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Vertical gardens are an alternative to those who don’t have too much space for classic horizontal gardens, want to hide an ugly wall, or just want something different.
You can plant fresh herbs, one-year-old plants on the outside or on the inside, and much more in any of these various ideas. Of course, not only is vertical planting great for those who don’t have a lot of space, but it is also wonderful to see.
During his stay in Thailand, Patric Blanc noticed plants that grow and thrive in vertical areas such as rocks and some even thrive without land. When he returned from the trip, the French botanist created a system of upright gardens, and after his idea, many vertical gardens began to appear in our areas as well.
Vertical gardens were created more as a solution for all those in urban areas who crave greenery and their piece of land to cultivate, but simply have no place to do it because they live in an apartment. If your apartment is small, then you do not even have the opportunity to plant a jar of flowers, because the small space is not letting you, at least not to the extent that you would like it.
Vertical or upright gardens are a great solution for anyone who wants to have a garden but cannot because they lack space. Vertical gardens save space because the plants are not located on a horizontal but on a vertical surface. The natural growth of many plants is just vertical, such as pothos and they will be a great idea for planting in a vertical garden.
If you think you need expensive equipment for a vertical garden, then you are wrong. For this kind of garden, you can also use old plastic containers that you already have in your home. In addition to containers, you can also use buckets, plastic bottles, tubes, or anything else that you find in nature that could work as a prop. Dark and metallic materials should be avoided for faster heating.
Quality soil is the only thing that you need to invest a little more. In addition to the soil and pots, the vertical garden will also require some rope.
Vertical gardens are increasingly emerging in the US and western countries, which is because people avoid treated vegetables and want to grow their own. Due to growing interest, containers that specialize in this type of cultivation can be purchased in the US.
How a Vertical Garden Is Done
Once you’ve collected the basic fabrication material, you need to make a decision on where to place the garden. The vertical garden does not move as easily as it does with vases, so be sure of your decision. The minimum area of a vertical garden indoors can be 430 × 430, and in outdoor spaces, it can be about 10000 ft² or more.
It is extremely important to place it where it will not lack sunlight and where will it have better air circulation. The height of the vertical garden depends on your preferences and the area on which you choose to plant the vertical garden.
You will need a cloth to plant the plants. The desired plant is planted through the holes you will puncture on the fabric, then you plant the plant and insert it into the incision, trying to have as much soil as possible around the roots. Because of the small amount of soil you can provide to a plant, it is recommended that you choose those plants that do not require much soil, such as herbs.
Ideas for Vertical Gardens
If you want your garden to be on a wall or a fence, wooden pallets can serve as shelves, and you can put pots in which plants have already been planted. For a vertical garden, you can also use wooden ladders, cans, pipes … You can put wooden crates on the wall, and if you are skilled you can make your own shelves.
For a vertical garden made on the pillar (support), you will need some space in the yard. Part of the land needs to be plowed, grass removed and humus added. Use solid metal, plastic, wooden rings or nets for support. We will use this method to grow vegetables with vines (cucumbers, pumpkins, tall tomatoes, tall pods, and tall peas) and to grow fruits such as watermelon and melon.
As it grows, fruits and vegetables get heavier, and to keep it from falling, you can put it in a potato sack and tie it down for support. The interesting thing is that even corn can be used as a support, and it goes well with pods (beans). If you have enough space, pumpkins can be planted with them. The third way is to create a vertical garden using pipes. However, you will need a bit of skill, especially if you want to stack them on top of each other. Strawberries can be planted from fruits in tubes.
Vertical garden on a wall or fence
You can place wooden pallets on the wall or solid fence to use as shelves in which to place pots with planted plants. For the purpose of this kind of garden you can use wooden ladders, wooden crates that you will put on the wall, cans, plastic bottles, pipes, make shelves and the like.
Since you cannot secure a lot of soil in this way, it is best to plant spices, possibly lettuce or onions (for young onions).
Vertical garden with support
Do you have some space in the yard, overgrown with soil, remove grass and add good humus soil. For supports, use solid metal, wooden or plastic rings and nets.
This way you can grow all the vegetables that have vine-like cucumbers, all kinds of pumpkins, tall tomatoes, tall peas, tall pods and beans, and of melon fruit, even watermelon. Later, when vegetables such as larger pumpkins or watermelons make it difficult, place them in a potato sack and tie it up for support so they don’t fall off.
In addition, you can sow various types of salad and herbs into the ground, which will immediately serve as a mulch.
