How to Water Your GreenStalk Vertical Planter – FAQ’s

by GreenStalk Grower on June 21, 2019 9 comments

The GreenStalk’s watering system is patented and it’s definitely different from what else is out there. It’s super simple, but can take some time to get used to. So we thought we’d make a post with the most frequently asked questions about watering.

How does the watering system work?

What makes GreenStalk different is that the water isn’t going through the soil of the top tier to get the lower tiers. The water travels through plastic pieces then slow drips to the soil. It makes for more consistent watering and you’re not over-saturating some tiers to bring water to others.

The GreenStalk’s watering system works on overflow – but not in the way you might think! Unlike other stackable planters, the GreenStalk has a series of reservoirs in each tier that deliver fresh water to each tier at the same time. When you fill that top water reservoir with a big gush of water, and it flows through the center column, it stops along the way to fill each tier’s grey disk with water. The grey disks then start dripping fresh water to each pocket.

How do I water the GreenStalk Vertical Planter?

For best results, water with a bucket or with a hose that has good water pressure. You can water with a slower filling hose, but you may not be able to reach those tier marks before excess water runs out the bottom, and that’s ok. Those marks are just a general guide.

To find the perfect amount of water you need with your hose, keep filling the top water reservoir until water rushes out the bottom. You can then stop filling the top and know that the bottom tier is getting water. Next time you water, you’ll know how high to fill it based on your water pressure.

For more details, check out this video all about watering with different water pressures:

Should I use a cap to cover the center hole in the top water reservoir?

We do not recommend using the Mover’s black cap to block the center hole when filling with water. The center hole is a funneling system that delivers the water to tiers below. Using the methods above, you won’t need to use a cap to get to the appropriate watering level in the top.

How often will I need to water my GreenStalk Garden?

How often you will need to water will vary widely by your location, time of year, weather and crop planted. In Knoxville, TN, we expect to water our summer crops (tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, etc) at least every 1-2 days. But in the fall and spring, we may only have to water every 1-2 weeks.

How will I know when to water my GreenStalk?

You’ll want to water your plants when the soil begins to dry out. If you let it dry out completely, your plants may be wilted and stressed. So every day or two check on your plants to make sure the soil is moist but not constantly soaked.

Is the center hole supposed to look like that or is my piece broken?

The center hole on the top water reservoir and the grey disks are intentionally “notched out” to ensure that the water you dump in the top water reservoir makes it to the grey disks below and not just straight out the bottom of the planter. The design ensures that the center funneling system will create a cyclone to deliver fresh water to each tier.

Why is water running straight out of the planter and not filling the grey disks?

Be sure that your grey disks are clean and that there is one per tier (except the top tier which has a top water reservoir). If there’s a large amount of water coming out of the bottom tier, you may be overfilling the top water reservoir.

Sometimes it can be hard to see the grey disks slow dripping water to the soil, so if you are unsure if this is happening, lift the top tier while the top water reservoir is still draining water. Due to the funnel design of the GreenStalk Vertical Planter, it isn’t possible for water to just travel all the way through the GreenStalk without stopping at the tiers first.

How do I water seeds in the GreenStalk?

You may have noticed that the water doesn’t always make it to the ends of the pockets of the GreenStalk. As your plants grow, they can easily access the moisture in the soil because their roots fill the planter. But in the beginning, we recommend hand watering the pockets at least until the seeds germinate. This helps ensure that your seeds are staying consistently moist. Once your sprouts come up, you can use the top water reservoir to water all your plants.

Do you have a GreenStalk gardening question that we didn’t cover here? Message us anytime – we’re happy to help:

GreenStalk GrowerHow to Water Your GreenStalk Vertical Planter – FAQ’s


Join the conversation
  • Gail Penner - July 2, 2019

    We live in a very rainy area the Pacific Northwest, how does that affect the planter? Do we have to put a cover over the planter during heavy rain.

    GreenStalk Grower - July 3, 2019

    Hi Gail! It may be helpful to move your GreenStalk under a covering for really long rainy periods, but for the most part, the rain won’t bother it. If the top gets over saturated, it will just drain to the tiers below until it drains out the bottom. Each tier has 12 drainage holes. Let us know if you have any further questions. Happy Gardening!

  • Rose Jarman - April 4, 2020

    I was so excited to get this I couldn’t wail to get the soil and plants. We set it all up yesterday and planted almost all the pockets, I have some specialty herbs still coming. Any who, we watered it yesterday and we filled the water reservoir twice. Then today went out and the top 3 tiers you can feel the water but the 4th was very little water and the 5th was dry as a bone. So I watered again this morning, and it is 5 PM now and the same thing the bottom 2 tiers aren’t getting water. What should I do? And Yes it is a Green Stalk. Thank you in advance
    Rose Jarman

    GreenStalk Grower - April 4, 2020

    Thank you for growing with us! 
    If water isn’t making it to those lower tiers, be sure that you are filling your reservoir to the 5 Tier  level with a big gush of water (a bucket works best). It’s about 2 gallons at a time. If you prefer to use a hose, but don’t have really strong water pressure, fill the top water reservoir until you see a big gush of water rushing out the bottom tier. That’s how you will know all grey disks are full of water. 
    Also, be sure that the center of the top water reservoir doesn’t have a plug in it. Some of our customers use the black cap that comes with the GreenStalk Mover to cap that center hole, but it is not helpful for watering. 
    Another thing to note is that if you soil is very dry starting out, you will have to fill that top water reservoir a few times about 5 minutes apart to make sure that the soil actually gets saturated. Some mixes are very dry starting out. 
    Let us know if you have any other questions, or are still experiencing issues. 

  • Ruth - April 27, 2020

    Did you any ideas on how to collect the water run off from the mover? We are using pans,but they aren’t very efficient. We want to pu the run off back into the planter.

    Orland - September 6, 2020

    Ruth, I don’t think that a long clear tube will have enough pressure to make it too far. So, I have been using several one liter soda bottles, but it’s not efficient because I have to watch it and change the partially filled bottle with an empty one. I fill about five to six 1 liter bottles. I have to do this for now because my one Green Stalk sits on concrete. I purchased three more Green Stalks, so this method is definitely not going to work. What I thought about is this. If your Green Stalk sits on a location near soil, you may want to bury a 5-gallon bucket a short distance away from the Green Stalk and expose only an inch or so to allow you to put the bucket cover on when you are done. Place a slightly smaller bucket inside that is large enough to collect all of the runoff. Use a clear runoff tubing to the desired length, not too long though. When done, simply lift the smaller bucket with the runoff water and use it to plant your other plants. I hope I described that clearly. For now, that is the best I can think of. You may also consider a huge vat and use pumps, but that may be more expensive and too cumbersome. Good luck!

  • Gail Fesnak - May 7, 2020

    I set up my planter today. Still not sure about the watering system. I am short so I had to stand on a step stool, to water from my hose. I kept watering and watering but it never reached the 5 tier level, the water just kept rushing down the center hole. Should I have put the black cap on the top tier until it measured a five tier filling and then take the cap off so the water could be dispensed. After filling, I noticed the tube in the bottom dispensed all the extra water, which was a good thing. What is the trick to filling this? One more thing if we get heavy rains, what do I do, keep cap off or on.

  • kathie - May 26, 2020

    This looks like a great planter for my apartment balcony! I’m wondering, does the water sit in the top pool long enough for mosquitos to breed? Thank you.

  • DIANE CARROLL - June 23, 2020

    Am I doing something wrong? The water never completely empties the top gray disk (how can it when it sits below the disk?). I love it by the way. I expect to buy many more next year! Thank you for a wonderful product. Diane Carroll

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