Concrete Canvas - Tower Garden DIY Experiment

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by Mindgrinder, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja|RIP 12-25-2017

    This will be a multi-year thread I hope....

    For xmas - my brothers asked me what I wanted....I told them a spool of "Concrete Canvas".

    I'm going to use it to make homemade tower gardens using cheap pumps with jimmy rigged water supplies.
    Using PH adjusted bokashi compost tea from starbucks at my office, I hope to spend very little on nutrient solutions.

    So anyway - here is the idea - please steal it.

    Make 10x 6 foot long circular "tube" of concrete canvas and cut holes for 3 inch net cups.
    Make a lid of concrete canvas with holes appropriate to trickle down to each net cup hole.
    Use recycled office water bottles as the base reservoirs.
    Probably do a hybrid with 3-4 towers and a cheap kiddie poor from walmat....

    This is what a tower garden assembly looks like.....yes I actually own 1 and it cost me the better part of $1000.

    Time Lapse -

    Assembly video:

    This is what it looks like on a restaurant size scale...

    This thing is way too expensive....I could build by own with plastic pipes, drills yadda yadda...
    But I wanna do it super cheap with as little precision drilling as possible. Hence - concrete canvas.

    Mother of all instant shelters....

    I've just found out about this concrete canvas stuff so I'm pretty excited...

    Wish me luck - many videos are hopefully to come.

  2. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja|RIP 12-25-2017

    Side note -
    This past year I set up my tower garden at my office on the west facing balcony...(not the best light)....
    And still pulled nearly 100 salads off if, lettuce kale and spinach mostly.
    kellory and Yard Dart like this.
  3. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja|RIP 12-25-2017


    So my bros spent $70 for 1 square meter of this stuff for me to play with...
    I rolled it in a sorta tube, cut holes and filled with 3 inch net cups, stapled it to a piece of wood to hold it together and soaked it.
    Works as designed - hard as a rock next day but non-functional for the purpose I had intended...
    Absurdly cost ineffective as well...I would have thought $10 for the little bit they got for $70 would be too much...

    Chalking it up as a learning experience.
    kellory likes this.
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Gotta applaud the experiment, but not the fail. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
  5. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja|RIP 12-25-2017

    Sometimes ya just have a vision....
    And some of them sometimes....


    I "think" i can still dig a hole for the base, fill it with dirt and do a strawberry rig....
    Will I get =$70 worth of berries off it? 3-5 years of use.
    Will look just fine by the bug-out-shopping-cart-loler-garden in the back 40.
  6. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Purchase woven fiberglass material, soak in slurry of portland cement. Roll into shape cut as needed before it cures.

    FWIY, Burlap is cheap and sometimes free. Make a shape with cast off chicken wire, wrap with the burlap, wet burlap apply dry coats of portland cement. Make krzy shapes and Hobbit Homes.
    Mindgrinder likes this.
  7. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Try heavy wall PVC pipe. I used a 12" diameter 1" thick water pain as a culvert, very strong. You could even use concrete pipe sections upright, setting on the bell end. A hammer drill will make holes where you want them without too much trouble.
    Mindgrinder likes this.
  8. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja|RIP 12-25-2017

    I can get leftover PVC conduit pipe free from the fiber guys at my work....the problem is drilling and gluing it all together is "cumbersome" in terms of man hours. TBH - I was looking for a lazy way to rolling, cut, connect to water supply - done". The LAZY way.
    I guess that's the lesson....lazy isn't the way.

    This is prolly really easy for many of you...but it's a PITA for me.
    kellory likes this.
  9. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Use a hole saw for the main section.

    Use a smaller section and cut it at an angle to fit the round whole and glue in place with the PVC solvent.

    Rest is just drip tubing.
  10. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja|RIP 12-25-2017

    I like the thought you gave me earlier....
    "woven fiberglass material, soak in slurry of portland cement"
    I have a dozen or so burlap bags in the basement already too...
    Def ideas worth exploring when the sun comes back out here.
    I'm really keen on the garden tower thing because I've used it and it works.
    It's so low maintenance that it just seems the right way to go for so many things.
    Granted....I've barely scratched the surface on DIY nutrients...but that seems pretty easy.
    Compost tea via bokashi and a filter bag for the sub pump.
    PH+ PH- solution - done.
  11. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I would have no problems making these. The glue, is actually, a chemical melding, or melting process. Cutting the cup holders is simple with a band saw or miterbox, and then just lay them on the vertical downspout section, and mark the inside edge with a marker. Then a drimel will clear the hole is a few seconds each. This is a simple build, the hardest part is setting up the pump system.
    Mindgrinder likes this.
  12. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja|RIP 12-25-2017

    I have no doubt you could slap this together in....what? 1-2 hrs?
    You SHOULD build 1 for the heck of it.
    Can prolly sell it on c-list for $200 loaded with strawberries or something simple.
    Frankly Kel - 10 of these on your south facing lawn and you won't spend much on veg ever again. Dunno how you could get the pumps cheap/free...but I see no reason you couldn't make 1 good pump and system do the job for all 10 units.
    kellory likes this.
  13. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Yes and no. I could build this in a couple hours, to problem. But I can not post on Craigslist. I got kicked off for scaring someone who was using a big dog to hurt people for fun. He set "free stuff" out at the curb then set the dog on anyone coming to take it. I put the fear of God into him. He pulled his ad/trap, and I got kicked off. (He let a father and son team get bitten, and laughed about it. Thought it was all a big game.)
  14. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja|RIP 12-25-2017

    Oh - wait -
    Sounds like you did the right thing....getting a new email addy would bypass the "ban".
    If not - I suppose you could PM me and I suppose I might help you out if it's IP can't be on c-list....
    Too much effort for a "free" site.
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