Last Updated on August 11, 2021
You don’t have to have a lot of space in the garden in order to enjoy some greenery and grow some produce.
By making use of the vertical garden trend, you can create a vertical garden anywhere, such as on your balcony or on a wall.
What can you grow in a vertical garden?
You can grow a range of different plants in a vertical garden, such as herbs and flowers, as long as the vertical garden structure is strong enough to handle the weight.
If you want to start your own vertical garden but you’re not sure how to go about it, you’ll get some creative ideas from this guide. We’ll also look at vertical gardens in greater detail, starting with their advantages and drawbacks.
If you’d like to see a graphical breakdown of the pros and cons of vertical gardens, we got you covered:
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Table of Contents
Pros And Cons Of Vertical Gardening
- Vertical gardens save you space. You might not have enough space outside to set up a garden, but you can create a vertical garden in various places. For example, you could have a vertical garden on a balcony wall or hanging from the ceiling.
- Vertical gardens improve the appearance of your home. When you grow vertical gardens inside your home, this can add to the visual appearance of your place. It’s wonderful to fill your walls or other vertical spaces with a bit of greenery.
- Vertical gardens are often easier to maintain. Not only are they space savers, but vertical gardens are much easier for you to grow and maintain than large gardens. If you have mobility issues, a vertical garden will also be so much easier to look after, such as because you don’t have to bend down to tend to the plants.
- Vertical plants are also easier to move around. When you need to move potted plants around, it can be quite difficult. But with vertical plants, these are easier to handle and move around. To make this even easier, you could even have a rolling cart as your vertical garden so that you can move it around on wheels!
- Vertical gardens save water. If you grow small plants and flowers in your vertical garden, you can easily save water. In addition, by choosing to grow plants that don’t need much water, such as cacti, this further saves water in your household.
- Vertical gardens can be high maintenance. Although they’re usually easy to look after, vertical plants can prove a bit tricky if they’re grown indoors. You have to ensure that you give them enough water because they won’t get rainwater, and you have to ensure that there’s enough light in the house for them. All of these issues will take a bit of time and effort to get right.
- Vertical gardens might be a bit limited. If you love gardening, you might feel a bit restricted by having vertical gardens because you might not be able to grow everything you want in them, which brings us to the next point.
- Vertical gardens aren’t always strong enough for larger plants. If you want to grow produce such as melons or plants such as wisteria vines, these will need extra support. Basically, if you want to grow larger plants in a vertical garden, you’ll have to install a supportive structure, which results in more work.
- Vertical gardens can cause a pathogen problem. Since water will flow from the top of the plants down to the lower ones in a vertical garden, this can cause water-borne pathogens which will spread. The splashing of water over vertical gardens can allow germs to spread faster, attacking lots of different plants in one garden.
Some Great Ideas For Vertical Gardens
The great thing about vertical gardens is that the sky’s the limit when it comes to how you can set up your own unique garden. Despite the cons that are sometimes associated with vertical gardens, you can make it low maintenance to look after.
For example, you could hang baskets on the wall or even grow plants in small pots that you can then place on small shelves or hang via chains from the ceiling. There you go: now you have an instant vertical garden!
If you want something a little larger, a fantastic idea is to grow plants such as succulents in a tray that’s got different sections for individual plants and then hang it on the wall. Another idea is to use stacked crates and place them outside or even on a balcony.
DIY Vertical Garden
Here’s a tutorial you can use to make your own DIY vertical garden so that you save space while being able to enjoy more plants in your home. The great thing about this DIY vertical garden is that you can put it outside or keep it indoors.
It makes use of a wire mesh that acts as a wall onto which you will attach pots of plants, and you can tweak its size to fit the space you have available. It’s a tutorial from Home Made Lovely, and it’s really not a difficult DIY task, even if you’re a beginner.
What you will need:
- 2 ground spikes (you can purchase these from stores such as Home Depot)
- 2 cedar posts (4″x4″x8′)
- 3 cedar planks (2″x6″x8′)
- 8 lag bolts (1/4-inches by three inches)
- Hex wire netting
- ¾-inch fence staples
- 19 gauge-plated steel wire
- Small plants (you should aim to have enough for your plants, but this tutorial suggests 35)
- Pots for your plants
- Potting soil
Now that you have the materials you need, you can start making your DIY vertical wall.
- First things first, figure out where the vertical garden will go. It will need to be put into the ground so you’ll have to measure where your two posts are going to go.
- With the use of a sledgehammer and a piece of wood that’s scrap material, you want to put ground spikes into the ground in the places where you want to set up your vertical garden.
- Cut your cedar posts so that they’re the height you want for your vertical garden, depending on the space you have.
- Then, put one post into your ground spike. Tighten the bolts in your spikes so that they will remain level.
- Put your two cedar planks at the top of your cedar posts, and fasten them with your clamps. This will basically be the top structure on the vertical garden.
- Now, you’ll need to pre-drill your countersunk holes for the bolts. Make sure you secure the planks to posts with two bolts on each side of each post – you should get four bolts on each post, as Home Made Lovely explains in their tutorial. You want to stagger them to give them enough space. Bear in mind you can tweak this according to your own preferences.
- Take your netting and measure out the right amount you want between your two posts, but you should leave a bit extra on the sides.
- Fasten the wire netting to the back piece of the planks with fence staples. Secure the wire to the sides, too.
- Once you have your netting and it’s securely attached to the wood, you can start to prepare your pots of flowers or other plants.
- Add some potting soil to the terra cotta (or other) pots you’ll be using for the plants.
- To put them onto the structure, you’ll need to attach them with wire, so cut pieces of wire that are approximately 15 inches long. If you have 35 pots, you’ll need 35 pieces of wire.
- Wrap the wire around the individual pots and place the ends through the wire netting sheet. Twist them tightly to secure them.
- You might find that the pots are off balance, and if this is the case you’ll need to put a second piece of wire around them and attach the pots to the wire mesh to stabilize them.
The great thing about using wire and wooden planks in your DIY vertical garden is that you can set it up anywhere. You can also make it smaller if you want to save on space, or larger if you want lots of plants.
How did the vertical garden idea come about?
Vertical gardens were invented by French designer and botanist Patrick Blank. He came up with the idea of having vertical gardens and green walls, as Slate reports, so we have him to thank for these genius ideas!
What are the best fruits or veggies to grow on a vertical garden?
You can grow a variety of fresh produce. Some great picks include pole beans, peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, and radishes! For larger produce, such as melons, just make sure the vertical garden structure offers enough support and space for the plants to grow.
Vertical gardens save space, give you a chance to get creative with your gardening hobby, and can help you to grow your own produce even if you live in a tiny apartment.
In this article, we’ve explored the idea of vertical gardens, looking at their pros and cons as well as how you can easily bring them into your life without a fuss.