Today, because of space constraints conventional gardening is no longer a viable option. But inadequate space in no way means that you can’t have a garden.
Vertical gardening systems have become an extremely popular concept that can turn unusable areas into green and thriving spaces.
You can have a vertical garden anywhere at all, be it on your balcony, patio, rooftop, exterior wall, or even indoors.
What Is a Vertical Gardening System?
Vertical gardening systems, also known as living walls, green walls, moss walls, or plant walls are vertically suspended freestanding or fixed structures on which you can grow plants using hydroponics.
Although vertical gardens date way back to ancient Egyptian civilizations, the modern vertical garden was invented and patented by Professor Stanley Hart White in 1938.
Four decades later, Patrick Blanc, a French botanist, used a hydroponic irrigation system to create the green wall. Nowadays, you can find green walls in places all around you, right from offices, shopping malls, and hospitals to cafes and flyovers.
A vertical garden takes up very little floor space and is an extremely simple way to have a thriving garden in places where you don’t have the luxury of space for a regular garden.
In a vertical garden system, you can either grow plants along structures that already exist such as walls, pergolas, or arbors, or you can erect support vertically such as poles or trellises, and grow plants vertically.
You can also use a vertical platform, install pots, pockets, or cubbies and grow plants in them. Vertical gardening differs from traditional horizontal gardening as it keeps the plants off the ground.
Benefits of Vertical Gardening Systems
Lack of space and optimal utilization of the available space are only a couple of reasons for starting a vertical garden. Some of the other reasons for using vertical gardening systems include:
Not only can vertical gardening be started in small spaces, but it is also a great option for areas having harsh weather conditions, poor soil, and lots of pests. Vertical gardens are extremely versatile and can be installed anywhere at all.
Vertical gardening systems allow you to use the space that is available creatively. They are best for unused corners or walls, which would be otherwise lying unused.
They can be installed in narrow spaces and you can also install outdoor vertical gardening systems on a fence, side of your home, etc.
You can have vertical gardens that are as small as a photo frame or they can be as large as a 100-foot masterpiece. Vertical gardens are so versatile that you can install them practically anywhere, from homes to offices, hotel lobbies, and several other places.
Enhances the Environment
Vertical gardens are extremely attractive and offer natural décor, brightening up any space naturally.
Indoor vertical gardens not only add to the décor of your indoor spaces but act as natural air purifiers, improve the air quality and make the environment healthier. The plants absorb all the carbon dioxide from the air and release the oxygen we breathe in.
A vertical garden also helps to create a quiet environment by reducing noise. They act as sound barriers in a building and absorb around 40% more sound, thus helping to reduce noise up to 8 dB.
Outdoor vertical gardens help to protect the exterior of buildings from UV radiation, rain, and temperature fluctuations. They help to cool the air, reduce the dependence on HVAC systems and thus, help to save energy.
Vertical Gardening System Ideas
When you consider a vertical garden, there are many different systems that you can consider depending on the area and your preference. Here are some of the best vertical gardening systems:
- Pocket System: These are very popularly used for vertical gardens. In the pocket system, it is much easier to control the temperature compared to regular pots.Also, the roots of plants are much healthier in pockets as they are air-pruned when they reach the edge of the fabric pocket. The limitation of the pocket system is that it can be difficult to move the plant without disturbing the others.
- Container System: In this system, regular pots that are filled with soil are used. The pot is placed in the vertical structure and can be moved without disturbing the pots or plants adjacent to it. Growing the plants in pots is, however, rigid and does not offer a lot of flexibility in the design process.
- Trellis System: The trellis system is best for growing vining plants such as tomatoes, ivy, etc. This is a good, space-saving system and enables the plants to grow more healthily. You can use repurposed stepladders, poles, and fences to build a trellis.
- Hydroponic System: A hydroponic vertical gardening system doesn’t occupy a lot of space and it is also less messy as it doesn’t use any soil. But the drawback of a hydroponic system is that the initial setup cost is rather high.
- Living Walls: In this system, the plants are planted into any wall directly. The system uses wall pockets or wire mesh to hang the plants along the surface of the wall. Or, you can attach a landscape fabric or plastic sheeting to the wall and install the plants over it.
- DIY Systems: You can design and build your own DIY vertical gardening system using commonly available materials. You can create shelves, fix them on the wall, and place pots on them. You can also make use of pallets, mesh, and wires to create a vertical garden.
What Plants Are Best for Vertical Gardens?
Some of the best plants for vertical gardens are succulents, and vine varieties such as philodendron, ferns, and perennials.
You can also use vertical vegetable gardening systems to grow vegetables such as onion, lettuce, radish, chives, garlic, carrot, broccoli, spinach, peppers, bush tomatoes, and herbs like mint, rosemary, thyme, sage, basil, and coriander.
In conclusion, vertical gardening systems are fantastic for adding some style to your space. And, there are so many ways in which you can use vertical gardening systems creatively to make your living spaces look amazing.