Thursday, May 9, 2013

Our Family Garden: Pt 2 of 3

You can find Our Family Garden: Part 1 here.  In part one, my little scientists/engineers assembled the Tower Garden, set up the pump, and started our seeds in the provided rock wool.

Once our seedlings reached at least 3 inches tall (and weather permitted) we finally moved our Tower Garden outside into the sunshine, filled it with water, mineral solution, and transplanted our seedlings.  Once filled and plugged in out backyard was filled with the sounds of trickling water.  So our backyard garden doubles as a water feature.  The most relaxing sound ever!  (By the way, there is no reason to set this thing up inside at all.  We could have waited to set it up until our seedlings were ready to transplant outside.  We were just so excited to see that huge box when it arrived and wanted to set it up immediately, even though that meant living with it in the kitchen until our plants were ready.)

So how we did it.  We used our popsicle stick labels to cut and divide the rock wool 'brick' that we started our seeds.  My laborers carefully transplanted each little section of rock wool filled with its seedling and roots into each little black basket on the tower. 
 We placed our cucumbers and zucchini on the bottom, kale and lettuces in the middle, and left room at the top for our basil and stevia plants.  (More on the basil, stevia, and tomatoes in Part 3 of this series.)
Here is a close-up of one of our kale seedlings newly transplanted into its basket on the Tower Garden.  It is being nurtured by the mineral solution that is pumped from the base and rained down on the roots.  What are you planting this season? 

We live in Kansas where you never know what the weather is going to be like.  So 4 days after we transplanted our seedlings, we ended up with snow, sleet and freezing temperatures.  We raced home from that Thursday afternoon to rescue our lovely little plants.  I grabbed this image with my phone while we were frantically pumping water out of the base in order to the lighten the load before we carried it back inside. Fortunately all of our little plants seemed to have survived.

Our Tower Garden is back in our kitchen for now.  Below are some close-ups images of how the rock wool sections and seedlings sit in the Tower Garden. 

This is the basket where the seedlings will be 'planted'.  It's important to securely place your rock wool transplant all the way in.  The roots need to be touching the very bottom of the basket to make sure it receives sufficient water and minerals.
The rock wool and base of the plant will nearly fill the entire basket.  This is one of our cucumber plants.
Another cucumber plant.
The left and middle plants are the cucumbers above and the one on the right is one of the zucchini.  I can't wait to get them back out in the sunshine.

Stay tuned for Part 3 to see it back in action outdoors and see how quickly our plants are growing!  Anyone else have to make a mad dash to save their little plants due to weather change?  Your comments are blessings!


  1. hmm I have a black thumb, but if we had room I might be willing to try something like this it looks awesome

    1. Thank you for commenting Katherine! I have never had great success with a more typical garden, so I am extra excited to have head start this year.

  2. What a great idea for having the benefits of an organic farm in your own home or backyard!