Help! Building an indoor school green wall!


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Hi everyone! I am a high school student and my friends and I are trying to build a green wall in our school's library for our graduation project. We are looking for advice, suggestions, feedback, and opinions!

The conditions of our library are, not very humid and there is no direct sunlight, however, there is plenty of light. We don't want to do a hydroponic system but we do want to do something similar with felt pockets and dirt. Basically, we want to recreate florafelt and adapt it to our own needs. The felt pockets will be secured to a treated plywood base with plastic sheeting for protection. Each plant will go in a pocket with a little bit of dirt. I have included a bunch of sketches that I've drawn up. We plan on building 4 modules (4 ft x 4 ft) and mounting them side by side.

Green Wall - Irrigation Design + Module Assembly.jpg
Green Wall - Isometric Sketch.jpg
Green Wall - Module Orthographic.jpg


For irrigation, we will have an irrigation tube at the top of each module to drip water down the felt. Would we need to put another tube half way down each module? These plants have to be picked so that they can handle the water.

THIS IS WHERE WE NEED THE MOST HELP! Plants! We don't want any flowering plants, while they are beautiful, they do worsen allergies. We are considering golden pothos, Boston ferns and Philodendron. We do not know what specific type of Boston fern or Philodendron but we'd love to hear suggestions!

We understand that humidity is crucial for Boston ferns to thrive. Our library isn't very humid but we are working with limited resources. We are not going to run a humidifier and placing pools of water and pebbles to increase humidity is too complex for the green wall that is mounted pretty high up. Misting is too much maintenance (especially for the summer) and given that we plan on planting the green wall high up, constantly misting is too logistically difficult. I have read that grouping plants together is a good way to increase humidity, and all of these plants would be pretty close to each other on the wall! We were thinking of placing the pothos at the top and scattering the philodendron throughout with the Boston fern filling in the rest.

With proper watering, would that be enough to maintain optimal humidity levels so that the fern doesn't wilt?

Additionally, we don't want a bug problem as that would be terrible to put bugs in the school. Any ideas to prevent/mitigate that or avoid plant species that attract bugs?

Do you have any alternative plant suggestions that would fit in these parameters? It has to be really hardy, fill the space, not flower and share the same conditions as our other plants.

If there are any better plants, please let us know!

Thank you for any feedback!
 
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Not to sure the library is a good idea. Moisture and paper are not a good combination. Other then that like the sketch of the project. Would work with small plants like strawberries.
 
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Not to sure the library is a good idea. Moisture and paper are not a good combination. Other then that like the sketch of the project. Would work with small plants like strawberries.
Normally I would agree but in my school we don't have a lot of books near where the green wall would go. Our library serves as a collaborative space more so than a library.
Here is where the green wall would go (in green)
KnowCo edit.jpg

Here is a pic of the library from the POV of the greenwall space. Bookshelves are in red:
download.jpg
 
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Welcome stemgreenwall. :)

. Each plant will go in a pocket with a little bit of dirt.
It will be difficult to keep plants healthy in this situation, being drip fed and with very little soil. Nutrients can not be maintained so the plants will suffer unless they are fed regularly. The Alpine and/or rockery group of plants may work but they generally prefer a dryer soil, although you could probably adjust the irrigation system for those. Succulents would be fairly happy too.
 
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Welcome stemgreenwall. :)



It will be difficult to keep plants healthy in this situation, being drip fed and with very little soil. Nutrients can not be maintained so the plants will suffer unless they are fed regularly. The Alpine and/or rockery group of plants may work but they generally prefer a dryer soil, although you could probably adjust the irrigation system for those. Succulents would be fairly happy too.
Thank you for your feedback! Would I be able to mitigate this by addicting nutrients in the water similar to a hydroponic system?
 
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Hmmm, that could be difficult as different plants have different feeding requirements. My apologies I know nothing about hydroponics as I garden mostly outside. I'm taking a guess here but I'll tag @DirtMechanic for you who may be able to help with this please.
 
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You rang? Yes a small ebb and flow would work. That is more of a thinwall pipe behind the scenes. Are boston ferns special in some way? Also, are you seriously considering exposing a nutrient solution to the coughing snotting public without considering the fungus and bacteria they bring into that environment? Or will the tank be well sealed? If you would not mind revisiting your plans, it is a small enough system that you might consider utilizing the fish waste from an aquarium, the light for which might also serve a double purpose. Like they say..no poo like fish poo! Plus the interelationship of ocean and earth would be exposed to see. Use a couple smart plugs so you can have a simple but incredibly sophisticated mobile app control.

Edit 1 to say that every sick person that touched cellulose paper over the years left a particle that very much wants to propagate your oxygen pump and your water pump. They can become the devils playground, so careful please, on issues of an antiseptic nature.

Edit 2 to say thanks for the pics I downloaded them all. It takes a great deal of thought and care to do what you are doing. bravo.

Edit 3 to say nobody on this website said anything about my link to the 2 nematodes (round worms) that were revived after 42,000 years. A few germs in a hall of books will be no big deal for Momma Nature. Here is that link.
https://www.gardening-forums.com/threads/how-tough-are-nematodes.14880/#post-151736
 
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I thought about it..Get ahold of the biology head and have their classes drop petri dishes all about the space so they can grow out the most common problems and identify them before you go to even more work. Everybody gets extra credit that way, and it will freak out the administration who will hover about worried something wierd will show up!

Unless you do not want to mess with the Principal of course. My crew would absolutely roll it.
 
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