How to Set Up A Vertical Garden & Care for It
Don’t you have a lot of horizontal space to start your garden, where indoors or outdoors? Try vertical gardens! These are a good choice if you live in the city, an apartment and have no backyard space, or even if you do.
Let’s help you exercise your green inspiration today!
⦁ Choose Your Wall
Start by choosing a wall, preferably, one that is ugly or unappealing, whether outdoors or indoors.
However, keep in mind that some of the plants you will use will require direct, or enough sunlight. Thus, choose a wall that receives the desired amount of sunlight.
Pick a surface that faces the midday or afternoon sun to make the most of sunshine. This will ensure that any heat absorbed during the day will then be reflected to your plants at night, speeding growth and harvest time.
In other cases, it could be a fence instead of a wall, particularly outdoors.
However, you ought to ensure that the walls or fences must be strong enough to hold the considerable weight of damp potting soil.
⦁ Get the Frame
After choosing your wall, you need to get a frame that will support and anchor your plants.
You can choose to build a frame. Basically, the structure of a vertical garden wall includes building a frame and attaching a plastic sheeting to it to keep off water from the wall, and fabric (like basic felt carpet padding or a jute cloth - this material should hold water without rotting) in which your plants will live, and which will hold water for them.
Build this structure in layers before the whole set up is hang on the wall. Remember to carefully attach your fabric directly to the frame with galvanized screws and stainless-steel, ensuring it is secure and taut, with no buckling or wrinkles.
PVC pipes are the best for your wall frame instead of wood that requires pressure-treating to prevent against moisture rot or metal which rusts and is more expensive.
When building a frame, consider these factors for an effective one:
⦁ The frame should offer a relatively large planting space,
⦁ It should be easy to put together and,
⦁ It should have an effective-watering system that reduces how often you need to water.
If building a whole frame seems too complicated for you, there so many easy options you have when it comes to picking frames for your vertical garden. Many structures can offer support to plants growing skywards, including:
⦁ Wall-mounted planters,
⦁ Stepped planters,
⦁ Planting pockets,
⦁ Tower planters,
⦁ Hanging baskets,
⦁ Sturdy bags
⦁ Parallel rows of window boxes or tubs.
⦁ Old pallets that haven’t been chemically treated are also widely available- reuse them and turn them to vertical planters
Be sure to hammer or hang these gardening planters into position before filling them with potting soil.
⦁ Set Up Your Watering Mechanism
Your plants will always require watering in order to grow.
If you’ve built an actual vertical structure for your wall, you must introduce water throughout the fabric layer. In this case, install poly tubing with fittings that lock across the top of your vertical garden that will drip water down slowly.
You can be couple it by adding a propagation timer to automate the delivery of water.
However, if you go for the other wall-mounted planted options, your plants will still require regular watering because of the rain shadow cast by the wall.
While this can be achieved pretty much with any watering can, with a vertical garden, you need to keep height in mind.
Depending on the size and height of your vertical garden, it might be harder for you to reach the top rows of plants. While it’s not safe to use a chair to stand on, it the rows are high up, instead, invest in long-spout watering aids.
If your vertical garden is outdoors and you’re using a hose for manual watering, this wand extension would be a great solution. For indoor vertical gardens, consider a can with a longer spout.
⦁ And Your Fertilizer Injection
When it comes to feeding any type of vertical garden, avoid using synthetic chemicals. They cause major damage to the heath of the soil over time, and easily burn the roots of plants.
You want to use an organic fertilizer sparingly to build up the soil to be a rich source of nutrients for your plants. There are tons of natural fertilizers available, which can be applied as either a liquid like compost tea or natural kelp-based fertilizer, or as slow release granules that you add to the soil.
Use a fertilizer injector to feed your plants with the right nutrients regularly. This will save you lots of time.
When picking a fertilizer injection, go for one that is the right size for your frame since one that is too heavy could topple your vertical garden.
⦁ Choose Your Plants
When choosing plants for your vertical garden, consider the amount of sun and the climate you live in. Most flowering and fruiting climbers need full sun while houseplants and some woody vines, such as climbing hydrangea, do fine with just bright, indirect light.
You also want to use plants that require more or less the same amount of water to ensure an effective and easy process of watering.
Popular vertical garden choices include climbing plants, fruits and flowers. These are a logical way to begin growing skywards.
If planting outdoors, shrubs, such as roses; woody vines, such as wisteria; perennial flowers, such as clematis and annual flowers, such as morning glories, are all good climbers.
Even vegetables, such as pole beans, vining tomatoes, grapes, or sprawling types of zucchini, cucumber, melon and squash that can be trained up supports. Houseplants, such as ivy and pothos, can climb, too.
Be sure to allow plants to find their own way upwards or tie them in ways that encourage upward growth.
You can also grow tropical plants, herbs, succulents and other non-climbing houseplants in your vertical garden.
⦁ Add Your Plants
Now, add soil to your planters. Mix in plenty of compost to make the earth fertile.
Use potting soil in making a vertical garden since they drain very well, and help keep the water and moisture that the plants need.
Factor in gravity when planting. Thus, plants that don’t need a lot of water should be placed on the top while the ones that need a lot of water should go on the bottom to avoid drying out faster.
Use small seedlings during planting and insert them by cutting a small hole in the jute and putting the plant in.
How to Care for Vertical Gardens
⦁ It is recommended that one waters plants in the morning so the leaves can dry out during the day. This will help to slow down, or even stop the spread of disease. However, if you must water your garden in the evening, be careful to keep water off the leaves.
⦁ Always use fresh, potting soil when planting instead of reusing potting soil in your vertical planters or hanging gardens.
⦁ Cover the top of the garden with some type of mulch, like straw, to prevent dehydration from the top and also, slowly decay to work as compost.
⦁ Monitor your plants and if you see the roots growing out of the moss, you can re-mount on a bigger piece of wood. It is also wise to trim your plant and propagate the cutting.
It’s the right combination of vertical-growing plants, supports and the correct containers that will help you get the most from a small space.