There are so many benefits to starting your own organic garden. For starters, you’ll save some coin, you’ll eat healthier, and you’ll have access to fresh, flavorful, ripe vegetables, herbs, and fruits that go beyond anything you’ll find in the grocery store.
The best part is that you’ll also have control over the entire process, which means you can grow and eat food that has not been sprayed with pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Plus, nothing beats the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when you harvest the delicious food you grew on your own.
The tricky part is that many of us live in apartments and homes that have small yards or no space at all, which makes gardening sound like a cute dream. The good news is that vertical gardening is your solution.
What is vertical gardening?
Vertical gardening is the best way to make the most out of a tight space. It is often a highly effective approach for those of us who have patios or small balconies. The concept of vertical gardening isn’t a modern one, however. These methods have been used by gardeners and farmers since agriculture first became a thing.
Did you know that the early ancient Mayans used a simple vertical gardening method? They figured out that planting beans right next to cornstalks created a trellis system that allowed the beans to climb the cornstalks while receiving the shade they needed from the corn’s leaves. Brilliant, huh?
A trellis is one of the easiest ways to establish a vertical garden since it encourages plants to grow vertically. You can also use shelves, pockets, pallets, and hanging baskets.
Shelves and hanging baskets are popular enough that you probably know all about them. You might not be as familiar with pallets and pockets, however. These methods are both easy and basic. Pockets are often made out of burlap bags that are attached to walls.
Pallets are the same thing as those wooden shipping pallets you see around. When using them ina vertical garden, you cover the bottom and sides with landscape fabric and fill the open areas with new plants and potting soil. When the plants begin to grow, they will rise up through the slats, and once rooted, they will lay horizontally. Once that happens, you lift the pallet into a vertical position and voila, you have a vertical garden!
If you like the idea of working with wooden pallets, you should know that some of them are filled with toxic chemicals, so make sure the ones you use are clean. For more information regarding toxin-free pallets, check out this article.
Those of us with small balconies can benefit from pallet vertical growing, especially if you’d like to cover up an unpleasant looking area.
Choosing the right plants
While it may seem like you can grow any plant in a vertical garden, that’s not really the case. Before you choose your plants, take into consideration how much sunlight they will receive in the designated area.
You should also know that some plants are better equipped for vertical gardening. Plants that thrive in a vertical environment include carrots, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, beans, potatoes, and other greens.
Vertical gardening isn’t meant to be complex or expensive. There are several advantages to starting a vertical garden. For example, did you know that vertical gardens have a reduced risk of developing insect and weed problems? If insects or weeds do invade your vertical garden, they will be much easier to deal with.