Setting up our New GreenStalk Vertical Garden Planter!

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If you’ve been around my site at all you know that gardening is my personal relaxing space. Not only does it get me outdoors in nature which feeds my soul, but my garden grows healthy food for my family! A few years ago I started my vertical garden journey with my first GreenStalk Garden planter, and now that GreenStalk has a brand new design that JUST launched – the Basket Weave planter – I’ve got a new plan!

small basil plant in Greenstalk garden
Basil plant in the new Basket Weave style GreenStalk Vertical Garden Planter

The brand new Basket Weave design by Greenstalk comes in 3 beautiful colors – maple, evergreen, and stunning stone. In this post I have featured the maple Basket Weave GreenStalk planter which is what they sent me. Check out my video below that gives you a quick overview from in the box to thriving plants!

My gardening style is messy, purposeful, and a mixture of planning and throwing caution to the wind! In other words – the lifestyle of a busy mother and business owner trying desperately to find time to garden! My yard is never neat and perfect, and because I am interested in plant medicine and herbalism I also grow plenty of weeds!

Setting up our GreenStalk Vertical Garden Planter:

cart of potting soil mix for the  Greenstalk Vertical Garden Planter!

Living in Louisiana requires some patience with our never-changing weather! When you receive your GreenStalk Garden, you’ll want to make sure you’ve set aside a few hours to dedicate to proper setup, as well as the right type of soil and plants for your planter.

What kind of soil do I use in my GreenStalk Vertical Planter garden?

You need to use potting mix in your GreenStalk Planter which typically is a mixture of peat moss, coco coir, and perlite/vermiculite. The bag will probably be a little pricier than soil, but it will also be much lighter than a typical bag of soil making it easier to handle if you have a bad back!

The potting mix allows for the right kind of drainage that you will need in your GreenStalk. Typically I budget for about $50 per GreenStalk for my potting mix – but it will depend on what brand you use. For this particular project I used a Miracle Gro Potting Mix, but I know a lot of people really like Happy Frog Potting Soil.

Depending on what you are growing in your vertical planter, you may want to mix in some compost or bone meal as well.

How much soil do I need for a GreenStalk Planter?

Greenstalk planter garden guide and box

You’ll need roughly 1 cubic foot (or 8 gallons) of potting mix PER TIER. Since this specific planter I have is a 5 tier system, I purchased 6 bags of potting mix just in case. I always buy one bag extra because sometimes it saves me a trip back to the store, and let’s be honest – I can always use soil!

What types of planters does GreenStalk Garden have?

There are two main types of planters from GreenStalk Garden – a 5 tier original planter with deeper 10 inch “pockets”, and a 7 tier leaf planter with more shallow 7 inch “pockets”. I have one of each, and the new Basket Weave style comes in both sizes!

What kind of plants can I grow in a GreenStalk Planter?

You can grow all sorts of plants in your GreenStalk – let your imagination wander! I’ve grown flowers, vegetables, herbs, and even used an entire planter for Spider Plants! The Basket Weave planter I just received will be mostly used for vegetables! I’ve seen everything from tomatoes to potatoes, peppers, cucumbers and so much more grown in the GreenStalk Facebook group.

For myself, I personally don’t recommend using your GreenStalk with seeds though as it’s difficult and high maintenance to keep them properly moistened to germinate. I prefer to grow my seedlings and then transplant them into my GreenStalk.

4 empty tiers of a Greenstalk vertical garden planter

How does GreenStalk hold up in the heat and over time?

Let me tell you, I live in Louisiana where the sun beats down intensely so my gardening containers take a beating! I’ve live in the Midwest, Florida and in Louisiana, and the extremes here are like nowhere else! Maybe Texas! We cans wing up to 120* in the summer, and below freezing in the winter.

I’ve had my first GreenStalk for four years now outside and it looks just as good today as it does the day I set it up! I am really impressed and have had no warping, cracking or fading issues with my planter.

How to Plan for your Vertical Garden:

Honestly, planning our my vertical garden tiers took me the longest time! You’ll possibly need to take into account companion plants or plants that shouldn’t be grown together, sun / shade on your planter (or the need to rotate it!), plant support systems you might need, your weather, and spacing for root systems.

Once you have decided exactly what you are planting where, you are ready to get started!

To get started you’ll need to have on hand:

  • Your GreenStalk Planter
  • Minimum 6 plants per tier x 5-7 tiers
  • 1 Cubic Foot Potting Mix per tier
  • Garden Hose
  • Optional – Base Spinner, Plant Supports, or Watering System
laying out plants for our Greenstalk garden planter

Begin by filling each tier to the top with potting mix. I like to lay each of my tiers out and fill them all up with the potting mix before I begin planting.

planting a tomato plant in the Greenstalk planter

Once each tier is full of potting mix, plant 1-3 plants in each pocket depending on the space the plant will need to grow. Herbs can typically handle several plants per pocket, larger plants like tomatoes will certainly only handle one plant per pocket.

tier of Greenstalk vertical planter with plants

I decided to do some experimenting with my GreenStalk planter and decided to overload a tier with four tomato plants and a few marigolds to help with pest control.

Remember that when you are planting something very feeder heavy like tomatoes, you’ll need to take into consideration two things:

  • space for roots
  • fertilizer needs for each plant

For this growing season I placed my tomatoes at the bottom of my planter and will add nutrients heavily directly into these tiers. In the top tiers I have a carefully planned mixture of basil, peppers, and cucumbers.

Watering your GreenStalk Vertical Garden Planter:

close up of tiers of Greenstalk vertical garden

The cool thing about your GreenStalk planters is that it has a specially designed watering system. In between each tier is a watering “disk” with holes that assists the water to have proper drainage all the way down the tower. You’ll want to make sure these watering disks are free of extra debris so that the water flows properly.

corner of garden plants and Greenstalk vertical planter

Lastly, each tier “snaps” together when you’re ready to stack them! At the very top is a large watering disk. If you have a lot of trees or debris that can clog your disk you can always place a shower cap over the top and remove it when you need to water.

It sounds like a lot, but my GreenStalk planters are very easy to care for! Just water the top disk and let the system take care of trickling down to the plants! Unless you are using a base system, the planter does trickle water out of the bottom, so if you want to use this indoors you will want to look at your base options to catch the extra water.

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