If you have limited space, with a little imagination and ingenuity you can easily create a vertical container garden 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.
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Of course, hanging planters make great use of space as well and there are many edible plants that 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. You can then attach this to the wall with bolts. Make sure that the bolts are strong enough to hold the weight of the ‘container’ once you fill it with potting mix. If you’re a little more adventurous you can hang a number of these container boards underneath each other. Make 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. 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. You can then attach these to your wall. Of course, another advantage with vertical gardens is that you don’t need to bend over to tend your ‘garden’. This is great for people who have back problems.
Just remember that container plants will dry out much quicker than plants grown in the ground. Therefore, 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. Add some slow-release fertilizer to make sure your growing plants are kept well-fed.
Frequently Asked Questions
The most prominent benefit of vertical gardening is that you can grow more in less space. This means that you can grow a range of different crops even if you only have a balcony or patio to grow plants. Vertical gardening also means that you don’t have to bend down and maintenance is much easier.
Vertical gardens don’t require any more maintenance than a normal garden. All you need to focus on is ensuring that the garden is kept well-watered. Plus, you don’t have to worry about digging the soil and fertilising is also easier.
The only limitation to vertical gardening is the type of plants that you can grow. Primarily, you want to focus on plants that don’t have a very deep root system.
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.