46, Frusc wrote:

This is useful info for a novice It gives me a good starting point
and I can then adjust to my own conditions. I guess you just have to
keep an eye on the plants/soil and vary timer or the dripper
periodically.


Setting up the individual drips on a long run can be a pain - as you
increase the drip rate from one the rate from others can reduce. Set
them up roughly first so that you have flow from each one and then go
back and equalise the flow from each in gradual steps. When first
setting up first fully open the one at the end of the run to remove any
air in the main feed. Despite the name you don't want drips but a
steady flow.

Resist the temptation to re-adjust the drippers for more flow during the
year. Just adjust the frequency and period of each watering.

What can happen if you don't open up the drippers enough is that in the
summer the 4mm black tubing gets very hot, the water expands and is
pushed out the drippers and/or evaporates via the drippers. When the
timer again provides water the tubes are full of air and can cause an
air lock preventing water getting to some drippers. By setting the
drippers to give a steady higher flow tends to prevent this in that the
air is easily pushed out by the new water flow.

Try and hide the black pipe in permanent shade.

Anther tip, while construction your system dip the end of the cut tube
into a cup of near boiling water before trying to get it over the barbs
on the fittings (T pieces or drippers). The hot water temporarily makes
the tubes softer and the fittings can be pushed into the tubes easier.

--
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Old 03-05-2019, 07:14 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Vertical Wall Garden advice

On 03/05/2019 19:05, alan_m wrote:


Try and hide the black pipe in permanent shade.


Clear tube in the sun may be the ideal environment for growing algae and
lead to blockages long term. Did the clear tube you are using come with
the kit and is it UV stable?


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Old 04-05-2019, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan_m View Post

Setting up the individual drips on a long run can be a pain - as you
increase the drip rate from one the rate from others can reduce. Set
them up roughly first so that you have flow from each one and then go
back and equalise the flow from each in gradual steps. When first
setting up first fully open the one at the end of the run to remove any
air in the main feed. Despite the name you don't want drips but a
steady flow.

Resist the temptation to re-adjust the drippers for more flow during the
year. Just adjust the frequency and period of each watering.

What can happen if you don't open up the drippers enough is that in the
summer the 4mm black tubing gets very hot, the water expands and is
pushed out the drippers and/or evaporates via the drippers. When the
timer again provides water the tubes are full of air and can cause an
air lock preventing water getting to some drippers. By setting the
drippers to give a steady higher flow tends to prevent this in that the
air is easily pushed out by the new water flow.

Thank you for the further tips. Seems counter intuitive at first, but then the benefit of experience usually highlights issues you never considered

I've already realised I've wired the irrigation wrong. I started the run from the bottom row of pots, I should have taken the pipe to the top and run down :/ Silly mistake, fortunately I realised before starting on the bigger set of pots


Quote:
Originally Posted by alan_m View Post

Try and hide the black pipe in permanent shade.
Fortunately I want to hide the pipe for aesthetic reasons anyway. Most of it runs behind the pots, the bits running along the top should be concealed by the plants. And I plan to put some sort of art/lighitng to conceal the bit that is exposed between the decking and pots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alan_m View Post

Anther tip, while construction your system dip the end of the cut tube
into a cup of near boiling water before trying to get it over the barbs
on the fittings (T pieces or drippers). The hot water temporarily makes
the tubes softer and the fittings can be pushed into the tubes easier.
Luckily that was one tip that was given on the rather small manual
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Old 04-05-2019, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan_m View Post


Try and hide the black pipe in permanent shade.


Clear tube in the sun may be the ideal environment for growing algae and
lead to blockages long term. Did the clear tube you are using come with
the kit and is it UV stable?
Hi, yes it came with the kit:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tvird-Water...r=8-3-fkmrnull

It was down to 12 when I bought it. Then there was an error in one of their pictures (showed wrong connector being used with drippers) which I followed. So they sent me another :/ Will use that for the brick planter and other pots around the garden now.

I'm trying to keep the tubing hidden as much as possible. And also run conventional pipe under the raised decking, to minimise the length of the 4mm tubing runs.
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Thinking about it now, I may paint the exposed parts to match the walls/pots. It will further mask it and mitigate against Algae build up.
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Old 04-05-2019, 12:30 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Vertical Wall Garden advice

On 04/05/2019 10:24, Frusc wrote:
alan_m;1031043 Wrote:
-
Setting up the individual drips on a long run can be a pain - as you
increase the drip rate from one the rate from others can reduce. Set
them up roughly first so that you have flow from each one and then go
back and equalise the flow from each in gradual steps. When first
setting up first fully open the one at the end of the run to remove any

air in the main feed. Despite the name you don't want drips but a
steady flow.

Resist the temptation to re-adjust the drippers for more flow during the

year. Just adjust the frequency and period of each watering.

What can happen if you don't open up the drippers enough is that in the

summer the 4mm black tubing gets very hot, the water expands and is
pushed out the drippers and/or evaporates via the drippers. When the
timer again provides water the tubes are full of air and can cause an
air lock preventing water getting to some drippers. By setting the
drippers to give a steady higher flow tends to prevent this in that the

air is easily pushed out by the new water flow.
-



Thank you for the further tips. Seems counter intuitive at first, but
then the benefit of experience usually highlights issues you never
considered

I've already realised I've wired the irrigation wrong. I started the run
from the bottom row of pots, I should have taken the pipe to the top and
run down :/ Silly mistake, fortunately I realised before starting on the
bigger set of pots


alan_m;1031043 Wrote:
-
Try and hide the black pipe in permanent shade.
-


Fortunately I want to hide the pipe for aesthetic reasons anyway. Most
of it runs behind the pots, the bits running along the top should be
concealed by the plants. And I plan to put some sort of art/lighitng to
conceal the bit that is exposed between the decking and pots.

alan_m;1031043 Wrote:
-
Anther tip, while construction your system dip the end of the cut tube
into a cup of near boiling water before trying to get it over the barbs

on the fittings (T pieces or drippers). The hot water temporarily makes

the tubes softer and the fittings can be pushed into the tubes easier.
-


Luckily that was one tip that was given on the rather small manual


+-------------------------------------------------------------------+
+-------------------------------------------------------------------+



The boliing water tip is good, BUT dont bother with a cup, use a full
thermos flask and the water will stay hot enough to use for around 30 mins.
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Old 05-05-2019, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hill View Post
The boliing water tip is good, BUT dont bother with a cup, use a full
thermos flask and the water will stay hot enough to use for around 30 mins.
Bit late for the first section, already been through 15 cups of water

Will bare that in mind for the next section though.


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