I really enjoy the opportunities to test new gardening products. The fine Gardener’s Supply Company asked me to give their new Victory Self-Watering Planter Garden Kit a thorough test (I am also testing the Vertex Lifetime Tall Tomato Cage; stay tuned for my report on that product soon).
The Victory Garden kits (I am testing two of them) arrived in large boxes.
Upon opening the box, all of the components were nicely packed and easily removed.
Assembly was very simple, and involved insertion of the two side bars, slipping the top piece over the bars to secure them, inserting the wick and placing the grow bag on top, mixing some of the supplied fertilizer into the potting mix and filling the bag. The planting mix was well watered and one tomato seedling deeply planted. The planter is suitable for a determinate or dwarf tomato type that will be contained by the support system. I planted the determinate tomato Taxi in one planter, and the dwarf growing variety Dwarf Sweet Sue in the other.
Next, came installation of the support brackets. Plastic pieces are clicked into the brackets (a far superior and easier to install design than a previous version of the planter from a few years ago), and wire supports easily inserted into them to create a “cage” for the tomato plant.
The openings on either side of the supports are used to fill the lower reservoir with water (when full, excess water exits slots at the lower part of the planter). The self watering nature is very useful, and helps minimize plant stress which leads to blossom end rot.
The first planter took around 25 minutes from opening the box to the completion of assembly. Familiarity reduced this to 15 minutes for the second device.
The next review will occur in a few months when the effectiveness of the planter can be fully evaluated. Though not inexpensive, this is a planting system that is easy to assemble, high quality, attractive and robust; once purchased, it should work well for many years. So far I love it, and am very optimistic that the final report will be stellar.