Don’t have a large gardening space? Don’t be disheartened. You can easily enjoy the beauty of gardening with vertical gardening systems. These systems allow you to grow a good deal of vegetables, even in the smallest of areas.
What Is Vertical Gardening?
Vertical gardening is slowly gaining popularity among the urban gardening crew. This alternative style of gardening allows you to grow plants vertically in any small space.
It is a space-saving form of gardening which can be designed indoors or outdoors. It requires upright structures and can be incorporated almost anywhere. This style of gardening is used to grow vegetables, decorative vines, and flowers, just like traditional gardening.
NASA initially put forth this concept. With the rapid growth in population, this system would be a respite, allowing crops to grow in questionable environments and limited spaces.
Types of Vertical Gardening Systems
Once you dive into the world of vertical gardening, you will discover that there are many types of vertical gardening systems and techniques. Of course, the best system is one that suits your needs and space availability.
Vertical gardening is a creative system. You can build structures in the ground, use containers, hang pots on walls, or from balconies, etc. Your design of a vertical garden is only limited by your extent of creativity.
Here are a few vertical vegetable gardening systems for you to consider.
- Trellises. These vertical structures are common for maintaining vine crops and weaving vegetables. Generally a flat support system, they vary in shape and size. Their design varies on their placement requirement. They can be unattached, leaning, or mounted to a wall, planter, etc.
- Obelisks. Obelisks are similar to trellises. They are designed in a pyramid shape and provide support for vines, flowers, and vegetables. They come in a variety of materials, including rustic support like grapevines. You are more likely to spot them in formal gardens.
- Shelves. Shelves are a great addition to any vertical garden. You can design as many shelves as the space permits and place a variety of containers on them. You may design them as you like, but the best type is the one with slats, for they allow proper air circulation.
- Tower Gardens. It is a simple vertical gardening system. They are perfect for indoor and outdoor gardens. Typically, they have an aeroponic system where the soil is not a part of the growing medium. The plants in tower gardens have roots that dangle in the air and are provided nutrients with mist.
Any stacked plant containers or pots can be described as tower gardens.
- Hanging Baskets. You can grow a variety of vegetables in hanging baskets. They can simply be suspended from a balcony or fence with appropriate hangers. You can take it a step further by suspending your pots from any vertical hanging frame of your design or attaching them to a wall or railing.
Benefits of Vertical Vegetable Gardening
Why has vertical gardening been gaining popularity? There are several advantages to this unique system.
- It Is a Real Space Saver. Urban gardeners usually find themself in a dilemma in small apartment settings. Vertical gardening offers them a sensible solution to grow a variety of plants upwards instead of outwards. Regardless of the area, there are many forms of vertical gardening that will fit into your space.
- Harvesting Is Easier. Maintaining vertical gardens is easier. You will be required to do less kneeling and crouching. You can easily take care of your plants and harvest their bounty in an upright manner.
- Crop Yield Is Higher. Vertical gardening allows you to make use of the maximum amount of space, unlike traditional gardening. You can plant more varieties and get a higher crop yield. It also makes it easier to estimate your harvest right from the start.
- There Are No Uninvited Pests or Diseases. Pests are not a major concern in vertical gardening. Since your plants are not sprawled on the ground, pests are less likely to find and munch on them. You also have better control over the maintenance of your vertical garden.
Vertical gardening also offers better air circulation than traditional gardening. With your plants getting adequate air supply and limited contact with the ground, diseases are also not likely to prevail.
- There Are No Invasive Weeds. Traditional gardening is plagued with weeds. However, vertical gardening does not provide any conditions to allow weed growth.
- It Is Convenient. Vertical gardening allows you to grow almost any plant. You can also very well grow them all year round, especially if you are growing them indoors. An indoor vertical vegetable garden means you can control the conditions required to help your plants thrive.
What Vegetables Can You Grow Vertically?
Choosing the right type of vegetable is key to a thriving vertical garden. What are the best vegetables for vertical gardening? Here is a list:
- Peas. All kinds of peas favor vertical growth. They have minimal requirements for support. They are easy to grow and have thin tendrils that grasp onto any support.
- Green Beans. Green beans or pole beans have excellent vertical growth compared to a horizontal garden. They can reach as high as ten feet and are available all season long.
- Cucumbers. Cucumbers can be grown on fences, panels, or archways. All strains of cucumbers favor vertical growth, and it is easier to harvest them off the ground. Additionally, since they attract pests on the ground, growing them vertically ensures healthy growth.
- Tomatoes. You can train vining or indeterminate tomatoes to grow in your vertical garden. While they grew best during summer, you can grow them all year in a controlled environment.
- Pumpkin. Pumpkins are great to grow vertically, provided the support system can handle their weight. Obviously, growing huge pumpkins is out of the question, but you can select smaller strains of the vegetable for vertical growth.
- Squash. You can grow a variety of squash in your vertical garden. Winter squash are heavy when full-sized therefore, they require a hammock for support. Other varieties like winter acorns are smaller strains that can easily be grown vertically without requiring a hammock.
You can also grow smaller strains of summer squash like zucchini.
- Watermelon and Cantaloupe. Contrary to what you are thinking, you can grow a smaller variety of watermelon and cantaloupe in your vertical gardens, such as the golden midget watermelon or the golden jenny melon. Similar to the squash, this fruit will also require a hammock for support.
Vertical gardening is a great system for you if you do not have a large outdoor space. You can enjoy all the fun of gardening and easily grow your choice of vegetables in any small area.
The first step toward vertical gardening is selecting the appropriate style for your space. Make sure the system supports your choice of plants, and enjoy the process!