Garden Tower 2 Indoor Update!

tl;dr If you're thinking of trying the Garden Tower 2 inside, don't! We had good weather well into the fall last year, but we weren't prepared for a fall garden. We also had our Garden Tower 2 about as far away from the hose as it could be, and it was filled with "free dirt" from the city, which is actually composted leaves, not garden soil. I thought maybe it would be a good idea to move the tower to the basement, where we wouldn't be beholden to unpredictable weather, and I could build it from the ground up and get the vermiculture tower working properly.

Well, the one thing I got right was rebuilding it from the ground up. I did learn a lot from following the directions - that was something Francis skipped the two times he built it. Now I understand how to water it properly. It was IMPOSSIBLE to get compost worms in the winter from Uncle Jim's Worm Farm - they kept sending them Fed Ex 2 day and Fed Ex kept taking a week or more to deliver the worms. That happened 3 times! We finally brought some red wigglers in from our outdoor compost. That's probably the biggest mistake we made, because that's PROBABLY where the soil gnat infestation came from. We tried everything to get rid of the gnats, from flypaper to mosquito dunks in the watering can, and it just got worse and worse. Finally the only thing we could do is let everything dry out, including all the houseplants. I'm basically having to start everything over from scratch.

Let me say it again: DO NOT attempt the Garden Tower 2 indoors.


With that said, what a great lesson in resiliency. Garden Tower 2 truy is a fantastic design that can support 50 plants, and we have just made some mistakes in getting it going. But I'm determined! I am not giving up! This weekend, Francis built it a paver pad in my front garden, and I emptied the entire tower into buckets and rebuilt it right next to the porch. Even if I'm as lazy as I can possibly be, I can water it from the porch, harvest from the porch, and add kitchen scraps to the tower from the porch. This morning, Lilly and I read We Are the Gardeners, which is a great book about bouncing back from garden failures, and we planted beans, peas, and carrots. The tricky part is that we always have more greens than we use from our CSA, so I don't really want to plant any lettuce, spinach, kale, swiss chard, etc. I will probably plant some broccoli, and herbs. I'm about to start reading through Attainable and Sustainable, so maybe I'll get some ideas from that as well.

It's late in the season, but you can never tell how long "the season" will be in St Louis, or how mild winter will be, so there's no time like the present to try again. Hopefully I'll have another update in a month! I welcome suggestions for some non-greens to plant!