Garden Tower - A Self Contained Garden/Composting System.

The garden tower is a gardening system that creates it's own fertilizer while keeping a small footprint and being easier than hydroponics to maintain.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxsfAqNhZYk

More information at http://www.gardentowerproject.com/

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What a really good idea!  It's so simple and yet very effective.  Thank you for sharing this, as it probably would be a very useful compact tool!

Nicely done Samantha!

When I first saw the original post, I tried to think of how to pull it off.  Securing the center tube had me stumped.  I never thought of heating PVC pipe like that to make brackets and handles.  What a great idea! 


The wood plug at the bottom, do you think the wood might expand once it gets wet?  Maybe drill or cut some notches on the very outer edge so you can pry it out if needed.  I like the idea of a metal pin to hold it in.  That would also be a good way to secure a PVC end cap too.

As for the planting holes... I had thought about drilling 2 holes, one on each end. then cutting in between O--------O.  The holes you made look bigger (another great idea).  I wonder if drilling 4 holes, one on each corner and then doing the H cut as you describe.  The idea of drilling holes would be to prevent the vertical cuts from tearing and splitting over time.

Lastly the very bottom of the black barrel might trap water in the outer edge ring.  That could cause the soil to go anaerobic.  I would imagine that drilling a few holes in the bottom would provide extra air circulation.  Even at the expense of loosing some of the worm/compost tea.

Thank you for all of the great tips and the inspiration!

Great job making one Samantha. The pvc is a good idea and the constructing info is very helpful. Keep it up!

What an excellent idea! As soon as I can find a suitable plastic drum I'm trying this.

I have been thinking about the problem of the holes closing up due to heat and I am wondering if removing the top flap of the 'H' would help with this. The plastic will still likely change shape in the heat, but with a more permanent opening it might not be a problem.

Also I love your idea of heating and bending the PVC to form the supports, but it strikes me that the soil itself could hold the centre column in place. From what I understand I can see the system working with the centre column simply sitting on the bottom of the barrel, with holes suitably drilled, and a collection pan underneath.

1 more thing.... perhaps a more aggressive heating will break the bonds in the plastic and prevent it from springing back. Not sure about this but a lot of plastic has a shape memory that it strives to return to, especially when heated. So perhaps if a line on heat is carefully created on the bends, with a small blowtorch or cheapo soldering iron, the plastic will resist the urge to return to its molded shape.

YW. Oh yes I didn't realize you would need to clean out the centre pipe every now and then, which complicates things a little. The hatch idea is good. At it's simplest all it would need is a section cut out of the bottom and hinged back on with wire.

Keep up the good work. I think you've doing a great job reducing the system to its ultimate simplicity, upon which clever improvisers such as yourself can come up with a million ways to tweak it to suit their situations.

Even with our veggie patch i'm itching to try and get some of these to see how effective they are. They look like they save a lot of work for something that's oh so important.

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