This week’s guest post comes from Kylie, the editor at Green and Growing. Kylie is going to describe how you can start your own vertical garden. I love the idea of starting a garden for both health and sustainability reasons, so it was really interesting to read her tips! Enjoy.
There is no doubt that vertical gardens capture attention more than traditional garden designs, as well as allowing you to grow your own food to feed yourself. Whether the vertical garden is a hanging floral garden or a space-saving vegetable garden, the design is an artistic style statement.
What You Need to Start a Vertical Garden
The biggest decision when starting a vertical garden is the design. Once you choose the design, size is the next important issue to resolve.
Size is usually dependent on the location and space available. This is true even for vertical hanging gardens. External walls provide excellent support for growing plants.
Make certain the types of plants you choose match the specifications of the location. For example, if the vertical garden is to be part of a landscape as a featured design, measure the length and width of plant growth potential, amount of sunlight plants will need and also plant colors and shapes.
Also, choose the best method for keeping plants fed and watered. If vine-type plants like English Ivy, Wisteria or Pyracantha are planted, these plants’ growth will need to be adequately controlled or they may overtake the intended location.
Creative Designs for Vertical Gardens
The easiest types of vertical gardens to start are those that require the least maintenance. Flowers like clematis, bittersweet or variegated ivy are for gardeners who just want to plant vertically and let the plants do the rest of the work.
Note that vertical gardens can be planted either to make a visually pleasing landscape or to be functional vegetable gardens.
Getting the Most from Vertical Garden Designs
Don’t be afraid to scour garage sales and garden shops for trellises and other support structures to enhance the vertical design. Other supports like chains, chicken wire and plastic, wooden or metal frames are also ideal for starting a vertical garden.
Try to assimilate the support structure with the type of plants and their growth patterns. Recycle plastic packing bags, especially “bubble wrap,” that can be used as a backing for a wall frame.
Use two rectangular lengths of bubble wrap to fit into a plastic, wooden or metal frame. Secure into the frame with nails or tacks, fill with potting soil and add plants.
The bubble wrap will keep moisture in plants and encourage root growth more quickly. Framed vertical gardens create the image of a wall mural with live plants.
Attach lengths of chains to “S” hooks, and attach several tiers of planter boxes filled with potting soil and flowers, herbs or other greenery. Then, hang these from beneath the fascia board under the eaves of the house or fence.
Another way to hang these is to rescue the steel frame of a porch swing. The frame makes an excellent support that is as useful as it is attractive and will hang up to a dozen planter boxes, depending on the size of the boxes and length of the chains. Try varying the chain lengths for a more eye-catching garden feature.
Creative Designs to Consider
One of the most functional types of vegetable gardens is started vertically in containers. For this design, choose a sunny location, and a sturdy base for a vertical hanging vegetable garden. The types of vegetables that can be grown in this way include:
Fruits like strawberries, blueberries and grapes can also be grown in vertical gardens. The benefits of growing vegetables and fruits in vertical gardens include less time spent weeding and also more control over garden insects.
Creative Containers for Growing Vertically
The containers used to grow plants in a vertical garden are as diverse as the gardener chooses. For vegetables, select clean, residue-free plastic or metal containers or buckets.
It’s easy to grow plants vertically by simply pulling the plant’s roots through a hole in the bottom of a container filled with dampened potting soil and placing small holes on the lip end of the container for aeration. Attach a sturdy chain and a hook to hang.
High Style Vertical Garden Designs
Fresh herbs grown in a vertical garden are always convenient. Give flowers, vegetables, herbs and greenery a sculptured look. Although vertical gardens save space, they can also become sculptured garden centerpieces.
Purchase a large tomato cage about 4 ft. long and 6 inches in diameter. Place a cage in the desired location and fill with damp potting soil. Begin to plant flowers, herbs, vegetables or species of evergreens like Purple Wintercreeper or Rug Juniper, starting from the top of the cage and planting downward.
Once growth has begun, the case will no longer be visible and will look like a free-standing column of plants.
Conclusion – More Vertical Garden Ideas
Vary the types of plants by planting Pachysandra at the bottom of the cage, adding Irish Moss to the center and putting frothy Maidenhair Fern at the top. The end result will look like a fountain of greenery.
For a more flowery effect, start at the bottom of the cage with periwinkle, add pinks to the center and finish with delicate baby’s breath for an ethereal floral garden centerpiece. It will look like a beautiful garden bouquet.
About the writer
Kylie is the editor at Green & Growing. She enjoys the outdoors, especially when she can go on a fun hike or adventure, and likes to focus on the perks of green living. She feels it is so important to take care of our earth, and hopes to spread more awareness through editing and writing.