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    Check out our most frequently asked questions below!

How do I set up my garden?

Setting up and Eco Garden is quick and easy.  We include instructions with each unit and will soon have a Setup Video on our web site and YouTube!

A couple of things to think about as you select a spot for your garden:

  • You should select a level space in your yard.
  • An Eco Garden works best when on part of your yard’s hardscape or other level area that take some weight (a full Original Garden weighs approximately 1,500 pounds and may settle when place on soft surfaces).
  • Drainage (the overflow and actual drain hoses) should be directed away from the Eco Garden to maintain stability and level for the garden.
  • Once your garden is assembled (either Original or Backyard), fill the reservoir with water, add the soil platform and add your soil blend (see specific garden information or other FAQ’s for type and quantity of soil).
  • Make sure all of your watering system works prior to putting soil in the garden.
  • If you purchased a Backyard Garden, test the Pumping Station prior to putting soil in the garden to make sure everything works.
  • Prior to planting, make sure your soil has sufficient moisture – some soils are more moist than other.  We recommend watering your new soil the achieve initial moisture levels.
    • We recommend you let your garden sit after establishing the moisture level – roughly two days to let your soil settle
  • For starter plants, follow instructions for that type of plant in terms of soil depth
    • Typically, this means planting so that the top of the soil in the container is matched with the top of the soil in your garden)
  • For seeds, a rule of thumb is to plant seeds about 1″ deep.  Follow the directions for your specific seeds to achieve best results.

What makes the Eco Garden Systems gardens better?

Our gardens are all constructed out of food contact grade LDPE plastic with a UV stabilizer.  This will reduce/eliminate any leaching issues and make sure the garden’s strength stays intact year after year in the sun.  No wood means no contaminants (wood and water are not a good anti-bacterial combination).

What are the benefits of an Eco Garden Systems garden compared to regular gardens?

Well, the benefits are several:

  • The structure of our gardens (Air Gap, moisture-rich, contained) creates the best environment for speed to maturity for plants. We see growth rates of up to 60% more than traditional gardens.
  • With plants reaching maturity faster combined with our robust growing environment (Air Gap, moisture-rich environment) and a more consistent temperature (the water reservoir helps regulate soil temperature even as air temperatures get cooler), we see a much higher total production. We have seen production of up to twice the norm – this is confirmed by two University of Minnesota studies which show production of 60% more for plants and will soon be supplemented by our own research.
  • Since our gardens are totally self-contained, no outside influences occur that you do not choose to add. If you start with organic soil and additives, your garden will be organic from the beginning and you will be able to provide your family with the “all natural” foods they want and need!
  • A raised box garden makes family gardening easy and fun. From older generations who have a harder time bending, kneeling and squatting to keeping the younger kids from crawling through the entire garden to you having the ability to provide a great family experience (did we mention the no bending thing for you??), Eco Gardens are the single best way to enjoy the gardening experience.
  • An Eco Garden can also help with keeping the environment stable. From our water reservoir maximizing every drop of moisture (you use up to 65% less water with an Eco Garden) to our contained system keeping all of your good soil in place – our product line helps you live a sustainable lifestyle. In addition, growing your own food can help your family when other food gets expensive – just head to the backyard and grab dinner!
  • Several parts of the US are not necessarily favorable for growing crops – they have a case of the “too’s” – too dry, too wet, too hot, too cool, soil too poor, too something. An Eco Garden Systems’ garden can help you keep growing even when conditions are not ideal.  You control everything – and you can keep growing later into the year (and start earlier).
  • Do you live in a city without space or the right soil for growing? Well now you can get an Eco Garden and create your own little slice of agriculture in the heart of the concrete jungle.

Can I Fertilize an Eco Garden?

Absolutely – but fertilizing works a bit differently in an Eco Garden because of the water reservoir.  We recommend avoiding liquid fertilizers as they can leave behind a salt and mineral build up in the soil.  We recommend a high quality, dry granular fertilizer (some users prefer Organic – but as long as it is high quality you should be okay).  We also recommend removing your garden soil every year, adding a bit more compost, and mixing a dry fertilizer into your garden soil in the spring (or whenever you decide to put it back in the garden).  This will help keep your soil “fresh” and will help fertilize your plants appropriately.

Some experts even recommending a saturation watering once per summer – this is where you top water your Eco Garden until water comes out of the overflow drain.  This can help flush unwanted leftovers from your soil and water reservoir.

Should I buy the Original Garden or the Backyard Garden?

Well, that depends on a couple of things – How advanced are your gardening skills? How much time do you have? How hands-on do you want to be? Generally, the less time you have, the lower your experience level, and if your desire to be hands-on is low, we recommend the Backyard Garden.  On the other hand, the more time you want to spend, the higher your gardening skill set, and the more hands-on you want to be we might recommend the Original Garden.  Each works great – but the choice is really up to you! Check out plan your garden to find out which garden is best for your lifestyle.

What is the difference between the Original Garden and the Backyard Garden?

