Still buzzing off my successes on the patio garden last year growing a variety of tomatoes and cherry tomatoes along side my herb garden, I’ve decided to take it a step further. Working to maximize my growing potential, while utilizing all of my sunny locations, I’m growing up!
Vertical gardening and small space design is all the rage, and for good reason. Using your vertical space, you can make the most of your square footage and the sunlight. Giving your back a break while adding to the beauty of the space. I was inspired this spring by many of the vertical gardens and displays I saw at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show. There I found a host of ideas for small space sustainable gardens. Some that would work wonderfully in my small space patio garden. I was looking for a way to creatively use my space while still looking good. It needed to be tall enough that it wouldn’t be eclipsed by the railings shade. Sturdy enough to hold large plants, like tomatoes and cucumbers! All while being mobile and lightweight enough to be moved around as needed.
Seattle filled me with inspirational ideas (pallet garden anyone?) but I found one of the most practical and simple solutions at this years BC Home & Garden Show. That is where I first came across Home Harvest Farms. A local company, deeply passionate about urban farming. They had set up a booth at the show with one of their tiered gardens spilling over with tomatoes and greens, all while still in the throes of winter. They were talking about sustainability and reducing our ecological footprint. Growing fresh food in our homes and on our patios. Creating accessible gardening that easily adapts to the needs of community and school gardens alike. Their planters are easy to set up and lightweight enough to move inside for winter storage or security concerns. Their tiered stainless steel planters can also be set up for indoor use, to get a jump start on our already short growing season here in the Lower Mainland.
I have the privilege of trialing a Home Harvest Farms terraced 48 inch stainless steel planter this year. With the help of my handy husband we put together the planter last week. It was a relatively simple process, made easier with a helpful instructional video from inventor Philip Be’er.
The kit came with thick gloves, to aid in the assembly. All I had to pick up was a new tube of silicone to complete the job. Once we got it all together we looked at the drainage system. Inside the kit there was a length of vinyl tubing and three fittings to attach to the planter. It also had three long lengths of drain pipe, one for each of the troughs creating a channel to direct the excess water.
We cut off three small pieces of the vinyl tubing to help feed the fitting into the pre existing hole in the side of the trough. Three longer pieces were then cut to connect the fittings together. The result was the water being directed through the tubing, draining off the side of my patio. Any excess water simply flows to the gardens below. Perfection. Alternatively you could set this system up to drain into a bucket to further capture and recycle your water.
All set up, the terraced planted was filled with a mix of potting soil and sea soil, giving a rich start to the seeds and small herbs tucked inside. I am looking forward to tending this garden with the children. Placed right outside their window, they’ve already taken quite a liking to it. They check on it daily, peeking through the plastic cover we fashioned to keep it warm from any late frosts or dips in the temperature.
Getting involved in the vegetable garden is something we encourage in our house. Whether they’re popping peas in the spring, or snatching just ripened tomatoes straight from the vine through the summer, my kids have gained a home grown appreciation for their fruit and vegetables. Home Harvest Farms is a true testament to that philosophy Philip Be’er writes; “Kids love learning about where their food comes from. We’re discovering that children become quite adventurous eaters when they participate in growing or harvesting their own produce.” I couldn’t agree more.
**Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. The terraced planter is currently on loan to me for trials and testing.**