2016 - Volume #40, Issue #1, Page #44[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Tiered Garden Easy To ManageWith a GrowScape™ vertical garden you can grow more than 70 linear feet of plants in a 6-ft. dia. space.
“There’s very little weeding. It’s amazingly care-free,” says horticulturist Dan Vorhis, inventor and manufacturer of GrowScape and other gardening-related products.
After a hip replacement, Vorhis began experimenting with different shapes and materials to create the tiered raised bed.
“I went through four different designs and materials. I found out it has to be a circle for strength. It is a tensile structure so the weight of the soil doesn’t collapse the walls,” he explains. “I was trying to come up with something that would be durable, wouldn’t rot, wouldn’t leach chemicals into the soil and would permit easy access to reach fruit and plants.”
He ended up using black .06-in. thick HDPE (high-density polyethylene). It’s food safe, robust and light enough to shape and ship inexpensively.
Secured with stainless steel screws, Vorhis expects to get at least 10 to 15 years out of the GrowScape gardens on his Whidbey Island, Wash., property.
To create a 54-in. tall, nine-tiered bed, start with about 1 1/2 cubic yards of soil. To prevent weeds, cover the ground. Corrugated cardboard works as well as purchased mulching fabrics. The first layer takes the longest to shape and fill with soil. Vorhis suggests spinning a 6-ft. long stick in the middle to create an even circle.
“It’s important to tamp and water the soil to compress it after filling each level,” he says. He also adds soil amendments before moving on to the next level.
Vorhis offers several packages that range from a three-tier kit ($50) to 11 tiers ($250). The nine-tier package costs $200. Shipping is included.
GrowScape works well for growing strawberries as well as annual vegetable plants and flowers, though Vorhis recommends not planting root vegetables. Each spring he tops off the 6-in. deep tiers with topsoil and adds organic fertilizer. Other than watering and occasional light weeding, the GrowScape is maintenance free.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dan Vorhis, Muscle and Arm Farm, 21910 State Rt. 525, Freeland, Wash. 98249 (ph 800 443-2607; www.muscleandarmfarm.com; email@example.com).
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