Do you love gardening but don’t have space for it? Creating vertical gardens or “green and living walls” would be your best bet. Not only are they space-efficient, they are also quite versatile in their use. They can beautify unattractive views and can be planted both indoors and outdoors.
So what is vertical gardening?
Vertical gardening is growing plants vertically on walls, trellises, fences, and other support systems rather than horizontally and on the ground. They are useful in maximizing limited spaces in small backyards and urban areas. Some are even built up the side of commercial buildings and inside restaurants and private kitchens.
A green wall is a vertical gardening structure where part of or the whole wall is completely covered with vegetation. While it continues to be the most popular form used, there are other structures to consider as well. Examples of which include arches, ladders or pyramids, and more. Materials used may also vary, from wood, chicken wires and terracotta planters to cinder blocks and logs.
What are the things you need to know and do to start one?
You need to start off by choosing the area where you will place the vertical garden. Some recommend choosing the least attractive part of your space to build it. The reason for this is so that plants will hide any imperfection. Next, check out the supports. The kind of frame you build will depend on the structure you are placing it on. You can use any system that you want. Some use simple pots placed in rows. This is the most common with household setups. Others use complex shelving systems. For expansive systems, it is better to consult an architect or a landscape designer.
Second, see if the area is sunny, shaded, or receives partial sunlight. Now is the time to start planning what to grow and where. The plants you choose should depend on how much sun the area gets. For example, tomatoes and cucumbers love the sunlight and are best planted at the top while radishes and peas, which are shade-tolerant, could be planted underneath. You can ask your local greenhouse or gardening center for more help on which plants to grow.
Third and last, once you’ve finished building your frame, you can now set up your irrigation system. This depends on how big or small your garden will be. Some enthusiasts set up irrigation drippers with timers while some do their watering manually. This is ideal only for small-scale gardens. It is important to note that not all plants will have the same water requirement, so you need to group plants with similar water needs together.
Aside from maximizing space, vertical gardens are also useful in other ways. Many vegetables, herbs, and other plants thrive in this type of system. In fact, slugs and other gardening pests that plague highly susceptible plants such as cabbages and broccoli are much more easily controlled here. Since plants are easier to reach, it is more convenient to harvest, prune, or fertilize them. Vertical gardening also enhances visual appeal, softens stark-looking buildings and structures. They act as privacy screens as well. They boost biodiversity by attracting bees and other helpful insects. Vertical gardens create a sustainable and organic source of food for the household and community without impacting energy and water usage.