Your Guide to Vertical Gardens
Vertical gardens and plant screens are a brilliant idea if you’re looking to block out some unsightly elements such as neighbouring fences (or the neighbours themselves!), sheds, rubbish bins or tanks, and can be done in any garden thanks to their space saving design and the fact that they just look great!
Space is at a premium but you have to have that vegetable garden? A vertical garden is your key to that freedom!
With so many ideas out there in relation to this style of gardening, we’re just going to have a quick look at a few hints and tips for these great creations known as vertical gardens…
Given a combination of the right crops, vertical supports and wall hugging planters, you can pack a lot more into the space you have available.
Climbing plants offer a logical way to begin growing skywards. Suitable vegetables include polar climbing beans, climbing peas, sweet potatoes, vining tomatoes, plus sprawling types of zucchini, cucumber, melon, and squash that can be trained up supports.
Allow the plants to find their own way up supports, or tie them in intervals to encourage them upwards. Many structures can offer support, from simple rows of bamboo canes to more complex or decorative structures.
Arches look complete with climbers such as passion fruit or a grapevine. Or how about climbing squashes or beans with colored pots of fruits? The pots of fruits will then dangle down to create a feature that’s both delicious and attractive.
A trellis, either bought or homemade from woody prunings, could be used for a bowl of climbing veggies or sweetpeas.
Wicker or bamboo wigwams offers space saving and arguably more attractive alternative to the usual rows of canes, while obelisks and pergolas present decorative solutions to growing upwards.
Many tree fruits can be trained into a vertical plane, either against a wall or fence, or a long freestanding wire support. Apples, pears and cherries are just a few examples.
These trees may be trained to produce single stem cordons, fan shapes, parallel branch dispatch, or other fence hugging forms. Use sturdy horizontal wires strained between fence posts to create the necessary supports for wall trained fruit.
Wall Mounted Planters
Make your garden work harder for you by including any number of wall mounted or step planters, planting pockets, tower planters, and hanging baskets. Fill them with herbs and salads and strawberries, then watch a blank space take on a whole new life!
You can make your own wall mounted planters from recycled food tins that have been lined with plastic or sturdy bags or parallel rows of window boxes or tubs, or pallets are widely available and turning them into vertical planters is a great way to reuse them.
If you use pallets, check they are safe to reuse by looking for the pallet stamp. Look for the IPPC stamp on the side of the wood to determine how it was treated. Pallets marked with an “HT” were heat-treated and did not come into contact with chemicals during the treating process. Avoid unmarked pallets or those stamped with an “MB” for methyl bromide.
Hammer or hang your recycle containers into position before filling with potting soil.
Wall mounted planters are likely to require regular watering, because of the rain shadow cast by the wall, micro drip irrigation systems deliver water efficiently and can be coupled with a timer to automate delivery of the water walls or fences must be strong enough to hold the considerable weight of damp potting soil. In most climates.
Pick the Sun
You will also want to make the most of sunshine by picking a surface that faces the midday or afternoon sun, any heat absorbed during the day will then be reflected back onto your plants at night speeding growth, and of course harvest time. It’s the right combination of vertical growing crops supports and the correct containers that will help you to get the most from a small space.
Of course there are plenty of other ideas out there for vertical vegetable gardens, but hopefully this is enough to wet your palette and get your stairway to heaven started!
As always, drop us a line if you need any help or advice!