Yes, we do get asked questions all of the time. We actually created a specific section of our site to answer some of the more technical ones (check it out here). We also answer a lot of these on our Facebook page (check it out: EGS Page). Nothing makes us happier than answering gardener questions. If you have one, reach out!
In this blog, we will share additional insight into how we got started and why we do the things we do!
Let’s answer our favorite gardener questions!
Gardener Question #1: Why is your garden 39” off of the ground?
Our very first garden was built for our founder’s grandmother after she announced she had to give up her favorite hobby – gardening. To make the laborious bending, stooping, and crawling a thing of the past, we made the top of our garden the same height as a kitchen countertop so that everyone could enjoy the benefits of a true raised garden bed. If you are not using beds at this height, perhaps your bending days are not over – how does your back feel?
Gardener Question #2: Why did you choose a 4’ x 6’ bed rather than wider or deeper?
Our goal was to make the center of the garden accessible from both sides (hence the four-foot depth) while providing adequate space to grow food for a family (hence the six-foot width). If we made it smaller, we were not convinced a family of four could grow enough and if we made it larger, we felt that folks with a shorter stature would not be able to reach into the middle of the garden. Our goal was the best customer experience possible with the largest manageable growing space.
Gardener Question #3: What prompted the soil platform to be created?
Our perforated (and patented) soil platform is the foundation of our Big Three (Soil Platform, Water Reservoir and Air Gap) that drives better performance. With our first prototypes we noticed that plant roots sought out water – they grew through the wooden bottom of our raised bed seeking more moisture. We simply made it easier by perforating the soil platform. This led to less destruction of the overall bed and a much better total ecosystem. See below for the questions around the Water Reservoir and Air Gap.
Gardener Question #4: Why are your gardens made out of plastic and not wood?
An insightful question – and one we wrestled with as we decided to create our commercial business. Plastic, while not always looked at as the best medium for anything, provides a variety of advantages.
- Longevity – our beds last over 20 years. Untreated wooden beds last ~3 years – meaning they need to be rebuilt or replaced
- Food grade construction – too often wood is selected that has product in it that is put there to lengthen the life of the wood. These chemicals can disrupt the goals of someone trying to live a natural or Organic lifestyle. Our plastic limits leaching and is food grade ready – meaning you can be organic right out of the gate
- Durability – not only will our product last a long time but the water in it (see the question on the Water Reservoir) and in the soil will not have a harmful effect on the garden itself. With wooden gardens, water assists with decomposition – meaning whatever is in your wood will eventually be in your garden or on the ground – along with your soil and plants
- Safety – with our plastic garden bed, water does not rot the support system. Once our gardens are built they are built to stay upright and there is no wood to rot to risk the collapse of the garden or the support system. This means the garden will not tip under normal circumstances providing you with the peace of mind for your kids/grandkids
Gardener Question #5: What is the “Air Gap” and what does it do?
The Air Gap is the space between the Soil Platform (question #3) and the Water Reservoir (question #6). This moisture rich and oxygen rich layer creates a growth acceleration as roots can breathe and drink at the same time. We discovered this when we built our first gardens – our soil could drain so our plants did not swamp and we found that this layer was the supercharged engine for growth to maturity – meaning our plants get to fruit bearing age/size more quickly than in traditional garden. Check out this link to Concordia University’s research on this subject: Concordia Research
Gardener Question #6: Why do you have a water reservoir as part of your raised bed garden?
When we first built our prototype for Grandma, we built the garden over a cattle cistern so she would not have to haul water far. What we found was that plant roots sought out the cistern and we were able to remove water as a competed for resource. By having moisture be ever present, not only did plant produce more (see Concordia’s research) but we found we could over-plant the garden such that we are able to double the output per square foot. That means that our 4’ x 6’ garden will produce the same amount as a 4’ x 12’ in-ground plot. To be fair, it is all of the big three that contribute to this – but the reservoir is the driving force.
Additionally, we continue to work on a self-watering system that will use the water in the reservoir to automatically water the plants in the garden. Our first prototype was not able to accomplish the task and we continue to work on a viable solution. Hopefully, 2020 will find us with an all-inclusive pumping station that will reuse the water in the reservoir to accomplish this!
Gardener Question #7: Why are your gardens so expensive?
We get this question a lot – and it has caused us to re-engineer our garden. We are happy to report that our efforts have worked to your benefit. We have come up with a way to get our price down to $995.00 (plus shipping) for our gardens. This is a 40% reduction in cost that we are passing on to our customers and followers. At this price, we are in line with other competitors – and we have so many more features (think “The Big Three”) plus the longevity and durability some of our competitors do not have. Also, we are very simple to put together. Our garden goes together in ~45 minutes while some of our competitors take ~3 hours to construct. This provides you with an overall better value – and at a price that better fits the market.
Gardener Question #8: Where can we see an Eco Garden Systems’ Original Garden and where can we purchase them?
Right now, you can see our gardens virtually on all of our social channels and on our web site. To see one in person, you will need to be fortunate to live near a Trig’s store (Northern Wisconsin retailer). All seven Trig’s stores display our gardens and they have many satisfied customers.
You can purchase a garden directly from Trig’s either at one of their stores or by reaching out to them here or by stopping by any of their stores. Our products are also available on our website here: Shop.
Gardener Question #9: Is there only one size of garden?
Yes – our Original Garden is our only available garden at this time. We are working on a deck version (smaller, more modular) that can fit on a condo or apartment deck. We had a prototype for a more advanced garden (check out our Thursdays’ with Mother video series here) that we spent a lot of time on but could not get costs to the right level to bring it to market.
Gardener Question #10: What markets do you serve?
Well, we are focused on the Consumer market for folks who want to #GardenDifferent at home and we spend a lot of our time working on Commercial programs with the following markets:
- Community Centers/Community Gardens
- Senior Centers
- Military Bases
- Landscape Architects
All of these groups are seeking ways to do things differently – and all are exploring gardening as a way to stand out from the crowd. If you are one of these groups, we want to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org
Well, you may have other questions for us but that will be for another day. Reach out to us on any of our social channels – see below for a complete list with links.
Social Channels (links to our home pages):