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Vertical Garden Planters: 5 Tips to Help You Start Now

A Vertical Garden

Whether you have limited space or just want to try something different, outdoor or indoor vertical garden planters could work for you.  Growing “up” instead of “out” is becoming more of a trend with apartment dwellers, city-bound wanna-be farmers, and people who want to try different techniques for growing their own vegetables.  See our list below for some of our favorite vertical planters.  You can even grow squash and melons vertically!

Video – Vertical Garden Tips

1. What Are the Benefits of a Vertical Garden?

  •  It provides you with a way to maximize the number of fruits and vegetables grown in a limited space.
  •  Indoors, a vertical garden wall can serve as a living mural. Besides the beauty of the greenery and fresh flowers, the vertical garden wall will also serve as a filter to keep the air fresh.
  • If you live in an area with cold winters, an indoor vertical garden wall will provide humidity to counteract the dry air caused by your furnace.
  • When growing fruits and vegetables, a vertical garden makes it much easier to harvest your ripe produce.
  • Since the plants aren’t in contact with the ground, a vertical garden provides protection from pests (especially slugs), and keeps your plants away from rabbits, moles, and groundhogs.

2. Is Your Vertical Garden Going to be Sunny or Shady?

Some gardens could have different levels of sunlight depending on the time of day, or you might have a spot that’s always sunny or shady.  The amount of sunlight will determine what plants you can grow in your vertical garden.

For an outdoor garden, it’s also a good idea to determine if the garden will get rained on, or if it will be completely sheltered from the elements.  The instructions on seed packets are a good way to find out how much sun and water a plant will need.

3. What Should I Grow?

Some of the favorite vertical garden plants for food include:

  • Mints, Thai basil, watercress, sorrel, lemon balm, and violets grow best in full shade.
  • Lettuces, green leafy vegetables, beets, radishes, dwarf cabbage, chives, basil, parsley, oregano, and most other herbs prefer partial shade.
  • For more information about herbs you could grow, see our article about Growing the Most Popular Culinary Herbs.
  • Tomatoes.  This plant does well in nearly every growing zone (all bets are off if you live in the subarctic!).  Some varieties of tomato plants can get very tall, and when they are fruiting the ripening tomatoes can put a lot of weight on the branches.  Tomato plants will need support from trellises, cages, or stakes to protect against damage.  Tomatoes prefer full sun, but we’ve had numerous tomato plants that grew in partial shade and were still very successful.
  • Melons, winter squash, and pumpkins. Generally, you’ll want to grow varieties that produce fruit that weighs 3 pounds or less.  Like tomatoes, growing squash, and melons vertically will require some sort of support system.  As the fruit grows it can be held up with a net made out of a piece of scrap cloth.
  • Cucumbers, zucchini, and summer squash.  The vines of these plants can be supported by trellises, fencing, or netting and the fruit is usually light enough to not require any additional support.  We’ve had great success training these plants to climb a chain link fence.  One weird benefit to growing these veggies vertically is that they tend to grow straighter.
  • Kiwis.  Although they are thought of as tropical fruit, Kiwi vines can actually grow in direct sunlight as far north as Cleveland.
  • Green beans, okra, and peas.  Pole beans have a longer harvest season than bush beans and are easy to grow vertically.  Peas can be the garden variety or snow peas and prefer cooler temperatures (70 degrees F at the most).

The above list will give you some ideas for what to grow in your vertical garden and doesn’t cover every possible option.

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2024-07-18
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2024-07-18

4. What Type Of Vertical Garden Should I Use?

There are so many options when it comes to designing your vertical garden.  It could be said that the options are only limited by your imagination.  Will there be hanging baskets or buckets?

How about a vertical planter box made of untreated wood?  Shelves are popular too, and even rain gutters can be used to hold the soil. Trellises and fences work great for growing vines.  Get creative!

5. After I Plant My Crops What Happens Next?

This is where vertical gardening is not much different from horizontal gardening.  You will have to water and feed your vertical garden more often than a regular garden. They also tend to dry out faster than horizontal gardens.

Since your plants are off the ground weeds should be much less of a problem.  If pests or diseases show up (rarely) it’s much easier to detect them in a vertical garden.

And Then Comes The Harvest

Now all the hard work pays off and you get to enjoy fresh produce!  Some gardeners have reported that they have fewer dead plants and more bountiful harvests with a vertical garden.

Since slugs and other ground-dwelling pests typically don’t show up in vertical gardens, there’s much less chance that pesticides would be used.

To Sum Up

You don’t have to be limited by a lack of space.  Build a vertical garden and start enjoying it today!

Last update on 2024-07-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This product presentation was made with AAWP plugin.

Bob Styer

As a child, I hated gardening. That was mainly because Dad expected us to work in the garden every so often even though we thought play was more important. Over the years, though, I've developed a real appreciation for growing things. Whether you're growing plants for food or to enjoy their beauty, gardening can make your life better. Seize the moment!

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