Guide for Vertical Gardening

You want plants to mature. Getting them to "grow up" is even better.

Gardening blossomed in popularity during the pandemic. In fact, it's never been more on trend. With more time at home, backyards became an oasis. A safe escape and a chance to enjoy some sunshine. Yet vertical gardens take this in an entirely different direction. Literally.

By extending upward, vertical gardens maximize space. But there are countless other benefits of a vertical garden too. Suitable for both indoors and outdoors, vertical gardens are an ideal addition to any home.

Below, Green Fig Landscaping shares their definitive guide on vertical gardens to help get you started.

What is a vertical garden?

Although it may be obvious, these garden systems grow vertically. Aided by structural support, vertical gardens can be incorporated into existing walls, pergolas or other installed structures. Unlike horizontal methods, plants are kept off the ground. 

Benefits of a vertical garden

Gardening on its own is rewarding. But vertical gardens offer some unique advantages:

  • It saves space. By design, vertical gardens go up. This offers an opportunity to plant more with less ground. This is perfect for urban gardens, small yards, or apartments where space is limited. This is perhaps one of the greatest benefits of a vertical garden.
  • It's better for your plants. Vertical gardens increase exposure to sunlight and air, both necessary for sustained yields. Since these systems are also better for drainage, the threat of fungal infections, diseases, root rot, and pests is greatly reduced.
  • It's easier to maintain. Just look up. Your back will thank you. Working in vertical gardens, you'll spend less time bent over tending to your plants. Watering, pruning, and harvesting are all much simpler.
  • It adds shade. Nothing boosts a backyard's vibe like a natural screen. Vertical gardens add privacy. It can block, shield, and cover any unattractive or unappealing structures. As an additional bonus, all this foliage likely means more shade to keep you cooler in the summer.

Types of Vertical Garden

Vertical gardens come in all shapes and sizes. Before you need to know how to build a vertical wall garden, pick one of these indoor or outdoor planting options to get you inspired.

  • Transform any basic wall into a living wall. Using wire mesh or pockets, hang plants along the wall's surface. Depending on the material, it may be possible to drill planters directly into the wall. You can also adhere landscape fabric or plastic sheeting to place your plants. 
  • A wall trellis can also be fastened to an outdoor wall. These are perfect for vining plants, like ivy and tomatoes. Whether it's an obelisk, teepee, or a lean-to style, there are a variety of products to choose from.
  • Similarly, archways and awnings are strong selections for larger gardens. Not only can you grow vining crops, but you can also hang planters to frame the space.
  • Window boxes are the most traditional vertical planters. Grow herbs, succulents, or seasonal flowers in these mounted boxes underneath a balcony or windowsill. This provides all the benefits of a vertical garden in an easy-to-install package.

Maintaining a Vertical Garden

Turn DIY to DONE. Once you've selected a vertical planter style, it's time to dig in and get to work. Here, Green Fig Landscaping shares a few tips to maintain your vertical garden.

  • Select your plants. Vertical gardens aren't right for every crop or plant. How you visualize it in your head may not be practical. Choose the right plants for the space, season, and shade requirements. While tomatoes are the best crop to grow vertically, some species of cucumbers and beans may work also.
  • Pick the right location. Just like in real estate, it's all about "location, location, location." Your trellis may look cute in the corner, but if it never gets any sun, your plants won't survive. 
  • Water often. Just like sunlight, water is non-negotiable. Air, sun exposure, and temperature will impact how frequently you need to water. 
  • Check for well-draining containers. Proper drainage is a must. This is important for any planter, as it prevents mildew and fungus. Ensure your planting box has adequate holes for draining.
  • Inspect for diseases and pests. While these issues are less prevalent in vertical gardens, they are still a concern if left untreated. Routinely check any flowers, leaves, and the soil for visible signs of infection. 

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