Nowadays, lack of space is an issue confronted by most gardeners. Since most of us live in urban or semi-urban regions, having a backyard is a luxury. So, how can you grow vegetables, fruits, and flowers then?
Creative gardeners use a technique known as vertical gardening. Using this method, you can grow different types of plants in small spaces with the help of wall mountings, trellises, wireframes, or step planters.
In this method, plants grow up and provide us with the required space to grow other plants. Furthermore, you can use various structures to offer support to your plants while they are growing.
From bamboo canes to wire and decorative items, you have countless options while designing your vertical gardens. Apart from them, you can use arches, electrical conduits, wall-mounted grids, and rebars too. Through this technique, you can now grow your favourite vegetables, flowers, and other plants efficiently. Besides that, you can create them as indoor or outdoor gardens based on your convenience and requirement.
NOTE: The featured image is vertical gardening, using the hydroponic method.
When I lived in Spain, I created a vertical garden on the side of my long hydroponics and aquaponics shed. Unfortunately, I never kept any photos, but it was a similar setup to one that is displayed on the Planted Well website, as shown here:
It consisted of a drainpipe setup with water flowing through each one from my aquaponics tank and flowing back in. In doing so, it had the benefit of the fertiliser from the fish water. Holes were cut along the drainpipes to put pots in, and I grew a vast amount of salad crops on a small space. If I had produced the same in the ground, it would have taken up a large amount of my vegetable bed. So take time to explore this method – especially if you only have a wall to work with instead of a vegetable plot. You are going to be truly astonished at how much you can grow with this method.
Benefits of having a vertical garden
When it comes to the advantages of using a vertical garden, we can create a never-ending list. However, we have shortlisted some of them to help you decide if vertical gardening is the right option for you.
· Grow far more and save space
With these type of gardens, you can grow more in a meagre space. Besides that, you can take care of your plants without any difficulties too. First, however, ensure that they can access an adequate amount of sunlight.
· Reduce pest infestations
With this gardening technique, you can reduce pest infestations as the plants are growing upwards. It is also helpful in decreasing the damage caused by poultry and pets.
· Provide environmental benefits
When we consider the environmental benefits of vertical gardening it is an excellent way to reduce waste. Here, you can use items like old shoe organisers, baskets to plant trees and other plants. I even saw an image on Facebook recently where someone had rather naughtily acquired some supermarket shopping baskets. They hung them on hanging basket wall brackets to create a wall vegetable garden!
Apart from that, you can remove air pollutants using this method. It is also helpful in overcoming harsh weather conditions, UV rays, etc.
· Furnish psychological benefits
When you have a garden in your home, it can be a stress relief. In addition, you can attain psychological benefits from taking care of your plants and being close to nature.
· Grow diverse types of plants
You can bring diversity to your garden by using this method. Here, you can grow different kinds of plants ranging from climbers to tree varieties. Besides that, gardening vertically is an excellent way to enhance the health of your plants.
Types of plants to grow using vertical gardening
While planning your vertical garden, you have to look into the types of plants you want to grow. Here are some of the options that you can consider while adopting vertical gardening:
When it comes to climbers, you can go for plants like climbing peas, sweet potatoes, zucchinis, cucumbers, grapevines, etc. Here, you have to train them to grow upwards.
· Tree fruit plants
Tree fruit plants include apples, pears, cherries. You have to focus on training these plants to produce single stems or fan shapes. You can use horizontal wire supports for that purpose. Through this, you can grow these plants in a fence hugging manner.
· Cane fruits
Raspberries and blackberries are two examples of cane fruits. These plants tend to grow tall. So, you have to provide them with parallel support to help them grow vertically.
· Other plants
You can grow plants such as tomatoes and even potatoes in your vertical garden. In fact, you can grow almost anything with the vertical gardening method – herbs, salad crops. There is no limit to your creativity.
How to take care of plants in vertical gardens
It is pertinent to take care of your garden to enhance the growth of your plants. Here are a few easy to follow tips that can help you with this type of gardening.
· Ensure that you are watering the plants regularly. Along with that, you should avoid overwatering your plants. Since your plants would be in a rainshadow region, you can create a drip irrigation system for watering plants.
· Use coco peat while you pant as it can enhance the water retention capacity of the crops.
· Provide nutrients to your plants. As per a study, drip organics can furnish your plants with the required amount of fertilisation.
· Sunlight and air circulation are two other factors to consider. When there is ample airflow, it can prevent diseases like powdery-mildew in plants.
These are some of the factors to consider while you adopt vertical gardening as a technique. Through this, you can enhance plant growth and crop yield as well.
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