Easy Vertical Gardening Ideas for Beginners
Benefits of Growing a Vertical Garden
If you live in urban areas where there aren't much space to work with, you can still grow your favorite vegetables in a vertical garden. You can easily create one using hanging baskets, shelves, and a trellis, as well as a bit of your imagination.
You can design a functional vertical system or a more architectural look to your garden. It's entirely up to you. Be inspired and don't be afraid to try different things!
The benefits of growing a vertical garden using a trellis:
- Save space. You can produce more vegetables with less space.
- Its easy to grow. Keeping the vegetables of the ground will prevent insects and other pests from crawling in your plants. It also reduced risk of plant disease.
- Easy to harvest. You don't have to bend down to care and maintain your vegetables. Since the plants are at eye level, you can easily harvest the vegetables.
- It looks nice! Vertical gardens can create a whole different dimension to your landscape.
- Provide shade for other plants. You can grow other vegetables or herbs beneath the trellis.
- Hides unattractive parts of your garden. I have a crack in my wall so I decided to cover it up with a green beans plant.
- Better air circulation.
Check Out Some Ideas for a Garden TrellisClick thumbnail to view full-size
Vertical Garden Ideas
With a little planning and a vision, you can grow a vegetable vertical garden anywhere, even with limited horizontal space.
A vertical garden could also be referred to as "green wall," ranging from the basic simple backyard designs to the more recently innovative hydroponics technology.
In this article, we will focus on the basic design for a beginners gardener. You can be creative and utilize many different props to support your garden.
- The basic trellis can be used as a support system for trailing or vine crops. If you place a trellis against the wall, make sure there is space between the wall and the trellis to allow air circulation and also for the vines to grow.
- Rigid livestock panels do double duty as a fence and support for tomatoes, plus they can be bent to create an arched entry.
- Saplings or bamboo poles are easy to use for pole beans. The upside to using bamboo tipis is that they give you more flexibility with what you want to plant. They are considered temporary trellis, and needs to be taken down and stored during the winter months to prevent from rotting.
- Using sturdy poles is another way to take advantage of vertical space while making support system for green beans and other vegetables that love to climb.
- You can also tie thick biodegradable ropes to train the vines to climb wherever you want it to. Tendrils from green beans cling to horizontal and vertical parts of a trellis. You build it and it will come. By using biodegradable materials, you can cut down the trellis and pull out the plants at the same time, then throw it all on the compost pile.
In my vertical garden, most of plants are grown using trellises and wire cages. For example, my dad and I built a trellis to serve as a "roof" of an area. I wanted the vines and leaves of my gourd plants to crawl on top so the actual fruits can hang down vertically, creating a beautiful sight. Originally it was meant for the grapes vine. However the first year my grapes didn't produce so we planted the gourd plant instead. The next summer, I figured how to grow grapes so we provided another trellis for the opposite side of the garden.
You Can Build a Simple Garden Trellis with Pieces of Wood and Some Nails!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Short Video on DIY Trellis
How to Build a Garden Trellis
It's very easy to build your own trellis or frame. However, if you don't have the time or just don't feel like doing it yourself, you can buy them at most stores such as Home Depot or Lowe's.
If you have vegetables such as gourd or fruits with vines such as grapes, you can build a simple "trellis roof." This project is really easy to do.
- You're going to need four strong wooden poles that will become its foundation, holding up the roof. The rectangular sticks will need to be strong enough to support the roof trellis and the plants.
- Cut the wooden poles into thinner poles. Since we had a fairly small amount of space, we cut about 25 of them.
- Next, you're going to need a hammer and some strong 2 inch nails to secure the poles. And voila! You have built yourself a trellis!
The reason why you would want multiple thinner pole instead of one large slab of wooden material is to allow the vines to weave itself through freely, and for the gourd to hang down.
Also, since we wanted to grow other vegetables underneath, it allows the sunlight to shine through. There are jalapenos, eggplants, a lot of herbs underneath! Now this is what it really means to grow a lot of produce without using excessive space! The shade created by the trellis and vines can benefit the other plants growing underneath.
