If you have limited space, with a little imagination and ingenuity you can easily create vertical container gardens to grow your own edible plants.
Vertical gardening is becoming very popular and there are now many kits that you can purchase which are easy to set up or you can get creative and make your own.
Most sprawling plants like cucumbers and melons can be trained to grow up a trellis or support as long as you support the developing fruit by making a little hammock for it out of fabric or hessian.
Of course hanging planters make great use of space as well and there are many edible plants which are suitable for growing in hanging planters like strawberries, cherry tomatoes and even climbing beans which can cling to the wires supporting the planters. If doing this you may want to hang your planters at eye level or lower so that caring for and harvesting your vegetables is then much easier.
One interesting idea is to get some lengths of guttering, attach hanging wires on either end of each length, fill with potting mix and then plant shallow rooted plants such as herbs and loose leaf lettuce.
You can also attach the same lengths of guttering onto a wall or even onto a timber board which is then attached to the wall with bolts making sure that they are strong enough to hold the weight of ‘container’ once they’re filled with potting mix. If you’re a little more adventurous you can hang a number of these container boards underneath each other, making sure that you’ve first drilled some holes in the ‘bottom’ of the guttering for water drainage. This makes watering your container plants much more efficient as you only need to water the top ones and the water will drain through onto the lower ones.
Another idea is to use some clean plastic drink bottles, cut the tops off, drill some holes in the bottom and attach these to timber boards which can then be attached to your wall. Of course another advantage with vertical gardens is that you don’t need to bend over to tend your ‘garden’ which is great for people who have back problems.
Just remember that container plants will dry out much quicker than plants grown in the ground so they will need regular watering. Applying a layer of mulch to the top of each container will also assist with moisture retention or you can add some water crystals to the potting mix to keep more moisture in as well. Most importantly make sure you use a good quality potting mix and add some slow release fertilizer to make sure your growing plants are kept well fed.
So why not let your imagination run wild and create some amazing vertical container gardens. They will not only be attractive to look at but will provide you with a wonderful array of edible crops you can enjoy all year round.