Vertical gardening offers many advantages for the apartment dweller as plants can be grown almost anywhere. In addition, you can use this type of method to grow a variety of plants. Understanding the basics will allow you to garden even if you are limited with regards to space.
Choose the Right Location
Location plays an important role in vertical gardening. For instance, if you’re placing a trellis at the end of a patio, make sure that the structure will not shade out the other plants, or keep them from receiving the needed sunlight. Situate plants in areas where they will receive the proper amount of sun and are protected from the wind. Of course, if you don’t have any space outside in which to locate plants, then you can always plant them indoors in window boxes or hanging baskets.
Make Sure that Plants Receive the Proper Moisture
Plants that grow vertically often can dry out quickly. To prevent this from happening, add organic mulch to the soil and water your plants frequently. The mulch will help the soil retain water, especially during the warm summer months. The purchase of an electronic soil tester is a good idea too as it will give you readings with respect to the soil pH, soil moisture and the light level for your plants.
Train Your Plants
Don’t let certain plants, such as vines, stray while they are growing. Buy some weatherproof garden twine and tie the vines to trellises. The twine will keep the vines in place and will not damage their stems.
Choose Your Vertical Containers and Structures
Depending on the plants you choose to include in your vertical garden, you have several varied options when it comes to structures and containers. You can use poles, old dilapidated ladders, wood, plastic or bamboo trellises, raised beds, hanging containers or window boxes.
Select Your Plants
A good many plants are suitable for vertical gardening. For example, tomatoes are ideal for vertical growing as they can become quite unmanageable if grown on the ground. You could say the same for a number of vines. Grow vines on pieces of fence or trellises.
Some excellent vining plants include the wisteria plant and the trumpet creeper. Also, if you have a shady spot, Virginia Creeper will grow well there. Corn is a good vegetable plant to use for vertical growing too. Of course, outside an apartment, when located on the patio in a raised bed, you couldn’t obtain a sizable crop. However, the stalks can be used as supports for other vertical plants, such as beans, which grow like vines.
For hanging plants, you may want to include bougainvillea, ivy-leaved geraniums or nasturtium (whose flowers and leaves are edible). Other vertical growers include cucumbers, small melons and grapes. If you live in an apartment with no outside space, consider using hanging plants or window box plants such as herbs, including cilantro, parsley, mint or thyme.
You don’t have to have a green thumb to be successful at vertical gardening. All you need is a little bit of know-how and the perfect little space.