How To Build A Vertical Vegetable Garden
Photo Collection Of Vegetables Being Grown In Vertical Gardens.Click thumbnail to view full-size
Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Growing Vegetables In Containers
Detailed Instructions On Building A Vertical Garden
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A Frame Squash Support
Vertical Gardening Is The Way To Go If You Have Limited Space For Gardening.
In the photo above you can see exactly how a vertical garden needs to be built. There needs to be plenty of support for the weight of the plants your growing. Remember that in the wind your vegetables that are growing vertical can easily be pulled down by high winds. So the better support you can have for your vegetables being grown vertical the better off you will be.
Choose Your Plants Carefully For Vertical Gardening.
You will find that excellent vegetables to grow vertical are cucumbers, pole beans, tomatoes, and squash. I've also grown miniature pumpkins and some types of exotic beans like yard long beans and other exotic beans in my vertical gardening. You need to set up the bed for your plants and put the growing supports in place for your vegetables to grow on before you ever plant your vegetables in the beds.
It's very important that you prepare your containers for your plants. I always put plenty of drainage holes in my containers and I usually put 4-6 inches of crushed gravel and small stones in the bottom of my containers to make sure I have plenty of good drainage.
You Can Even Grow Pumpkins In Vertical Gardens.
I've even had success growing big pumpkins vertical but I used 2"X4"s for support for my pumpkins. I grow huge pumpkins this way and I'll often add mesh nets under the bigger pumpkins when they get growing to provide them with support. I've grown some this way that have weighed over a hundred pounds hanging 8-10 foot in the air. I promise you it's quite a site to see.
Some people stick their supports in the soil but I strongly suggest attaching your supports to the container or containers by screws or nails so you won't have to worry about your vegetables falling down or getting blown down by a strong wind or thunderstorm. Let me tell you there's nothing like standing under pole beans and reaching up and picking big buckets of pole beans. Cucumber vines grown up in the air on strong supports will produce huge amounts of delicious cucumbers. If you keep the growing cucumbers picked off you'll be rewarded with huge amounts of cucumbers to produce delicious pickles with. I like to pick them when they are a little bigger than a mans thumb and make delicious dill pickles with them.
You can look on line and find yard long pole beans that you can grow in your vertical beds and I promise you when your children and friends see them they will be amazed. I also like to grow yellow crook neck and zucchini squash in vertical beds. Just plant them as you normally would and then move the vines to encourage them to grow up and over your vertical supports. I often use cotton gardening twine to tie the mature plants to the supports to encourage the squash to grow up on the supports.
Hog Wire Works Great For Added Support For Vertical Gardens.
You can use what is known as hog wire to build great support walls to grow cucumbers on. If you grow your cucumbers this way you'll be able to walk along the wall of hog wire that your cucumbers are growing on and pick off your cucumbers. Put up 4"X4" wooden posts about two foot in the ground with six foot sticking up above the ground and then fasten hog wire across the poles like a fence and then plant your cucumber plants along the bottom about a foot apart. As the cucumber plants grow train them up onto the hog wire. You can weave the growing plants into the hog wire and the cucumber plants will keep growing and you'll be rewarded in time with lots of delicious cucumbers on your vertical wall of cucumbers.
How To Grow Vertical Gardens, Cucumbers
Check Out Growing Cucumbers On A Fence
Prepare Your Soil For Growing Your Vertical Gardening
How To Prepare Your Containers For Planting Your Vegetable Plants.
It's really important that you prepare your soil for planting your vegetables. If your doing your vegetable gardening in containers it's important that the containers be prepared for great drainage. If your using treated wood boxes for your containers they should be set on 4"X4" timbers or even on railroad ties so they will be up off the ground. You need to bore plenty of drainage holes in the bottom of your containers and then line the bottom of your container with screen wire. Put a few inches of crushed gravel in the bottom of the containers and then fill the containers to the top of the container with good quality topsoil that you have mixed with well rotted compost or well rotted manure.
Use Only Well Rotted Manure Or Compost For Your Vegetables.
Be sure that any manure or compost that is used is very well rotted or you'll burn your vegetable plants up and you don't want to do this. Mix your top soil 80 percent top soil and 20 percent well rotted manure or compost for the best results. I mix my soil in my wheelbarrow when I'm filling up new containers for vertical gardening. I always use treated lumber for my vegetable growing containers and for the supports. I also use hog wire for extra support and find I can weave various types of vegetable plants trough the hog wire to keep the vegetables growing up and vertical.
Be Sure To Prepare Your Soil For Your Plants Before You Plant Any Plants.
