Vertical gardening is simply growing plants and vegetables upward. Many yards and gardens have ideal spaces already in place for vertical gardens. Unsightly fences, shelves, stairways and garden arbors can be used as growing areas. Window boxes and containers might also be elements of the vertical garden. This gardening method is not only a space saver, but it is popular for gardeners faced with mobility problems as well as lack of space. Growing up allows the gardener to harvest without stooping.
Utilizing every inch of growing space is important to gardeners. Vertical gardening opens up a whole new opportunity to people with small yards. Even apartment dwellers can use patio or balcony space to grow a vertical garden with imaginative use of containers, shelves and trellises.
The railing around the edge of a balcony can be used as a trellis for vegetable and flower vines. Planter boxes may be strategically placed to hold plants. A decorative rod or stake will give the container a support to grow up on. Pots can be placed on old stepladders, and the plants can be trained to grow up along the ladder or be allowed to drape.
Vertical planting can add privacy to an area by providing a screen. Position flowers, vegetables and vines to climb along an open mesh fence, quickly filling in the open spaces. Smaller islands of privacy may be created by vertical garden partitions. Simply place trellises strategically and allow the plants to climb. Some types of plants can be trained by staking or by tying them to the support structure.
Hanging baskets, window boxes and containers placed on shelves are just a few ideas to keep the vertical garden plants away from garden pests. Vertical gardening that keeps the entire plant off of the ground eliminates the danger of most animal garden pests. The marauders simply cannot reach the valuable plants. Diseases that live in the soil are also thwarted when the vertical garden is planted off the ground. The produce is kept off of the soil and the harvest is greater.
Vertical gardening will cast shadows. Take advantage by placing plants that do not tolerate full sunlight beneath the climbing plants. Pergolas, trellises and garden arbors offer good structure for growing vertically. The vegetation growing up a garden arbor or pergola will add shade to the area beneath and create a cool spot for the gardener to relax on a hot summer day.
Ever-popular climbing roses and ivies are vertical growers, but many other plants are ideal for vertical gardens. Vegetables like beans, peas and tomatoes work well in a vertical vegetable garden because they grow with some type of support. Even heavier fruits and vegetables like melons and winter squash can also grow upward. Support the weight of the produce with slings made from scrap material, cloth rope or netting. Don't use string as it can cut into the stems of the plants and damage them.