How the Planted Wall and Membership Came to Be

A photo of Christy Ross, the founder and CEO of Planted Places. Christy is standing near a Planted Wall Vertical Gardening system and holding potted leafy greens.
Christy Ross, Founder & CEO of Planted Places

You may be surprised to learn this, but our founder Christy Ross was once intimidated by growing food, which led her on a journey to beginning Planted Places. In this blog post, we share Christy’s story about how she developed a vertical gardening system, the Planted Wall and Membership, so people like you and me could easily grow organic food at home in soil.

How It Started

A couple of years ago, health issues forced Christy to take a close look at her diet. She discovered that changing what she was eating could help her symptoms. Christy figured the best way to get the most nutrition out of her food was by growing it herself.

Christy considered herself a successful ornamental gardener. She had beautiful garden beds and landscaping, but growing food was not something she had mastered. And truth be told, it was intimidating. But Christy was determined to grow her own organic food. During her learning process, she felt inspired to help others grow their own food too. Christy set out to develop a way for people to grow food easily, even on their first attempt, which set the stage for the development of the Planted Wall and Membership.

Why We Grow in Soil

Christy learned the hard way that soil matters while attempting to grow an edible garden. She was determined to grow in soil because she knew that growing organically was important for her health and the planet. But it took trial and error to figure out that the right kind of soil matters. Christy spent a lot of time comparing different types of soil. She also partnered with organic growers to learn, and, through the process, discovered exactly why growing in soil is important for producing nutrient-dense food. 

Christy also learned that growing food using regenerative gardening methods can be easy for beginners and positively affects the environment. After pouring through research, Christy decided that she would develop an outdoor vertical gardening system for growing in soil. 

Vertical Container Gardening

Christy wanted to create a method for growing food that works in small spaces, like balconies and patios, because not everyone has a yard. Plus, all that bending down with traditional gardening can be a dealbreaker for some. So, Christy and her team developed the Planted Wall, a custom-designed, high-end outdoor gardening system. It is made in the United States from corrosion-free aluminum because Christy wanted to avoid using plastic for quality reasons and be kind to the environment. 

Additionally, growing food in containers is ideal for beginners to manage, and container gardening requires less soil and water than a raised bed or traditional garden. The Planted Wall holds up to 36 individual pots.

The Planted Wall is a system for vertical gardening, which is shown in this photo. The image points out its features: On wheels, so you can move it with the sun (take it to a new home if needed!)
High-quality, corrosion-proof aluminum construction, designed for outdoor use and harsh climates
Made in the USA
Dual-sided and holds 36 plants
Looks beautiful
Self-fertilizing & Self-watering and can be automated with the Wi-Fi timer
Saves water via the recirculating system
On wheels, so you can easily move it 
Uses less soil than a raised bed because plants are in individual pots.
Saves space. It's roughly the size of a person.
Easy on the back and knees, no bending over to garden
Easy to maintain, and produce is at eye level
Space-saving: holds 36 plants in a 21" x 21" space
Minimizes rodent damage because it is a vertical metal structure that hinders pests from climbing.

The Planted Wall is Self-Fertilizing and Self-Watering

Christy and her team designed the Planted Wall to be self-fertilizing and self-watering to keep maintenance to a minimum. Since it’s a recirculating system, when water drips out of individual pots, it is captured in the Wall’s base and recirculates, saving water, which is great for the environment. This recycled water also contains nutrients from the original plant’s soil which is used by neighboring plants—win, win! You can also automate the irrigation system via a WI-FI timer.

This Vertical Gardening System Features Strong Aluminum Construction

Since the vertical Planted Wall is made from corrosion-proof aluminum, it deters rodents from snacking on your plants because it’s hard for them to climb. The metal frame also stands up to harsh weather conditions.

The Planted Comes With Everything You Need

When you order a Planted Wall, you receive certified organic seedlings from our grower and a subscription box with organic soil, organic soil amendments (plant food) and gardening accessories. Then, you automatically get seasonal replenishments, so you don’t have to worry about getting supplies or restocking your seedlings. 

This image shows what comes with a Planted Wall. A Planted Wall vertical gardening system purchase includes 
Rigorously tested seedlings in living soil that are easy for beginners to grow
All the gardening tools and supplies to care for your plants, so you don't have to spend time shopping
Seedling replenishment, so you don't have to worry about restocking your plants
Fast time to harvest. Seedlings eliminate six weeks of waiting for seeds to grow.

The Planted Membership: A Home Gardening Program That Ensures Consistent Results for Planted Wall Growers

Creating the Planted Wall was the first step in making gardening easy for people. Christy’s next task was to eliminate fail points in growing food at home. She did that by designing a program to pair with the Planted Wall to ensure her customers got consistent results. The program is now known as the Planted Membership.

Part 1 of the Planted Membership: Rigorously Tested Seedlings and Soil Maximizes Success

There are two parts to the Membership. The first component consists of plants, soil and soil amendments (plant food). Christy and her team established test gardens to test plant varieties, soil composition, regenerative gardening practices, seedling growth, etc. 

After months of rigorous testing, Christy determined the easiest varieties of plants for people to grow at home in their Planted Walls. She also determined which soil and soil amendments were needed to produce the best results. Since baby plants are easier and faster to grow, the Planted Places Membership includes seedlings. With your membership, you receive seasonal seedlings and supplies replenishment. You can choose your quantity of plants and frequency of shipments.

Photo shows 6 seedlings.

Part 2 of the Membership: Education for Planted Members

The second part of the Planted Membership is garden training. Planted Members have access to a private website with resources for learning how to garden and tips for handling issues that arise, like tiny bugs that love leafy greens. The Membership also includes access to real gardening experts who will actually answer your questions. 

You can also watch interviews with our Planted Live partners that support your path to optimal wellness. Think cooking and nutrition classes, free recipes and more.

Photo shows a screen shot of the Planted Membership website and a seasonal replenishment box. Planted Members receive these as a subscription.

A Recap of the Planted Wall Vertical Gardening System and Membership

Planted Places is all about allowing anyone to grow food easily—minimal space required, minimal knowledge required, minimal time required. With the Planted Wall and Membership, you get:

  • A high-quality vertical gardening system
  • Resources for learning how to grow successfully on the Planted Wall using regenerative practices that are good for the planet
  • Workshops with garden professionals, chefs and nutrition experts
  • Seasonal seedlings and supplies replenishment (no trips to the store)

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