Despite having a previous study of the atmospheric and microclimatic conditions of the vertical garden, it is essential to analyse its development during the first months after its installation and thus be able to detect anomalies, which should be investigated to avoid future problems. Special attention should be paid to the following items:
1) Plants health
First, each species must be identified, and their position reviewed, keeping unity with the plantation design provided by the technical department. Once identified, their condition and appearance should be checked. Any modification in the position of plants or change of species that has not been previously approved, can modify the result of the green wall, as well as the development and health of the plants.
After installation, the plants must be free of diseases and / or pests, otherwise they must be replaced immediately and the condition in which they were delivered investigated.
Check that the correct amount of substrate has been applied in each pocket, to ensure that the roots of each of the species reach the intermediate layer of the modules. It is also important to check the quality and initial condition of the substrate before adding it to the pockets.
It is also recommended to fill empty pockets to guarantee optimum humidity and the homogeneous distribution of water to the adjacent pockets. After filling the pockets, check that the plant surface (leaves and foliage in general) is free of dust and / or substrate. If not, it should be cleaned with soft materials (e.g., feather duster) so as not to damage the plants.
3) Gutter – Water tank
Any remaining plants or substrate present in the gutter or tank must be eliminated, to avoid the obstruction of the water outlet filter, or the appearance of insects due to the decomposition of organic matter in suspension. In addition, it should be checked that water is not getting accumulated in the gutter and drains properly.
4) First irrigation
Once the planting process is finished, it will be necessary to apply a prolonged special irrigation (around 15-20 minutes, depending on the surface) to increase the humidity of the substrate and guarantee an optimal distribution of water through the modules of the green wall. Once this first irrigation is finished, the humidity of the substrate should be checked in the pockets at different points of the living wall to ensure the homogeneity of the irrigation and detect leaks or clogged drippers.
5) Water quality for irrigation
It is convenient to carry out an analysis of the previous irrigation water (of EC and pH fundamentally), to detect if the water is hard. In that case, it is recommended to check and clean filters and drippers more frequently, as well as the installation of an osmosis system or similar filter element. In case of very hard water, a specific filter must be installed (osmosis, carbon, etc.) to be calculated in each installation.
Monthly monitoring of the irrigation system, review of plants, substrate, and humidity in different
points of the vertical garden. Inspections should be alternated with maintenance visits:
- Reviewing the status of the planted species and taking notes.
- Revision of the irrigation system.
- Checking the humidity of the substrate through the living wall.
- Review the amount of substrate per pocket.
- Check (and clean if necessary) the excess of foreign bodies that may have appeared in the water
- Cleaning the filters.
- Eliminating leaves in poor conditions.
- Adapting the irrigation cycles.
- Storage and decantation tanks.
- Checking the auxiliary lighting.
This work of installation and maintenance of vertical gardens is possible thanks to our wide network of trusted collaborators, through whom we have the peace of mind that the useful life of the garden will be long thanks to good practice.