Build a Vertical Tomato Garden Using Cage WiresClick thumbnail to view full-size
Tomatoes Prefer to Grow Vertically on Cages
Tomatoes like to throw themselves over their support. They must be trained and tied to an upright trellis, which isn’t as easy as growing them in wire cages. The larger, more robust the tomato plant, the more you need a sturdy tomato cage that provides support on all sides.
Woven-wire tomato cages contain their exuberance reasonably well, and make the ripe fruits easier to find.
Even the best tomato cages become top-heavy when the plants are in full fruit, so they should be well-anchored to deeply set stakes.
Among ready-made cages, three-ring welded cages are adequate only for early determinate varieties. The four- and five-ring models can handle varieties of modest to average size and vigor, but most tomatoes will spew out the top and sides, and then start leaning toward the sun.
Trellis Is Perfect for Gourd Plant
Vegetables That Grow Well in Vertical Garden
If you're a beginner gardener, you can create an edible garden by growing basic vegetables. Some vegetables grow better vertically, such as the ones recommended below.
- Green beans. There are different varieties including green beans, sugar snap peas, and snow peas. They all require a surface to climb. As they grow, the vines have small thin structures (tendrils) that grab on to anything as they climb. These types of vegetables are lighter in weight so they would work with a simple trellis, or even rope system.
- Tomatoes. Tomatoes can also be grown vertically, using a wire cage or trellis. The cage works best with tomatoes. Just insert a circular cage wire deep into the soiled ground surrounding your tomato plant. The benefit of using a cage wire over trellis is that you don't have to tie it with ropes.
- Cucumbers. All cucumber varieties, including lemon cucumbers love to grow on vines. They also grow very fast! If you have a small space for your garden, I recommend growing "lemon cucumbers". They grow fast but the produce is not as big as regular cucumbers. As they grow, train the vines by gently weaving the vines in between the vertical surfaces. You can also tie it in certain places to help it grow and stay secured. Smaller cucumbers also branch out more.
- Vine squash are more heavier, so you're going to have to make a "sling" to hold the fruit. If you choose to grow these types of vegetables, you're going to have to support the heavy fruits so they don't break the vines. Simply tie an old t-shirt or any material that stretches to the trellis.
This year I am experimenting with passion fruit vines. After seeing them grow and flourish in my neighbor's garden, with their exotic purple flowers and healthy edible fruits, I knew I had to have one in my garden.
Awesome Video on Different Vegetables and Fruits That Can Be Grown in a Vertical Garden!
Important Things to Consider When Growing a Vertical Garden
- Water. Plants that are grown vertically are more prone to wind, sun and air. They can dry out more quickly. It is critical to water regularly and check the soil for proper moisture level.You can install an automatic drip irrigation system, which you can get as a package. You're going to laugh but during the first year of my gardening experiment, I used to water everything by hand. It may sound time consuming but it was a therapeutic process. For all you farmers out there, you know what I mean! However, I became so busy with other projects that I simply don't have the time any more so we build an automatic drip irrigation system.
- Location. Keep in mind that most vegetables require at least 4 hours of sunlight. Choose a wall location that faces the south will provide them with plenty of light. Use google maps. Try not to build your trellis near a large tree that will shade your vegetables from the sunlight.
- Choosing your vegetables. The rule of thumb is to choose the vegetables that you and your family enjoy eating. It will be more fun and rewarding for you to care for plants that will yield foods that you will eat. I have been growing gourd (specifically snake gourd) for the last three years. The best vegetables to grow vertical garden.
More Ideas on Vertical Gardening
Let's Get Started on Your Vertical Vegetable Garden!
I hope that this article has inspired you to perhaps start growing a vegetable vertical garden. You can make the most of your garden space by growing delicious vegetables and fruits up on a trellis, in a pot surrounded by wire cages, and over garden structures, while enjoying the benefits of easier maintenance, healthier plants, effortless harvesting, and higher yields.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.