Vertical Gardening – Simple Ideas for a Vertical Vegetable Garden

Vertical gardening
Written by Dr. Shaun Murphy

den Here is about vertical gardening. I will talk about watering, suitable plants and many more things about vertical gardening.

When space is at a premium and you’ve got nowhere left to grow there’s only one solution – reach for the skies!

Given the combination of the right crops, vertical supports, and wall-hugging planters. you can pack a lot more into space you have available.

How to plan a vertical garden?

Climbing plants offer a logical way to begin growing skywards. Suitable vegetables include pole (or climbing) beans, climbing peas, sweet potatoes, vining tomatoes plus sprawling types of zucchini, cucumber, melon, and squash that can be trained up supports.

Allow plants to find their own way up supports or tie them in at intervals to encourage them upwards.

Many structures can offer support for skyward plants. From simple rows of bamboo canes to more complex or decorative structures.

Vertical gardening

Arbors and arches in Vertical Garden

  • Arbors and arches look complete with climbers such as passion fruit or a grapevine, or how about climbing squashes or beans with colored pods or fruits.
  • The pods or fruits will then dangle down to create a feature that’s both delicious and attractive.

Trellis in Vertical Garden

  • Trellis (either bought or, as here, homemade from woody prunings could be used for a wall of climbing veggies or sweet peas.

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Wicker or bamboo in Vertical Garden

  • Wicker or bamboo wigwams offer a space-saving and arguably more attractive alternative to the usual rows of canes, while obelisks and pergolas present decorative solutions to growing upwards.
  • Our Garden Planner features many support options that can be selected and dropped into your garden plan.

Many tree fruits can be trained into a vertical plane, either against a wall or fence or along with freestanding wire supports. Apples, pears, and cherries are just a few examples.

These trees may be trained to produce single-stem cordons, fan shapes, parallel-branched espaliers, or other fence-hugging forms.  sturdy horizontal wires strained between fence posts to create the necessary supports for well-trained fruit.

Cane fruits, such as and blackberries, naturally grow tall. Left unsupported, the canes have a habit of flopping over to smother neighboring crops.

Parallel wires secured between upright posts will keep them in line. Our Garden Planner has a range of space-efficient plants to choose from – for example, this apple cordon.

Vertical gardening

Click once to select, move the cursor to where you want it to appear on your plan, click to place, then drag using the corner handles to extend to multiple plants if desired. The Planner also helps you to select and place supporting structures.

Take these pole beans for example – they need some bamboo canes to climb up. Let’s head up to the Selection Bar, scroll through to find what we’re after, click to select, click again to place and, holding the mouse down, drag out to the desired length.

Planters, planting pockets, tower planters, and hanging baskets in Vertical Garden

  • Make your garden work harder for you by including any number of wall-mounted or stepped planters, planting pockets, tower planters, and hanging baskets. Fill them with herbs, salads, and strawberries, then watch a blank space take on a whole new life.

The Garden Planner has lots of ideas for suitable containers. Simply click the Information button for a description of each and its suitability for your garden.

Recycled food tins in Vertical Garden

  • You can make your own wall-mounted planters from recycled food tins that have been lined with plastic, or sturdy bags, or parallel rows of window boxes or tubs.

Vertical gardening

Old pallets in Vertical Garden

  • Old pallets are widely available, and turning them into vertical planters is a great way to reuse them.
  • Check they are safe for re-use by looking for the pallet stamp. Stamps should display the IPPC logo and/or the letters EPAL, plus HT or DB, which means the wood hasn’t been chemically treated.

Hammer or hang your recycled containers in Vertical Garden

  • Hammer or hang your recycled containers into position before filling with potting soil. Wall-mounted planters are likely to require regular watering because of the rain shadow cast by the wall.
  • Micro or drip irrigation systems deliver water efficiently and can be coupled with a timer to automate the delivery of the water.
  • Walls or fences must be strong enough to hold the considerable weight of damp potting soil.
  • In most climates, you will also want to make the most of sunshine but picking a surface that faces the mid-day or afternoon sun.

Any heat absorbed during the day will then be reflected back onto your plants at night, speeding growth and of course harvest time.

It’s the right combination of vertical-growing crops, supports, and the correct containers that will help you to get the most from a small space.

Of course, there are plenty of other ideas out there for vertical vegetable gardens. If you’ve got one, don’t keep it to yourself – share it by dropping us a comment below.

Thank you.

About the author

Dr. Shaun Murphy