Vertical Gardens 101Delaney Nelson, Greenhouse Associate
Gardening is a fun and relaxing way for many people to spend time outside with just their thoughts and the soil underneath their fingertips. This is especially true post-COVID, when many people got into home gardening as a way to relieve everyday stress during the pandemic. But not everyone has the space that a garden requires; whether a lawn for fruit trees, a flowerbed for prized annuals, or an open, flat space for raised beds. This is where vertical gardening comes in.
What Is Vertical Gardening?
Vertical gardening is just what it sounds like: gardening on a vertical surface. This can be indoor or outdoor, edible plants or flowers, professionally constructed or home-built. Common vertical surfaces include the side of a fence, an open and empty wall, and even a repurposed old piece of furniture. Vertical gardening offers many creative and unique ways for one to become the gardener they’ve always dreamt of.
What Can You Grow In A Vertical Garden?
Vertical gardens are great for growing pretty much anything that doesn’t require a deep rooting space. Flowers and herbs are the most popular choice when it comes to vertical gardening since they don’t need to grow very deep in the soil to be a successful plant. It is possible to grow other types of plants in vertical gardens; you just need to be mindful of the depth that you are planting in and plan accordingly.
For instance, if you want to plant carrots in a vertical garden, you are need to make sure that you have at least 12” of depth for them to grow into, as opposed to if you were just planting an herb that has a much shallower root system.
How Do You Build A Vertical Garden?
There are many different types of vertical gardens so there is something for everyone’s space and style. Here at Martin’s, we have an example of a gutter garden made from old rain gutters that have been cut into even sections and drilled into for drainage. This is one of the simplest ways to make use of your vertical space for gardening.
We cut our gutters into 4′ sections and drilled 1\4” holes every 2″ on the bottom so the plants would have plenty of drainage. We then mounted them onto 2x4s that had been horizontally attached to a trellis. Make sure that whatever you are mounting your vertical planters on is strong and can support the weight of wet soil and plants.
Our vertical garden in our greenhouse – stop by and check out its progress as it grows!
Holes were drilled in the bottom of each gutter to allow for drainage.
We mounted each gutter to a board behind the trellis for support.
Once our planters were mounted, we filled them with nutrient-rich potting mix and picked out the plants that we were going to grow. We then planted them at intervals in the soil and gave them a thorough watering.
With this method of using old rain gutters, we only planted edible plants that would not need a lot of room for roots since the gutters are only about 5″ deep. We planted herbs and other small edibles like lettuce and kale. If you are making your vertical garden out of planter boxes or buckets, you will have more depth and can then plant more variety in your garden.
Brussels sprouts and broccoli
Mustard and kale
Peppers and tomatoes
- Keep in mind that different plants require different environments. Some need full sun throughout the day like tomatoes while others need only a few hours in the morning like some flowers. Pick your plants specifically for the space that you have allotted for your vertical garden.
- You can plant either seeds or starts in your vertical garden depending on how you want to grow your plants that year.
- Make sure you are watering often as growing plants in containers dries soil out much faster than if you were growing in the ground. The smaller and shallower your containers are, the faster the soil will dry out.
Start Your Vertical Garden At Martin’s Home & Garden
Martin’s has everything you need to get started on your own vertical garden today; from the soil and seeds to the experienced gardeners that can help you plan your layout and variety. Visit our Murfreesboro garden center today, and don’t let lack of space stop you from becoming a gardener!