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Vertical gardens are a great space-saving idea for people who don’t have a large garden area for growing edibles. They’re also easy to maintain as long as the water is kept up to them. So, what grows well in a vertical garden?
Many types of edible plants grow really well in a vertical garden. It all depends on how your garden is set up and where it’s located. Many people use vertical gardens to grow a variety of herbs as well as green leafy vegetables. Even fruiting vines such as cucumbers, tomatoes, kiwi fruit, passionfruit, peas, and beans can be grown in a vertical garden.
Let’s discuss some of the best edible plants to grow in a vertical garden.
Many shallow-rooted leafy greens can be grown in a vertical garden. Consider things like different types of lettuces, bok choy, swiss chard, spinach, and kale. All of these don’t even have to be grown in full sun either.
Therefore, if the spot you want to place your vertical garden only gets morning sun, consider growing a bunch of different leafy greens. Most of these can be harvested for a long time if you only harvest a few leaves at a time as you need them.
Just bear in mind that the soil is going to dry out fairly quickly, so you need to stay on top of the watering because most leafy greens are quite thirsty plants. It’s probably a good idea to set up an automatic watering system for these types of gardens so that they don’t become too labor-intensive.
Growing strawberries in a vertical garden is ideal because it keeps the fruit off the ground and away from pests such as slugs and snails. You will want to ensure that your vertical garden gets plenty of sunshine if you want an abundance of fruit.
Once again, strawberries are quite thirsty plants, and to get the sweetest crop, you’ll have to ensure that your plants get plenty of water.
Strawberries grown in a vertical garden are also much easier to pick once they’re ripe and ready.
Vine crops such as cucumbers, beans, and peas are ideal for growing vertically because you can train them to grow up the supports. For this type of vertical garden, you’ll want a large planter at the bottom with a trellis secured to or behind the planter.
Once you’ve filled the planter with good quality potting mix, you can plant your climbing vegetables or fruits and then just train them to grow up the trellis. If the trellis is well-secured and strong enough, you can even secure some individual pots of herbs or leafy greens at intervals up it to make full use of the vertical space.
Another excellent use for a vertical garden is to grow a variety of different herbs. Many herbs do really well in pots and are ideal for this type of garden system. Consider things like parsley, thyme, oregano, chives, basil, and even sage.
For most herbs, full sun is best as this helps them to grow well and develop their aromatic flavors. Once again, make sure that you give your plants enough water on a regular basis, especially if they’re growing in full sun.
Edible flowers such as nasturtiums, pansies, and petunias are ideal for growing in a vertical garden. They help to add a spot of color. They’ll also attract pollinators such as bees that will help with your fruiting crops.
You could even mix up your vertical planter by interspersing your greens and herbs with colorful flowers. Especially edible flowers that will add a little color and spice to your salads.
Talking about salads, you could grow an entire salad garden with lettuce, cucumbers, spinach, cherry tomatoes, herbs, radishes, and nasturtiums in the one vertical planter. Place this close to your kitchen so that it’s easy to harvest just what you need on a daily basis.
It is possible to grow roots vegetables such as carrots, beets, parsnips, and radishes in a vertical garden. You just have to ensure that you use deeper pots. Because these types of vegetables need more growth room in the soil, you need to provide them with enough space for their roots to develop adequately.
But, you don’t only have to grow full-size root vegetables. If you’re having trouble finding deep pots to secure to your vertical garden, consider just growing baby carrots and beets. These are just harvested sooner before they develop into full-grown large roots.
Raspberries And Blackberries
Raspberries and blackberries grow on long canes vertically. However, when these are not supported, they can easily fall over. This means that the fruits are growing on or near the ground which is not ideal.
Therefore, growing these types of berries in a vertical garden makes absolute sense. Similar to cucumbers and other vines, you’ll only need a large planter at the base. Then, add some type of trellis or support for your vines to be attached to.
The only thing you’ll have to do is train the canes up the trellis. You can do this by securing them at intervals with some garden twine as they grow. This is the best way to grow berries of all types. It keeps the fruit off the ground and away from pests. They’re also much easier to pick.
Vertical gardens are ideal for anyone who doesn’t have a lot of garden space but still wants to grow their own delicious fruits, vegetables, and herbs. In fact, even gardeners who do have ample outdoor space will still favor growing vertically because it saves on space and maintenance.
Just remember that if you’re growing in pots and containers, you’ll need to be vigilant with the watering. These do tend to dry out much faster. To save yourself time, you can set up an automatic system. This can water the containers at the top and lets the excess drip down onto the pots below.
So, whether you live in an apartment with a small balcony or you have a terrace house with just a courtyard, consider installing a vertical garden or two and grow your own delicious and healthy edibles.