Be sure to put screen wire in the bottom of your containers over your drainage holes to help keep the drainage holes open. I add an inch of gravel in the bottom of my containers for each five inches of soil. I usually purchase the larger crushed gravel because it allows for more drainage and I pack my gravel in. After I've packed the gravel into the growing container then I put soil into the container. Before I plant my plants I add a pound of 5-10-5 fertilizer to the soil in addition to the 20 percent of well rotted manure or top soil for each twenty foot of row of plants. This insures that my plants get a great start. If you'll do it this way you'll find your plants will start off very well and grow up and over the vertical supports quickly. When my plants first start to put on vegetables I side dress my plants with another pound of 5-10-5 fertilizer for each 20 foot of row of plants.
When To Water Your Vertical Vegetable Garden.
Be sure to water your vegetables only when the sun is not shining on them. You really need to water before sunrise or after sunset. I have my sprinklers on timers and they come on at about 10 pm and go off at 10.30. I try to insure that any soil where I have vegetables planted gets at least one inch of water a week. If it rains this much then I don't have to water.
Tomatoes Are Wonderful For Vertical Gardening.
All types of tomatoes are wonderful for vertical gardening. In the last few years I've really started to grow mostly heirloom tomatoes including many varieties of cherry and pear tomatoes. While there are many delicious modern tomatoes nothing beats the flavor of heirloom tomatoes. I like to search for seed companies and order their seed catalogs in the spring and search for unique varieties of heirloom tomatoes. Nothing and I mean nothing beats the flavor of heirloom tomatoes that you grow yourself.
How to Grow a Green Bean Teepee
Vertical Gardening Tips.
Pole Bean Teepees Are The Way To Go With Pole Beans.
There are many ways to grow vertical gardens. In the above video you'll see how to grow pole beans on a teepee made out of bamboo poles. This is a great way to grow pole beans especially if you'll remember to anchor your pole bean teepees well so they won't blow over in a strong wind or thunderstorm. Just anchor your pole bean teepees with tent stakes and rope and you will be fine. Be sure to leave enough room so you can walk in under your pole bean teepee and pick pole beans from the inside as well as the outside. And don't forget to do your own research and find various varieties of pole beans to grow like yard long pole beans and purple pole beans. Children especially love to see the yard long pole beans being grown and they are oh so delicious.
Build A Sturdy Frame To Support Your Vertical Gardening.
You can build a sturdy frame like in the photo above. Once you have the frame built be sure to frame in a door and cover the sides and top with hog wire. Build it about 12 foot by 12 foot square and you'll be able to grow all the cucumbers you and several families will be able to use. With a couple of cucumber frames like this you can grow and sell cucumbers or pole beans. Be sure that you use treated lumber for your grow frames and for your containers. I put my growing containers around the bottom of the frames and I put thick black plastic down in the floor of the enclosure to keep rid of grass and weeds. I often set an outdoor chair inside the enclosure and just go out there and set in the evenings. When the enclosure gets covered with cucumbers it looks like a cucumber house.
Marigolds Keep Away Garden Pests.
When I grow my tomatoes especially I plant marigolds in hanging baskets and hang them from overhead in my growing enclosures and it keeps the garden pests away. Tomato worms can not stand marigolds and if you'll plant them very close to your tomatoes they will keep away all garden pests.
Plant Potatoes In Your Containers In Early Spring And Late Fall.
In the early spring and late fall before it's time to plant other vegetables you can plant various varieties of potatoes in your containers and grow bumper crops of potatoes in your containers. They will grow very fast in the prepared loose soil and this way you get another crop out of your containers.You can also plant things like spinach, green onions, and radishes in your containers.
Redo The Soil In Your Containers About Every Three Years.
About every three years I take all the soil out of my containers down to the gravel and mix it with more well rotted manure or compost. Again I mix it about 80 percent soil with 20 percent well rotted manure or compost. By doing the soil over as I call it I keep my vegetables growing well. Do you have a compost bin? If you don't you should have. Click Here for instructions for making one.
Vertical gardening in some ways is vastly superior to row crops. Pole beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers all grow much better in vertical gardens than they do when planted in a conventional method. Every year I grow huge amounts of cucumbers, pole beans, and squash using various forms of vertical gardening and so can you. Do your own research and plant things that you and your family like to eat. I keep a journal every year about my gardens so I can refer back to it in the years to come.
I hope you've enjoyed my Hub Page on Vertical Gardening and found it helpful. I appreciate you stopping by and reading my Hub Page. Please feel free to post your comments below.
© 2012 Thomas Byers