Corn can also serve as a support, which goes well with beans and legumes. If you have room, plant pumpkins with them. The Native Americans called these three plants “three sisters” in this combination.
Vertical garden in pipes
For a garden using pipes, however, you will need some skill, especially if you want to place several pipes one above the other. To grow strawberries, you can place the tube itself vertically.
You can also attach the tube to the wall, and you can grow vegetables in tubes that don’t normally require a lot of space and nutrients.
How to Plant a Vertical Garden
Understanding the necessary conditions for this kind of gardening is essential to its success.
Step 1: Select a surface
To begin with, choose the vertical area where you want to plant your garden – for example, the exterior wall of the house.
The choice of plants will depend on the position of the wall and the amount of light it receives.
If you want to grow certain types of plants, choose the location that best suits them.
Step 2: Create a frame
For your plants, you need to create a frame that looks similar to office shelves.
The easiest material to maintain is plastic. However, it can also be metal that is more expensive and heavier or wood that needs extra moisture and mold protection.
Put good quality soil in the frame, then cover it with a sturdy cloth that will keep the plants and soil inside.
You will need at least two layers of fabric, connect them with galvanized screws and stainless joints, tighten it tightly so that it does not wrinkle.
If it is too complicated for you to make your own design, you can buy ready-made frames for vertical gardens.
Step 3: Prepare the irrigation system
For plants to grow successfully on a vertical surface, they need an irrigation system that can supply them with moisture evenly.
For this, you can buy irrigation systems designed just for vertical gardens, or if you are able to, make them yourself from drip irrigation tubes.
The system must work automatically because the vertical gardens dry quickly, so you need to irrigate the plants several times a day.
Determine the optimum amount of water for your plants so that they do not leak from the wall, leaving the soil moist enough.
Step 4: Select the fertilizer system
To fertilize the green surface evenly, a fertilizer injector is required that can be connected to the irrigation system.
After fertilization is complete, connect the irrigation system back to the water source.
Keep in mind that sometimes the water may leak from the vertical garden, so it might be good to plant a flowerbed underneath.
Step 5: Choose plants
When choosing plants, keep in mind the sun, shade, humidity, wind, and cold in winter.
If you plan to leave the garden outside during the winter, it is best to plant plants that grow in colder climates than the one you live in.
If your wall is moveable, it can be stored in a dry and cool place during the winter while the plants are dormant.
Plant native varieties. These can be shrubs, flowers, vegetables, fruits …
Patrick Blanc applied his botany knowledge here, for example, for vertical gardens in Central Europe, he combines a mixture of evergreen ferns, mosses, grasses, and low shrubs.
We have a whole article about the best plants for vertical gardens, and we covered everything in it, from why you should choose some, to how to grow them, what are their needs and many other things.
Step 6: Plant the plants
To plant the plants, make holes in the fabric through which to plant the plants.
Try to plant the plants with as much soil as possible around the roots and insert them into the cut.
See here how preparing the frame and planting the vertical garden looks like:
Step 7: Design!
The most fun part of vertical gardening is creating green compositions.
Proper selection is crucial for the aesthetic appearance and life cycle of plants, their development, and maintenance.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Vertical Garden
The disadvantage of vertical gardens is the rapid drying of the earth. Plants need humidity and you need to provide them. You will have to decide whether you want to buy or build an automatic irrigation system. I would also recommend that you build a fertilizer system because of the micro and macro elements found in the soil. For even fertilization, connect the fertilizer injector to the irrigation system, and when done, return the irrigation system to the water source. Water will sometimes leak from the vertical garden, so it is recommended to place a flowerbed underneath.
Be prepared that maintaining and cultivating vertical gardens will sometimes create a mess. Namely, water can leak and soil and leaves may fall.
Anyone who has planted a vertical garden at least once may agree that the most fun and the most interesting part is when you create a look for a vertical garden. Care should be taken to choose the right plants to make everything look aesthetically pleasing. Keep in mind that large plants are more difficult to grow.
By planting vertical gardens, we save electricity that is extremely expensive and consumes much more during the summer on refrigeration units. Plants are commonly known to purify the air and keep it fresh, so if there is a vertical garden in the home, air conditioning is less used. This way of saving energy has been recognized in Austria, where subsidies from the state are received for vertical gardens, and in Shanghai, one of the more polluted cities, a large number of vertical gardens are planned to be built on large areas. In addition to purified air, green plants have a very good effect on mental health, so it is advisable to have them in your home for this reason. You will enjoy your vertically planted plants for about ten years since vertical gardens can last about that long.