When your yard has little room for growing plants that spread out, consider a vertical patch. A bare wall or fence gate makes the ideal blank canvas for edibles, annuals, perennials and succulents. Remember the Topsy Turvy Upside-Down Tomato Planter of a few years ago? The vertical garden concept takes that idea to a new level. Even if you don’t have a bare wall to work with, you can still plant foliage upright.
Innovative Design Ideas
1. Pocket Pouches: Woollypocket sells different types of containers that attach to a wall or hang from a fence. They come with their own hangers and a watering well that after it’s filled keeps plants watered for up to two weeks.
2. Recycle a Chest of Drawers: If you don’t have a dresser you plan to discard, shop for one at garage sales. Drill drainage holes in the bottoms of the drawers then add dividers like bricks or edgers so you don’t have to fill the entire drawer with soil. Stagger how far the drawers are pulled out so they cascade. Then plant what will best survive in that location.
3. Use a Ladder: Place pots with plants in them on the rungs of the ladder and include a hook for a hanging planter.
4. Dig Out Those Mason Jars: These canning receptacles have made a resurgence and their uses now run the gamut. Cleveland artist Susie Frazier tells you how to build a mason jar vertical planter; scroll down to “Earthminded Style Tip.” Line the bottom with small pebbles for drainage before filling them with soil.
Building your own vertical garden against a wall makes a breathtaking DIY project when completed. Choose a wall and follow these 8 easy steps including making a frame, preparing the wood and adding the soil.
Remember these recommendations when choosing your plants:
- As your vertical plants grow they will block the sun from getting to the plants underneath. An easy solution is to plant shade-loving veggies like spinach and lettuce below.
- When growing foliage along a trellis, keep in mind how high you want it to go. You’ll need to water it and maybe even trim the plant. So place it within reach.
- Think about how tall your foliage choices will get when fully mature. Then choose the garden structure accordingly.
- Consider the weight of the plant when fully grown and for heavy crops like melons think about adding some support like a small cloth hammock below.
- Flowers and vegetables not planted in the ground need more water. Give them more mulch to quench their thirst.
- Train the plants to grow up if they don’t do it on their own by using ties or clips to guide them.
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