GrowScape Instructions (page 1 of 3)
"GrowScape™ Vertical Garden" by Muscle and Arm Farm is made up of cylinders 6 inches high and of varying diameter. To build the bed, the cylinder of largest diameter is laid out and filled with a good soil mix. The soil in that level is tamped and "watered in" thoroughly. The next smaller cylinder is then set on top of the first layer, filled with soil, tamped/watered, and so on. Each cylinder is 6 inches smaller in diameter than the last, providing a 3 inch ledge on which to plant.
Unlike a stack of individual containers, the assembled GrowScape bed creates a monolithic pile of soil, which allows plants to root deeply, and helps moderate swings in soil moisture level.
The size and height of the bed is limited primarily by the desired footprint. Muscle and Arm Farm's largest "standard" bed has a base cylinder diameter of 72 inches and a finished, unplanted height of 66 inches. If a larger bed were desired, it could be easily created. Our smallest standard bed has a footprint of 24 inches and a height of 18 inches. Smaller beds are available with a drain tray, and are well suited for a sunny balcony or a sturdy outdoor tabletop.
The polymer used in the GrowScape Vertical Garden is 70% post-consumer recycled High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) - in the same class of polymer as cutting board plastic and milk bottles. The material is 0.060" (60 thousandths) thick, and is black for UV resistance. It is very tough, very inert, and is suitable for growing food crops. The connecting hardware is made of 304 stainless steel.
Keys to a Successful Raised Bed
Whether you are planting flowers or a food crop, green plants need certain things to thrive - adequate light, consistent moisture, and access to certain nutrients. If possible, and particularly if you are growing a food crop, pick a site where you will get plenty of direct sunlight.
When plants fail to thrive in a raised bed, often the problem is a result of the type of soil used. Many bulk "top soil mixes" are composed largely of incompletely composted organic material, perhaps mixed with sand or other remnant from a building site.
If a bulk "top soil mix" is made up primarily of partially decomposed wood byproducts, you may run into a problem related to the ratio of carbon and nitrogen (C/N ratio) in the mix. Incompletely composted wood byproduct mixes often have excess carbon relative to nitrogen. Bacteria breaking down the chipped bark or sawdust require nitrogen. So do your plants. So the bacteria and plants compete for this nutrient. Any mass ratio above about 25 parts Carbon to 1 part Nitrogen (25/1) will result in plants that tend to