A vertical garden can help you grow more of your own food in less space. Here are 5 simple steps to getting started…
Do you wish you could grow a garden, but you just don’t have the space? Maybe you live in an apartment with no yard, or in a city lot where space is limited. Either way, there’s no reason to let a lack of space keep you from growing your own fresh and healthy fruits and veggies! You just need to change the way you think about gardening – from growing out, to growing up…
Vertical gardening is becoming more and more popular, and with good reason. Vertical gardens allow you to maximize the amount of food you can grow in a limited amount of space. In fact, you can easily create a beautiful and productive masterpiece of a garden on your balcony, porch, or even indoors! A vertical garden allows you to enjoy all the benefits of traditional gardening, but in much less space. Read on to learn how to start your own vertical garden this year.
1.) Pick Your Location
The first step to creating a successful vertical garden is to assess the sunlight in your chosen location. The amount of sunlight your garden area receives each day will help you figure out what plants to grow. Many crops need at least 6-8 hours of full sun per day to grow and produce well, so if you already know that you want to grow a crop that requires a lot of sunlight, you’ll need to find a spot where they will thrive. However, if you don’t have a lot of options for placement and your space doesn’t get a lot of sun, that’s okay — there are still a number of fruits and veggies you can grow in low-light conditions. Or you can even grow an indoor vertical garden if you don’t have any outdoor space at all!
2.) Decide What To Grow
Once you know how much sunlight your garden area receives, you can decide what plants you are going to grow. If you’re going to be gardening in shady or low-light conditions, consider growing leafy green vegetables and other cool-weather crops that prefer cooler temperatures and can withstand the lack of light. If your garden area is blessed with plenty of sunlight, your options are almost limitless in terms of what you can grow in a vertical garden.
3.) Decide What Type of Vertical Garden You Want
Once you have an idea of what crops you want to grow, it’s time to consider how you want to grow them. Is your vertical garden going to consist of hanging baskets? Or maybe you’re going to fashion a vertical planter box out of old, untreated pallet wood. You could even install shelves on the side of your house or on a privacy fence and create a vertical container garden. And of course, trellises can be simple and easy to build and work great if you’re growing fruits and vegetables that are naturally vining, such as cucumbers, beans, and tomatoes. Get creative and work with the materials you have on hand to save both space and money!
4.) Plant & Maintain Your Garden
When it comes to growing, vertical gardening is not so different from regular gardening. You’ll need to plant your crops, and fertilize and water them regularly. In fact, watering is doubly important if you’re going to be using hanging baskets or containers for your vertical garden. Pots and containers will dry out especially quickly in hot weather, so for example, tomatoes planted in a hanging basket will need to be watered more often than if they are planted in the ground.
5.) Harvest & Enjoy!
And of course, the last step to growing a vertical garden is to harvest your bounty and enjoy it! Some gardeners actually report better success with vertical gardens than traditional gardening methods, with fewer pest and disease problems and a more bountiful yield. Vertical gardens can often help cut down on damage from certain pests, such as slugs and other ground-dwelling insects. This helps reduce the need for natural pesticides and other pest control measures, and keeps your plants healthier and more productive.
The Bottom Line
Don’t let a lack of space stop you from enjoying the many benefits of growing your own food! Plan and build a bountiful and beautiful vertical garden for this season and get growing!
A Few Top-Ranked Vertical Gardening Resources: