Vertical gardens are a great choice for anyone who wants to get as much fresh produce as they can out of a limited amount of space. Tall container gardens like these are also handy for those who prefer container gardening but have physical limitations. A vertical garden setup even saves time watering since you can fit dozens of plants in one pot!
There are plenty of benefits to vertical gardens, but which product should you choose? Here’s a quick comparison and rundown of the features of two different well-designed and popular products.
I have provided affiliate links for both products, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I may receive a small referral commission (at no extra cost to you) to help keep this blog running.
Main Similarities & Differences
First things first, both containers are made with food grade plastic, so you don’t have to worry about chemicals leeching into your soil. Both products are made in the USA and are non-toxic, BPA free, PVC free, and resistant to breakdown from UV rays. Both products have a five year warranty.
The two vertical gardens look similar on the outside: the general design is a circular column or tower with many small pockets. The insides are a bit different though. The Greeenstalk garden is actually 4-5 containers or tiers (each with 6 pockets) that stack on top of each other but receive equal water through a central slow-drip system. The Garden Tower is a bit more complex with all the soil and pockets essentially interconnected, with a compost tube at the core.
The Garden Tower 2 is the biggest, with 50 plant pockets! It also rotates so you can be sure to get plenty of sun to all plants. But the built-in compost tube in the center of the Garden Tower is really what makes the product unique. In my opinion, it comes with benefits but also a couple drawbacks.
Having a compost tube built directly into the tower is an awesome idea because all plants need nutrients. With a compost tube built in, you don’t have to worry about them running out of nutrients!
Especially if you are interested in growing organically or reducing your food waste, it’s a perfect crash course to learn how to make your own compost. The system uses worms (similar to earth worms) to speed up the composting process. There is also a large Facebook group just for Garden Tower owners that you can learn from.
If you’re new to gardening and want to keep things simple, the compost tube may be an extra learning curve that you don’t want to deal with. Additionally, with the soil and tube being all interconnected, if or when the time comes to empty out your garden tower, the process might be a little more complicated.
Additionally, the Garden Tower is more costly at around $340. But keep in mind that the purchase price of a typical self-contained compost making bin alone is $75-$150. For the quality and everything you get all in one, the price is pretty reasonable.
Garden Tower 2 is the perfect vertical garden for you if:
- You want as many plants as possible
- You love organic & natural methods
- Science experiments are fun!
- You want to reduce your food waste
- You’ve been wanting to start composting
- Willing to do a little research or join Facebook group
- You don’t mind the chance of trial and error
- The learning process is part of the fun!
The first and maybe biggest benefit to the Greenstalk garden is price. Depending on current sale discounts and if you want 4 tiers or 5 (24 or 30 pockets), you can get your Greenstalk for between $100 and $165. That’s quite reasonable! (A 3 tier tower is around $100, and you can sign up for their emails to be notified of any sales). Plus they just came out with the brand new “Greenstalk Leaf”—instead of 10 inch deep pockets, the Leaf has 7” deep pockets that can be stacked 7 tiers high—For a total 42 pockets that are still great for shallower rooted plants like greens, herbs, lettuce, flowers, etc. (7” and 10” layers can mix and match too!)
Keep in mind you may want to purchase extras like a spinner or wheels, or a frost or pest protection cover. Good quality potting soil and some fertilizer (organic or otherwise) is a necessity.
Unlike many DIY or ordinary container/vertical gardens, each section receives equal water at the same time. This combined with the slow-drip style of the central watering system prevents nutrient runoff and helps keep the soil moisture even, which is so important for plant health (as I’ve discussed in other posts). Liquid fertilizer can be added through the watering system, whether you choose your own or get some from their website. I also like that the Greenstalk comes in multiple colors: terra cotta, gray, brown, and light green.
Use this link for $10 off your first purchase of a Greenstalk garden. Greenstalk is very much a family run company.
The only real downside I can think of is that you’re getting less plant pockets (24-30) than with the Garden Tower (50). However, the pockets are bigger and deeper and may fit up to 2-3 plants per pocket.
The Greenstalk is the best vertical garden for you if:
- You’d like a simpler design
- You want to start smaller (3-4 tier)
- You prefer the cheaper option
- You’re willing to add fertilizer/plant food as needed
- You promise to use good quality potting soil 😉
Have you tried a vertical container garden yet? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
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