Tips for getting the most from your StandUp Garden:
Don’t over water.
StandUp Gardens supplies a high drainage growing mix that contains unusually high proportions of perlite and vermiculite. This creates a light, friable growing medium that drains well, provides oxygen to the roots and is easy to work with your hands. The 12” depth of soil provides a moisture reservoir and, for most plants, a thorough watering once every two weeks is all that is required. For indoor Gardens, open the gray valve with the red handle at the bottom end of your garden once every two weeks – if water comes out when you open it, the Garden is being over watered. We now can also supply Moisture Meters ($8) which can help you asses the soil moisture at the root zone.
Fertilizing your StandUp Garden may be done of two ways:
1. Water with a nutrient solution at least once a month (every other watering if your follow the advice above). This will replenish the nutrients your plants have absorbed from the growing medium and help them keep growing strong. Several water-soluble fertilizers are available at your local plant store, the best known being Miracle-Gro. We have several that have excelled in our testing which we can supply. Call or visit our website for more information.
2. Mix a time-release granular fertilizer into the top 6” of the grow mix prior to planting. Osmocote is the best known brand of this type of fertilizer and it is readily available at home and garden centers. Use at the recommended rate on the label, about one cup should be adequate. Make sure it is well mixed in before planting and water generously after planting. This will provide adequate plant nutrition for 6-9 months, after which additional fertilizer may be added.
1. Use the growlight for at least 14 hours/day.
Different species of plants have varying light requirements. Some thrive under constant light, others require a daily on/off light cycle. However, for most plants that you are likely to be growing in your indoor Garden, a good rule is to have the growlight on for 14 hours and off for 10 hours (i.e. on 7am to 9pm). If you find the light is too bright for some users, it can be on at night and off during the day (i.e. on 6pm to 8am). Use your growlight even if the Garden is in a window getting natural sunlight. It will help your plants grow straight and strong.
2. Replace your growlight bulb annually.
Your StandUp Garden growlight uses a metal halide bulb, with a special light spectrum formulated for growing healthy plants. Unlike regular bulbs, this bulb looses its effectiveness over time, even though it still appears to be brightly lit. After a year of normal use, the light quality has decayed and is not longer providing optimum light for healthy and vigorous growth. We can supply new 400watt Metal Halide bulbs ($45).
1. Attack insects on your indoor garden aggressively at the first signs. Bugs can get into your Garden from a variety of sources. Every time you bring a plant into the Garden, from a resident, resident’s family or from a local nursery, it can be bringing bugs. The key to dealing with them is to attack them aggressively early on, when you first notice them, before a major infestation takes hold. Look for small black, white or even transparent critters crawling up and down the stems of plants. Also check the underside of leaves carefully. Your local plant store or garden center offers a variety of products to deal with indoor houseplant insects. We can also supply you with an environmentally safe, FDAapproved, non-toxic (except to bugs) product that has worked well in StandUp Gardens across the nation in many environments. Call or visit our website for more information.
2. Use a protective spray that reduces your plants susceptibility to bugs. There are products available which will help your plants resist insects. Call or visit our website for more information.