Anyone can grow a garden, even when space is limited. Homeowners who lack a large backyard or who own a condo or an apartment can embrace a space saving garden that grows vertically instead of the traditional horizontal style. While many perceive a garden as featuring a horizontal row of greenery, vegetable plants (and flowers, too!) can be planted in a variety of vertical styles.
Here’s how to create a vertical vegetable garden to save space and enjoy the harvest of home-grown produce!
The Hanging Garden
One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World was the Hanging Gardens of Babylon built by King Nebuchadnezzar II. According to The History Channel, these gardens featured flourishing greenery planted on terraces that were set up about 75 feet high.
A hanging garden is an ideal vertical solution for space-constrained homeowners who want a garden but simply have no place to plant their produce. To create this type of vertical garden, head to the home improvement store (or a local nursery) and ask for a growing bag that hangs from the wall. These growing bags can be placed outside on a fence or inside, too. Homeowners also can grow their garden in hanging baskets!
A Rack Garden
Nurseries also will have plant racks, which can be used to create a personalized vertical garden. Plant your produce in pots and place them on the rack; be sure to provide enough distance for adequate growth.
Choose plant varieties with the same sunlight requirements, and understand that the size of the rack may limit how many vegetables you can plant. Talk to a gardening expert at the nursery for advice on which veggies can be shelved together to ensure proper growth and a bountiful harvest.
Stackable Garden Pots
Embrace an avant garde vertical vegetable garden with stackable pots! These convenient planters let you create a structural vertical garden by stacking the uniquely designed pots on top of each other. These pots are advertised for veggies like tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and cucumbers and can be placed on porches or near doorways; their contemporary design also creates a decorative focal point. Mix up the veggie varieties so that when your garden blooms, the vertical garden will burst with many hues of produce.
A Trellis or Arch Garden
If you have a small backyard, plant a trellis or arch garden. This type of vertical vegetable garden allows plants to grow up the structure. These types of vertical gardens are best suited to vegetable plants that are vine-like; these plants will creep up the trellis as they grow!
What Vegetables Grow Well in a Vertical Garden?
Depending on the design and type of your vertical vegetable garden, certain vegetable varieties may be better suited than others.
If you’re unsure about which vegetables are best suited for your garden, talk to an expert at your local nursery. Whether you’re planting a rack garden, hanging garden or a stackable vertical garden, there are many types of veggies that will thrive in a vertical space!
Savvy Gardener recommends pole beans, peas, cucumbers, summer squash, melons and ‘vining tomatoes’ for trellis vertical gardens.
How Do Plants Grow Vertically?
Some plants in your vertical garden can grow vertically without issue. Others need support to grow tall. Tomatoes are an easy vertical choice. Melons and other vines may need extra support and do well with a trellis.
Carrots, radishes and garlic are root vegetables and shouldn’t need support; these veggies do great in a vertical garden. Just make sure they have enough room to take root in the soil!
Vertical Garden Upkeep
The maintenance of a vertical garden depends on the varieties of vegetables planted in the garden. Some need lots of sunlight and need to be watered on schedule. Others may be less fastidious.
Homeowners should choose vegetables that they can readily maintain. If you don’t have the time to care for the plants, your harvest will not be plentiful. Research veggies to determine which choices are best suited for the region…and personal lifestyle.
Some homeowners don’t have a natural green thumb. For this reason, choose heartier plants that are low-maintenance. The Old Farmer’s Almanac recommends beets, carrots, cucumbers and peas (and a few others!) for easy-to-grow options.
Vertical vegetable gardens offer a space-saving solution for homeowners who want to grow their own produce but don’t have the land space to do so. Vertical gardens can be constructed in a myriad of designs. Opt for hanging baskets, trellis structures for climbing veggie vines, stacking pots, or a rack or shelf structure (for pots). For those lacking a green thumb, choose easy to maintain varieties like carrots or cucumbers.
No matter where you live or what design you choose, a vertical garden offers homeowners with the opportunity to embrace a more sustainable and self-sufficient way of living; growing food at home means less dependency on stores, which saves gas, time and money while lowering the individual carbon footprint.