When you don’t have a lot of space or open ground around your home, planting a garden might seem impossible. After all, plants need room to grow and soil to grow in, don’t they? While this is true, there is more than one way to get a garden growing. If you have limited outdoor space or don’t have room for a large garden plot, one option is to set up a vertical garden instead.
While not every garden plant is feasible for a vertical garden, you might be surprised at all of the things that you can grow vertically. Of course, you’ll first have to get your vertical garden set up and ready for spring planting. You have a lot of options with how you do this, so let’s take a moment to cover the essentials of what your vertical garden should have.
Choosing a Garden Location
The first thing that you need to take into account is exactly where you’re going to locate your vertical garden. Your options may be limited depending on where you live, but if you choose a suboptimal location, then you’re going to have a hard time getting your garden to grow. At a minimum, you’re likely going to want a location that gets direct sunlight for at least part of the day, and a full 6 to 8 hours of sunlight will probably be required for most plants. If you have specific fruits or vegetables in mind already, do a bit of research into their sun requirements to help determine exactly what you’ll need. A southern-facing view may help you to get the sunlight that your plants need.
Access to water is also important. While you can always water your vertical garden by hand, it can save you a lot of effort if the garden is located in a spot that will get watered when it rains. Having access to the ground soil may be beneficial as well, though it isn’t a hard requirement; if you live in an apartment or otherwise plan on establishing your garden on a balcony or other location that doesn’t have open soil, you can always create your own growing environment with containers.
Establishing a Garden Framework
Once you have a location, your garden is going to need a growth framework so that it can actually start growing upward. Trellises, wire cages, tripods, and even fences can all make solid support structures so long as they are sturdy and able to be secured. These can be attached to the exterior of your home or other buildings, connected to balcony railings, or even secured into the ground. The method of securing your framework isn’t that important. What is important is that it’s secured well enough to be able to stand the weight of growing plants and eventual fruits or vegetables.
With the support structures in place, it’s time to prepare your soil. If planting directly into the ground, you’ll need to till the soil and add compost or other nutrients. If setting up containers, choose a soil or potting medium that will encourage root growth to help ensure that your plants are secure as they start to grow up. The weight of the soil and the eventual fruits or vegetables will help to keep the containers in place, so you don’t have to worry as much about securing them as you do your supports.
Growing Your Vertical Garden
Once you’ve got your vertical garden set up, you can plant a variety of beans, peas, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, and even melons and pumpkins vertically. You’ll likely need to tie down the vines early on and provide support for the fruits and vegetables as they grow, but the work will be worth it.