Any of the pre-packaged potting soil mixes with fertilizer make a great choice. Avoid garden soil or top soil.
In most garden centers they have two sizes. For the Essential PopUp Garden, you can use the smaller bag (25 quarts). If you purchased the Deluxe version, the larger size (50 quarts) will fill the planter and up to 8 side trays.
A patio, porch or other partial sunlight location is a great spot for the PopUp Garden. For best results, we suggest at least 6 hours a day. If you can’t find a spot with this much sun exposure, we recommend shade friendly garden plants such as herbs, salad greens and root vegetables, and flowers such as impatiens, fuchsia and begonias.
Usually every other day or so depending upon the outside temperature and sunlight exposure your PopUp Garden receives. After a few minutes you may see some water dripping through the bottom of the planter. This is perfectly normal and a good indication that you have watered just enough. Excessive dripping will tell you just the opposite, you may have watered too much. If your plants are wilting or look thirsty, you might need to water them every day.
If you plant a tomato on the bottom, one is ideal. If planting beans, or other vine type plants from the bottom, 2 works well. Plants on the top depend on the type planted. You can fill it with multiple bedding type flowers or herbs, or a single plant like a bell pepper or tomato if you choose something that grows larger.
We suggest using a seedling (3” – 4” tall) plant readily available at most any garden center. Remove the seedling from the container, insert it upside down into the planter pot, working the foliage through the hole in the planter (keep the root ball in the planter). Then, just fill with potting soil. The hole in the planter box is designed to accommodate the root ball of a plant this size.
You can use up to 8 side trays. They are great for herbs and flowering plants.
If you only want to grow upwards, we suggest placing something like a piece of mesh screen, woven cloth, etc. over the hole to help keep the soil in place. Just make sure you don’t use something solid as water needs to be able to drip through the hole.
We see great results from most types, but we suggest the cherry, yellow pear and roma varieties. Our favorite is the “Sweet Million”. The fruit grows in grape-like clusters, produces sweet, round ½” sized fruits and produces over and over!
You can pick up the planter from the bottom tiers and move it all in one piece, or gently drag the PopUp Garden being careful not to let it tip over. If you will be moving your PopUp Garden often, here’s a great tip: Zip-tie each tower section to each other. You can then easily pick up/move the planter without worrying about the tiers coming apart.