Vertical Gardening - A Bit of Why and How
Vertical gardening is an idea that holds appeal for creative types, decorators and especially those with tight budgets of time, space or funds. The planting and care are the same as with growing in a pot, so you will need to water more frequently than in a garden, but it will save you time elsewhere.
Great Reasons to Grow Up
- More garden in less space – think plant high rise!
- Adds interest to blank walls or fences – Via the plants themselves, but also from the chosen planter
- Can create a wall itself - for privacy, cooling shade or separation of areas
- Less soil and easier to have fertile soil – no need to struggle with clay, sand or depleted garden soil
- Minimal weeding – no in-place weed seeds that get stirred up in a garden bed and less soil surface for air borne seeds to land on.
- Easy access – it can be right out the back door. Also, less squatting and bending to tend or harvest!
- Can extend the season - in cooler zones, place against a warm south facing wall to gain radiant heat
Things to Consider
- Reach for watering - You may need a step stool or watering wand
- Drainage - You don't want to be soaking wood siding or making big puddles on the patio
- Wind - Frequent winds will dry things out very quickly and strong ones can also damage plants
- Causing shade - Vertical plantings not against a wall should be placed to not shade other plantings needing sun
- Weight - Be sure the structure you're planting into can handle the weight of wet potting mix and plants. If hanging a vertical planter on, or anchoring it to, a wall - get appropriate fasteners to avoid damage to the wall or the planter collapsing.
- Final Plant Size - Choose dwarf or container varieties or be ready to do extra trimming to keep things from looking overgrown and prevent shading of lower level plants.
What You'll Need
- Vertical planter(s) - Purchased or DIY
- Appropriate fasteners/brackets - if securing to a wall or fence
- Sheets of Plastic - if there is a need to protect walls from moisture
- Means of watering – hose and wand, watering can, drip irrigation
- Lightweight potting mix
- Fertilizer – slow release pellets or a liquid to add when watering
- Narrow trowel for planting
- Garden Scissors or Clippers for harvesting/trimming