The vertical gardening technique is becoming increasingly popular in the recent years mainly because of the innovative use of available space and the sustainability issues dealt by them.
Many people love growing things but do not have the sufficient space for a full-fledged garden. Vertical garden planters are on the rise and a forward trend among people living in a city or an urban place where space is limited.
A vertical wall garden can add a new dimension to either your indoor and outdoor growing spaces.
In this article we’ll discuss what a vertical garden is, the benefits of an indoor or outdoor vertical garden and share some vertical gardening ideas.
What is vertical gardening?
A vertical wall garden is one of the hottest garden trends that assures a perfect solution for anyone wanting to garden – indoors or outdoors without restrictions.
It is a unique gardening technique that utilizes much less space than a traditional garden.
It is touted as a highly innovative, relatively effortless and exceptionally productive growing method that incorporates a number of methods that encourage plants to extend upwards.
In short you train plants to grow upwards by using supports and frames.
This type of wall gardening is based on the simple fact that plants will grow where there is enough light, nutrients and support. Gardening with upright structures is indeed a boon for the apartment dwellers and urban gardeners with restricted space or gardeners with expansive blank wall space they need to fill — economically.
Planning for a Vertical Wall Garden
The great thing about vertical gardening is that it can be implemented both indoors and outdoors. The first thing to consider is your location.
If you are planning to set up an outdoor garden make sure that your plants will get adequate sunlight during the daytime. What you choose to plant will determine whether your wall planter needs direct sunlight, diffused sunlight or partial shade.
If you are restricted to a certain wall location, for example, an apartment balcony or patio, then choose the type of planting material that will thrive in that location.
On a blank wall or a bare fence you have many opportunities to select plants for edible and decorative purposes.
Choosing a reliable nearby water source is the next crucial step in planning a vertical garden. Unless you choose to hand water, the closer to a hose bibb the better.
Select growing containers that compliment your surroundings and are of a depth to support the root base of the plantings you choose.
Vertical supportive structures are needed to encourage the plants upward growth. This can be chicken wire, wooden stakes, lattice or trellis material or something as inexpensive as wood crate material.
Choose seeds or seedlings suited to your location and preferences and then, if desired, a simple drip irrigation system for easy maintenance.
Plants in a vertical planter usually need to be grown horizontally for the first three (3) weeks until the soil settles and seeds get established.
What are the materials used to create a vertical garden:
- You can use pockets or pouches that are made of breathable recycled materials. Metal grommets can be used to attach them to the walls with the help of screws. Plant them with the small edibles and perennials of your choice. Water them with a hose if they are within your reach or with the help of an automatic gravity irrigation system if they are hung high.
- You can also use rectangular, plastic trays with holes implemented at the bottom to facilitate drainage and aeration. These trays can be mounted on the walls with the help of a bracket. Succulents with shallow root systems are highly suitable for this.
- Pot hangers can also be screwed on to the wall or fence and can be used to plant kitchen herbs and annuals. They are designed tough enough to endure heavy winds.
- Salvaged finds serve as an excellent and unusual vertical gardening system. Make sure to drill holes in the bottom to allow drainage and plant succulents and edibles of your choice.
- Metallic frames can also be used as they have longer life when compared to the wooden ones.
- Similarly structures like arbors, pergolas, gazebos, stakes, obelisks, cages, arches and trellises can help to grow vertically and add to the ambiance of the outdoor garden.
- Vines can be trained up across the graceful angles of metal arbors to create an aesthetically pleasing appearance to your vertical garden.
What are the benefits of a vertical garden?
- 1. It is an easy and inexpensive way to create a wall of living plants. You can grow more plants in a vertical structure using less ground space.
- 2. Vertical gardens or living gardens can enhance the architectural beauty and aesthetic appeal of your buildings.
- 3. It is a convenient and cost-effective method to transform your home into a unique living space and is a great small space landscaping idea.
- 4. Vertical vegetable gardening provides you with the benefit of growing and harvesting your own herbs, fruits, plants and vegetables saving high supermarket produce department prices.
- 5. Vertical garden wall structures can be used as a natural option to provide privacy and excellent shade.
- 6. They provide a sense of seclusion or enclosure and provide oxygen through photosynthesis for the environment.
- 7. They promote noise attenuation, thereby ensuring quieter building and streets.
- 8. It is a much safer choice as you can handle it in the right way and avoid the use of chemicals.
- 9. This type of gardening is highly flexible in nature. Besides growing fresh produce you cans also grow some flowering plants and enjoy the vibrant colors of blossoms.
- 10. They are popular among the eco-friendly people as it promotes environmental wellness.
- 11. They promote healthier living as the plants filter pollutants and contaminants from the air.
- 12. Most of all they promote water conservation as they incorporate the use of drip irrigation system.
- 13. It is easy for you to monitor and control pests as it is right in front of you.
- 14. Harvesting is also easier while standing. You need not stoop, hunch, bend or kneel.
What can be grown in a vertical gardening system?
You can grow tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, squash, pole beans, melons, gourds and miniature pumpkins too.
However make sure that you have the right structure to support these plants as the weight of some vegetable can topple the trailing plant.
Similarly germaniums, ferns, bromeliads, colorful begonias with interesting foliage, lush green hostas, baby’s tears, Hoyas with waxy flowers and glossy leaves, Japanese iris with cascading green leaves and rocky lily are ideal for vertical gardens and of course dramatic in spring.
Lantana, trailing impatiens, creeping phlox and verbena also contribute to beautiful flowering walls.
Spring is on its way. So get ready to set up a vertical garden. Vertical gardening can increase the curb appeal by adding variety, structure, color and character.
With vertical gardening you can create a functional, inviting and edible garden space. Practice the art of growing up and bring about a dramatic difference to your indoor and outdoor garden spaces.
Top Rated in Print for Small Space Vertical Gardens
- Vertical Gardening: Grow Up, Not Out, for More Vegetables and Flowers in Much Less Space
- Vertical Vegetables & Fruit: Creative Gardening Techniques for Growing Up in Small Spaces
- Garden Up! Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces
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