Original Garden Backyard Garden
Size A bit more surface area (16 square yards) Scaled back a bit to make it easier to work the entire garden (13 square yards of surface area)
Self-Watering Yes – connect to a hose or buy an optional pump station and this garden becomes pretty automatic Yes – comes with an automated pump so you can fill and forget it (well, perhaps check every now and then!)
Mobility Both gardens are very heavy and should only be moved when completely empty. You risk severe injury should you try and move either garden when they are full
Pump Station Several pump options are available to you at extra cost Comes with a rechargeable pumping station
Solar Powered? Available solar kit (Panel, Telescoping Rod and Battery) is available Battery included – purchase the solar panel and telescoping rod separately
Storage? No – but you can add racks and other conveniences as we have inserted nuts into the garden around the exterior for any mounting projects you may need Convenient pull out drawer for all of your gardening tools and accessories
Aesthetics The Original Garden is utilitarian – it is all about the work and the convenience. The Backyard Garden has wood grain features in its construction to fit in with almost any outdoor décor.
Can I hook multiple gardens together? The Original Garden is designed for the serious gardener who wants multiple units all connected together.  With the proper control box, up to 16 gardens can be connected together and run off of one hose (assuming 50-60 PSI from the hose). The Backyard Garden is designed to be a single garden for every backyard.  They can be connected together – but the design is mainly for a single stand-alone garden.

What are the gardens made of?

The garden itself is made out of high grade LDPE that is food-contact ready. We add some antimicrobials and a UV stabilizer to make the garden even more long-lasting.

What is “Air Gap” technology and why is it important?

We have created a substantial gap between the soil platform and the water reservoir.  This allows plant roots to grow through the soil platform and hang in the “Air Gap” – maximizing the amount of oxygen plants get and creating a moisture-rich environment for the root systems.

Oxygen is a critical component for all life – and especially for plants.  Overwatering can actually drown plants causing them to underperform from both a growth and production perspective. By controlling the amount of soil moisture, creating the “Air Gap,” and having a water reservoir, you will create the optimal growing conditions.  The University of Minnesota did studies in 2007 and 2013 that show that vegetables can produce up to 58% more product using super-oxygenated growing conditions.

How should I organize my garden?

Check out www.ecogardensystems.com/planyourgarden for planning approaches, when to plant what crops and what plants do (and do not) enjoy growing together.

What soil should I use (and how much)?

The brand is up to you – but for the best overall results we recommend high quality, organic peat moss and organic garden soil.

We do not recommend potting soil as it tends to be a bit lighter and more susceptible to wind.  We do not recommend top soil as it tends to be a bit heavier and over time can get a bit compacted leading to less than optimal results.

For the Original Garden, we recommend approximately 20 Cubic Feet of soil material.  Two to four cubic feet of peat moss (towards the high end of the range if you want to best moisture control) and the remainder (16 – 18 cubic feet) in garden soil.

For the Backyard Garden, we recommend approximately 14 Cubic Feet of soil material.  Two to three cubic feet of peat moss and the remainder (11 – 12 cubic feet) in garden soil.

Do I have to water my garden all the time?

No – that is the great thing about our garden. The water reservoir and the Air Gap provide a layer of moist air at and around the roots minimizing the need to water. We recommend using a moisture sensor (our Complete Pump Station comes with multiple sensors) and watering only when the moisture sensor indicates a need. Fast Fact: indoors, our gardens rarely require applied moisture due to this revolutionary approach!

Does the water in the water reservoir go bad?

No – since the water is protected from sunlight, there is no activator for any biologics in the water. Still, we recommend draining and cleaning your garden at the end of every season.

How does the Eco Garden Systems Pump Station work?

The Pump Station works just like a self-contained sprinkler system. The Moisture Sensor lets the control board know when moisture is needed. You program how long you want the watering system to be on based on how you like your garden and the weather where you are located (dry, moist, hot, cool, etc.). The pump will draw water from the reservoir to apply to your garden. When the reservoir gets low (water that does not evaporate will trickle through the soil and collect in the reservoir), you will be notified and you can add more water to the reservoir.

What happens to the system when it rains?

The reservoir gets filled up – and excess water flows out of the side drain (sort of like an overflow system in a sink). This makes sure the Air Gap is maintained and your plants do not drown. Also, the moisture sensor will let the system know that there is sufficient moisture so no additional water is needed.

What is the cost of an Eco Garden?

Visit www.ecogardensystems.com/store as we have a couple of different options based on your needs.

How can I learn more about Eco Garden Systems?

Visit our website and visit any of our social media channels (we are on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn and we’re coming soon to SnapChat). If you do not find what you need, contact us at info@ecogardensystems.com or reach out to us at (800) 299-5154.

What if I need a custom garden for other growing needs?

Our Industrial Garden group works with many different growing needs. We are especially adept at working with emerging markets within the United States.  For more information, please contact us via phone at (800) 299-5154 or go to the E-Store for further information.

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