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Growing Food at Home: Maximizing Your Harvest with Vertical Gardening Techniques

Updated: Apr 13, 2023

In the climate we are in today it is more important now than ever to start growing your own food. Even if you are limited by space, we will show you how it is still possible to grow your own food by vertical gardening. Using innovative techniques, you can maximize your harvest while utilizing a small area effectively. Follow along while we explore various vertical gardening methods and offer practical tips to help you get started.

What is Vertical Gardening?

Vertical gardening is a method of growing plants upwards rather than outwards, making it an ideal solution for small spaces such as balconies, patios, or tiny backyards. By taking advantage of vertical space, you can grow more food in a limited area and even add a touch of greenery to your home.

Benefits of Vertical Gardening

Apart from saving space and maximizing your harvest, vertical gardening offers several other benefits:

  • Improved air circulation: Plants grown vertically have better access to sunlight and air, promoting healthier growth and reducing the risk of diseases.

  • Easier maintenance: Vertical gardens are often easier to maintain, as they require less bending and reaching during planting, watering, and harvesting.

  • Pest control: Raising plants off the ground can reduce the likelihood of pests and diseases affecting your crops.

  • Aesthetics: Vertical gardens can add visual appeal to your living space, serving as a decorative element in addition to providing fresh produce.

Choosing the Right Plants for Vertical Gardening

When selecting plants for your vertical garden, consider the following factors:

  • Growth habit: Opt for plants with a natural tendency to grow upwards, such as vines, climbers, or plants with a trailing habit.

  • Size: Avoid large, heavy plants that may weigh down your vertical structure. Instead, choose smaller, lightweight varieties.

  • Sunlight requirements: Ensure that the plants you choose have similar sunlight needs, as they will be sharing the same vertical space.

Not all plants are suitable for vertical gardening, so it's essential to choose the right species to ensure a successful and productive garden. Here are some recommendations for plants that thrive in vertical spaces:

  • Leafy greens: Spinach, lettuce, kale, and Swiss chard are all excellent options for vertical gardens, as they don't require much space and can be harvested continuously throughout the growing season.

  • Herbs: Many herbs, such as basil, mint, parsley, and chives, can be easily grown in vertical containers or pockets, making them perfect for small spaces.

  • Climbing and vining plants: Cucumbers, beans, peas, and certain varieties of tomatoes and squash can be grown vertically using trellises, cages, or other support structures.

  • Small fruiting plants: Strawberries, small pepper varieties, and cherry tomatoes can be grown successfully in hanging baskets or vertical containers.

Remember to consider the specific needs of each plant, such as sunlight, water, and soil requirements, when designing your vertical garden.

Vertical Gardening Techniques and Structures

There are numerous vertical gardening techniques and structures to choose from, depending on your space and preferences.

1. Trellises

A trellis is a simple, cost-effective structure made from wood, metal, or plastic that supports climbing plants. They can be freestanding or attached to walls, fences, or other surfaces. Trellises are ideal for growing beans, peas, cucumbers, and even some varieties of tomatoes.

If you are looking to purchase a trellis for your edible garden. Here are a couple of our top picks (with affiliate links).

  1. 48 x 48Inch Foldable Cucumber Trellis Set

  2. Avalution 10 Pack Natural Bamboo Trellis

2. Pallet gardens

Repurpose a wooden pallet by attaching landscape fabric to the back and filling it with soil. Plant your desired plants in the gaps, and lean the pallet against a wall or fence. Pallet gardens are perfect for growing herbs, strawberries, and shallow-rooted vegetables.

3. Vertical Planters

Photo by Altifarm Enverde on unsplash

Vertical planters are containers designed to hold multiple plants, allowing you to grow various crops in a single, compact space. These planters can be hung on walls, fences, or mounted on stands. They're suitable for growing herbs, leafy greens, and some smaller vegetables.

Here are some vertical garden planters we recommend (with affiliate links).

  1. DUNCHATY Stackable Planter

  2. TOREVSIOR 5 Tiers Vertical Garden Bed

  3. S AFSTAR Wooden Vertical Raised Garden Bed

4. Hanging baskets

Hanging baskets are ideal for growing trailing plants, such as strawberries or cherry tomatoes. You can suspend them from hooks, brackets, or poles to take advantage of unused vertical space. Ensure that your hanging baskets have proper drainage and are placed in a location that receives adequate sunlight.

Here are some hanging baskets we recommend (with affiliate links).

  1. Arcadia Garden Products Coconut...

  2. Mecai Metal Hanging Planter Basket

  3. LaLaGreen Wal Planters - 4 Pack...

5. Green Walls

Green Edible Living Wall Done By LiveWall

A green wall, also known as a living wall, is a vertical structure covered in plants. It can be made from various materials, such as metal grids, plastic panels, or fabric pockets. Green walls are not only visually stunning but can also help insulate your home and improve air quality. They're suitable for growing herbs, small fruits, and ornamental plants.

Some people choose to have their living wall systems installed by living wall companies.

If you're looking to venture on this rewarding task yourself, we've provided the top pick garden wall planter kits (with affiliated links) for you down below.

  1. Florafelt 12-Pocket Living Wall Planting Modular

  2. 64 Pockets Hanging Planter Bags, Hanging Vertical Wall

  3. AgroSci Garden Wall Planter Kit for Outdoor Plants

Tips for Successful Vertical Gardening and Optimal Growth

To maximize your harvest and ensure the success of your vertical garden, follow these essential tips:

  • Provide adequate support: Ensure that your vertical structures are sturdy and capable of supporting the weight of your plants, especially when they're laden with fruits or vegetables.

  • Water wisely: Vertical gardens may require more frequent watering due to increased exposure to air and sunlight. Use a drip irrigation system or a watering wand to deliver water directly to the roots of your plants.

  • Fertilize regularly: As with any garden, providing your plants with the right nutrients is essential for their growth and productivity. Use organic fertilizers or compost to nourish your plants and promote a bountiful harvest.

  • Rotate crops: To maintain soil health and prevent the buildup of pests and diseases, practice crop rotation in your vertical garden. Switch the location of different plant families each growing season.

  • Regularly check for pests and diseases: Inspect your plants frequently for signs of pests or diseases and address any issues promptly to prevent them from spreading.

  • Prune and trim: Keep your plants healthy and encourage better growth by regularly pruning and trimming them as needed. This can also help to maintain the overall appearance of your vertical garden.

  • Monitor soil moisture: Because vertical gardens are more exposed to air and sunlight, they may dry out more quickly than traditional gardens. Regularly monitor the soil moisture and adjust your watering schedule as needed.

By adopting vertical gardening techniques, you can make the most of your limited space while enjoying the many benefits of growing your own food. With a little creativity and effort, you can transform any small area into a productive and visually appealing green haven.

With these tips and tricks in mind, you're now equipped to start your very own vertical garden and enjoy the numerous benefits it offers. So why not give vertical gardening a try and contribute to a more sustainable and eco-friendly future? Happy gardening!

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