Transitioning Your Garden Tower® From Summer to Fall

closeup of greens growing in a vertical vegetable gardenJust because summer is drawing to a close doesn’t mean that you have to stop growing—the fun has only just begun! Depending on which USDA hardiness zone you live in, there is a wide variety of different ways to spice up your vertical vegetable garden during the changing seasons. Whether you’re looking to grow for another season or simply want to replenish your garden’s soil for storage, there’s something for everyone to do during this time of year. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through our favorite ways to prep a Garden Tower® for fall.

Give Your Tower an Extra Boost of Nutrients

Refreshing the Soil After a Summer of Growingseveral Garden Towers® growing a variety of different herbs and vegetablesAn entire summer of growing can be hard on your soil, so it’s crucial to replenish its nutrients before starting your fall growing adventures. There are many ways to give your soil an extra boost, but these are our two favorite ways:

  • Nutrient Tea: this nutrient-filled water is naturally occurring in your Garden Tower®. It is created when water that is poured onto the vertical vegetable garden seeps through the compost tube and is recollected in the bottom drawer. This can then be poured back on top of the Tower to organically fertilize the plants while also watering them. Additionally, as this cycle continues, the water collected becomes increasingly nutritionally dense.
  • Plant Food: this soil amendment can boost the nutrients in your Tower for an exceptional growing season. It’s important to pick the correct type of plant food, though—avoiding brands with GMOs, manure, and sewage sludge will keep your Tower clean, free of toxins, and overall significantly healthier. Here at Garden Tower Project, we recommend the Dr. Earth 706P Organic All Purpose Plant Food because of its low-salt and handcrafted blend.

Clean Out Your Vertical Vegetable Garden’s Compost Tube

Keep Pests, Weeds, and Diseases at Baycompost being placed into a vertical vegetable garden's compost tubeVermicomposting is one of the many key components that make the Garden Tower® work so well. While compost is a great thing that helps herbs and vegetables grow larger and healthier, it’s also crucial to the health of your vertical vegetable garden to clean out the compost tube between seasons. If the tube isn’t emptied regularly, your plants can become root bound and make it difficult for the worms to do their job. Realistically, you should be emptying the tube more often, but once per season is the absolute minimum. Typically, we recommend small cleaning sessions every 30 to 40 days. While cleaning your compost tube, it’s important to be mindful of your plants—being careless or too rough can lead to damaged herbs and vegetables. Thankfully, this process is simple and accessible to gardeners of all ages and mobilities, making plant damage a small risk.

Start Planning Your Fall Garden

Plot Out Your Vertical Vegetable Garden

mother and child planting herbs, vegetables, and flowers in a Garden Tower®So, your soil is fertilized and your compost tube is cleaned out—now what? Similar to summer, looking up what herbs, vegetables, and flowers are in season is the first step to planning your garden. A crucial part of this process is keeping your first frost date and USDA hardiness zone in mind to ensure you’re planting the right things at the right time. Some of our fall favorites include kale, peas, broccoli, carrots, radishes, and a variety of other hearty vegetables. Additionally, it’s important to keep companion planting in mind while deciding which plants to place in your autumn garden, as this will allow you to organically repel pests and provide support to other plants. The best part of choosing these types of plants is that you don’t have to use all of your produce right away—your harvests can be frozen, canned, or even donated. By taking this into consideration, you can begin to make educated decisions on what greens are best suited for your autumnal garden. 

Once this process is complete and fall is here, it’s time to start your own seeds! This practice gives you direct control of the conditions the seedlings are being raised in, creating healthier, stronger plants. Once seedlings are ready, it’s time to start yet another fun season of growing.

With a little bit of research and prep work, you can extend your growing season by multiple months. We believe that having an autumnal garden can open your eyes to brand-new possibilities for delicious herbs and vegetables in your USDA hardiness zone. Here at Garden Tower Project, we strive to provide sustainable growing solutions for gardeners of all living environments, ages, and abilities. Ready to learn more? Visit our website to start your vertical gardening journey today.

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