Vertical Gardening at Home
Vertical gardening isn’t just for commercial growers. Wherever there is a fence, wall, or roof, urban gardeners are improving their homes, backyards, and neighborhoods with productive gardens.
Vertical gardening is a unique style of urban gardening. It is perfect for repurposing any vertical space such as walls, fences, and roofs. Vertical gardening expands the scope of plants you can grow in a limited space or where you perhaps have no traditional garden area to work with.
Vertical garden ideas showcase plants’ textures, colors, and vibrancy in fresh, new ways. Gardens are being shaped in unique directions, from repurposing old furniture into planters to transforming birdhouses and teapots into thriving tiny garden spaces.
Many different houseplants, annuals, perennials, and shrubs work well in a vertical area, so there are many benefits to creating a vertical garden at home. These include the following:
Grow More in Less Space — Growing plants in vertical container gardens enable you to succeed in smaller areas, like your deck or patio.
Grow in Non-Traditional Spaces — Vertical gardening allows you to use spaces where you otherwise couldn’t grow anything, such as walls and fences. You can place plants wherever you have sun.
Adding Beauty and Privacy — Vertical structures can be used in exciting ways to create privacy, hide unappealing areas, or add “garden rooms” or secret spaces to your outside space.
Low Maintenance — Vertical gardening makes maintaining your garden much more manageable. Problems such as weeds, ground-dwelling pests, and soil-borne diseases are virtually eradicated.
Catching Rays — If your garden is shady, vertical gardening allows your plants to catch more rays and thrive far better than in the ground.
Prevent Disease — Trellising climbing plants slow down the spread of soil-borne fungus and disease. Vining plants are less prone to rotting than when they are on the ground.
Fresh Airflow — Growing vertically allows better air circulation to prevent mold, fungus, and disease problems.
No Pests Allowed — Growing your plants up and off the ground keeps them out of reach of ground-dwelling pests.
Bigger Harvests — Vertically grown vining crops tend to produce larger yields than bush or patio varieties. Vertical containers provide more growing space than a traditional garden plot.
Within Arm’s Reach — Vertical structures bring your crops up to eye level, making them easier to harvest. Plus, vegetables will hang down from their growing support, making them easier to spot.
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Ideas for Creating a Vertical Garden
Creating a vertical garden is easy. You are only limited by your imagination. Here are some easy and practical ideas to get your vertical garden off the ground!
Pallets — Wooden pallets are the perfect example of how you can upcycle everyday items into unique garden features. Fill them with flowers or edible plants such as cherry tomatoes, basil, or lettuce varieties. Use them as they are or modify them to create quirky planter boxes.
Recycled Pocket Wall Planters — Manufactured from non-toxic, biodegradable material, these pouches are super durable and quick and easy to put up. They have metal grommets for easy fixing to walls or fences. The standard size pockets, roughly 15x24 inches and hold up to 20 pounds of soil and will house most annuals, small edibles, and perennials.
Ladders — Ladders are fun to add height and interest to any garden space. They can be used as a trellis for climbers or vining plants, and you can train them to wrap around the rungs. Alternatively, you can use the rungs as shelves and use them as platforms to grow and display individual pots of herbs, cuttings, or flowers.
Stackable Planters — Stackable planters can be perfect for transforming balconies and patios into a gorgeous flowering oasis of calm. Planters can easily be attached to balcony railings to soften the hard edges and give you a living wall aesthetic. Fragrant plants like lavender are great and will attract pollinators.
Trellis Fencing — Looking for a new garden fence? Why not consider a trellis panel? These are great for letting natural light through and being insect- and pollinator-friendly. Trellis fencing also allows you to quickly grow climbers amongst your flower beds. It will create an attractive wall of color and life that can work to increase privacy or break up your garden into distinct sections.
Succulent Living Wall — Living walls require regular irrigation. Whereas succulents are extremely drought-tolerant plants, requiring far less watering than other plants. Succulents also have short root systems that do not burrow very deep. This makes them perfect for packing into a frame on a wall. Use chicken wire over a compost base and slot your succulents to create your vertical succulent garden ideas. Succulents grow slowly, so experiment with moss to cover the chicken wire.
Pipe Work — Attach pipe lengths or rain gutters above one another laterally with metal wire at each end and create a ladder-like effect that draws the eye upwards. You can drill holes along the bottom of each pipe length to allow for drainage and drip irrigation from the top layer to the bottom. Paint or decorate as desired. Succulents are popular due to their low maintenance, but creepers like spider plants would also look good.
Bamboo Trellis — Vertical gardening doesn’t have to be complicated. Something as simple as lashing together several pieces of bamboo creating a simple structure to train your annual vines to climb can make a great focal point in your garden. Alternatively, why not just grow a perennial vine against your chosen structure or wall? Like the climbing hydrangea, clinging vines are good because they don’t damage mortar-like plants like English ivy.
Vertical gardening is a fantastic way for adults and kids to enjoy gardening. It can also bring focus, calm, and relaxation into your life through both the growing itself and the results it will give you. All you need is some containers, a few essential tools, and your imagination. If that isn’t enough, vertical gardens usually require less time and attention than traditional ones, so you have no excuse to not give them a try.
Written by Rich Hamilton | Writer, Consultant, Author of The Growers Guide
Rich Hamilton has been in the hydroponics industry for more than 20 years, working originally as a general manager in a hydroponics retail outlet before becoming an account manager at Century Growsystems. He enjoys working on a daily basis with shop owners, manufacturers, distributors, and end users to develop premium products.