When it comes to home gardening, space may be the final frontier that you may have difficulty conquering. However, even savvy gardeners can overcome crowded conditions with creative practices, and few concepts tap into creativity than the notion of planting a vertical garden. While the general premise involves building a garden from the ground up, as the following ideas demonstrate, there are several cool options that prevent them from merely looking like plant stacking.
1.The Traditional Trellis
The concept of vertical gardening isn’t new. It’s something that’s been around since the days of the Roman Empire, and it’s a technique that winemakers have used on hillside-planted vines for centuries. Based on this pedigree alone, trellising should be something that should be on your vertical gardening radar, particularly if you’re into growing vining veggies.
If you go this route, the most important thing you need to do is make sure the trellis is strong enough to support the weight of the plants that are going to be climbing up its structure. The deeper that you can sink a trellis into the ground, the more support it will offer.
2. The Self-Contained Gardening Tower
If you have your heart set on growing multiple plants, but don’t have a whole lot of room to do so, a gardening tower may be your best bet. These items practically look alien compared to other vertical gardening concepts, and it may not look beautiful even after things have been planted. But what it lacks in aesthetics it makes up for in efficiency.
A gardening tower has the space for dozens of plants, and a design compact enough to only require a few square feet. Some feature rotating bases that not only make it easier for you to access the plants, but to also adjust to various sunlight and weather needs.
What’s more, advanced garden towers are sophisticated enough to assist with some of the more hardcore aspects of gardening, such as composting. This may be a boon for those that want to take their gardening to the proverbial next level, but are somewhat intimidated by the notion of composting or making their own fertilizer.
3. Get Your Plants Into the Gutter
The basic rule of home maintenance usually dictates that plant life of any kind needs to be cleared out of gutters. While this obviously applies to the rain gutters that wrap around your home’s roof, your backyard garden can operate under a different set of rules.
The best way to think about a gutter as a vertical gardening implement is to not necessarily think of them as gutters at all. Rather, imagine them as a long, skinny window box where windows aren’t necessarily needed. Their design certainly encourages this, as they can easily be arranged to run along a home’s exterior.
The trick to using the gutter technique is to make sure there’s drainage holes in the bottom of each row. This will encourage even water distribution between the stacks. You may need to add extra holes to the gutters to ensure sufficient drainage and subsequent distribution occurs.
4. The Power of Pallets
As the use of gutters prove, some of the best vertical gardening ideas you can hatch involve repurposing other items. These items don’t necessarily have to come from the home, either. In the case of this concept, all you need to do is get your hands on a wooden pallet to start building the vertical garden of your dreams.
If you’re planning to turn the pallet into a full-blown vertical planter, there are a few extra steps you need to take for it to fully work. This would involve stapling plywood to its back and wrapping the sides where the plants won’t protrude from with landscaping cloth.
You also won’t be able to hang the pallet immediately. After laying the pallet flat, you’ll fill it with soil, plant your seeds, and allow for the vegetation to do its thing for a couple of weeks. Once you start seeing sufficient growth from the plants, they’ll be stable enough to allow you to place your pallet in an upright position.
5. The Pallet as a Pot Holder
You don’t necessarily have to go through the rigmarole of filling a palate with dirt and seeds to use it as a base for a vertical garden. It can serve rather well as device to hold a bunch of potted plants.
There is a bit of extra work involved to get this concept to work. However, the sweat required here has less to do with planting stuff from the ground up and more to do with making your pots are secure to the pallet. Typically, you’ll want to make sure the plant is attached to the pallet via a clamp or a screw, tight enough to withstand wind and inclement weather.
6. Bottle Up Your Garden
The beauty of a vertical garden is that it can encourage you to get super creative. Arguably, there’s no better example of thinking outside the box than by turning to the inside of a recycled plastic bottle.
This concept only makes sense if you’re planning to grow small plants like herbs. However, if this is your intent, turning your old soda bottles into ascending planters up against your wall can make an element that’s made up of equal parts vertical garden, artistic statement, and eccentricity.
Because the bottles are lightweight, you can get away with suspending them from attached strings that are tied to an elevated piece of material, such as a roof overhang. This makes them easy for you to maneuver when it comes time to harvest or rearrange. It can also help you take them down easily in the event of an ongoing storm.
Regardless of what route you choose, the beauty of a vertical garden is that it provides you with the beauty of plants and vegetation without the space requirements. If you live in a place that lacks an abundance of square footage, these innovative gardens may a beautiful thing in more ways than one.