Vertical gardening – growing your garden up instead of at ground level – is becoming quite popular with the rising trend of city living and with more and more people living in smaller spaces. Vertical gardening is an especially useful method of gardening if you live in an apartment or have a small back yard. You may need some special equipment to handle the weight and height of plants, but there are many benefits to growing your own food in this way.
A vertical garden can be started in the yard, on a porch or even indoors. It’s a very flexible and forgiving way to garden while receiving many of the benefits of traditional gardening.
Advantages of Vertical Gardening
Although it may seem a disadvantage to not have a large enough outdoor space, there are several reasons why vertical gardening is a superior way to grow your own food! Here are a few:
- It’s less initial work since there’s minimal soil preparation and digging.
- Most plants are at eye level, so it’s easier on the body with less bending.
- Maintenance is minimized with less weeding, watering and fertilizing.
- There are fewer pests which means less pesticide needed.
- You’ll get increased yields, especially with vegetables like beans and tomatoes.
- It’s more flexible. You choose where to grow your food.
- It’s fun!
There are several ways to approach the issue of sunlight. The obvious choice is to choose a location that has the most sunlight, but that may not be possible or practical in an indoor space. Or there might be one particular space that is perfect for vertical gardening but it is not well-placed for sunlight.
If you have a favorite fruit or vegetable, check its requirements for sun and then see if you have a place that would match those needs. Fortunately, there are fruits and vegetables that can grow in low light, so you might be able to find a location that works for you.
However, if the space that’s perfect for your indoor vertical garden does not have enough light for your plant’s needs, it might be time to consider buying a grow light. Grow lights are inexpensive and the perfect solution to resolve the light issue.
There is a large selection of grow lights on the market, so make sure you buy one that is flexible so the light can be directed towards your vertical garden.
What Plants To Grow
For an area that doesn’t get much sun, selecting low light produce such as green leafy vegetables and other colder climates vegetables are the best choices. For the more sunlit areas there are a range of fruits and vegetables, from the common-place ones such as tomatoes, beans, peppers and strawberries to the not-so-obvious ones such as cucumbers, lettuces, squashes, melons and kiwi. The limit is endless! Keep in mind, the plants you choose will most likely determine what kind of structure you use for planting.
What Type of Vertical Garden Is Best For You?
There’s not just one way to do vertical gardening. This is where you can be creative. In addition to the traditional trellises that immediately come to mind, maybe you’d prefer hanging baskets, planter boxes, shelves or a tower of pots? But, keep in mind you don’t want them to be taller than you can reach, and they need to be appropriate for the space. Again, your choice of plants will help you narrow down the type of pot or structure used – and vice versa!
Maintain Your Plants
Vertical gardening is similar to traditional gardening in many ways. You will still need some basic tools. You will be planting, watering, and fertilizing the plants on a regular basis. For hanging baskets, watering frequently is important to prevent the roots from drying out, especially in hot weather. And for indoor plants, make sure you monitor the moisture levels regularly since, not being subject to the weather, they will have different needs from outdoor plants.
Enjoy The Fruits Of Your Labor!
One of the best rewards comes when it’s time to harvest your crops. Vertical gardening often produces better crops than traditional in-ground gardens with higher yields due to fewer pests and therefore fewer dead plants.
With vertical gardening, you can experience the fun and satisfaction of growing your own food while making use of your limited indoor or outdoor space. You’ll be rewarded with a garden that involves much less work and many more benefits!