Maximize Your Garden by Growing Vertical

Add some space (and flair) to your garden! Vertical gardening is a great way to create gardening space!

Small Space Vertical Gardening - Apartment or condo dweller? Here are a few solutions for you!

Wine Barrel and Trellis – This trendy and fun planter looks great on porches, decks and mixed in with standard garden beds.  You only need ¼ to ½ wine barrel to grow most edibles. If you want to grow dwarf fruit trees, you might want the extra room to grow of a ¾ barrel.  

The wine barrel (with a trellis) allows for enough space to grow two larger edibles (tomato and zucchini for example), in addition to a handful of small to medium sized edibles (basil, oregano and thyme for example).

We are currently experimenting with designs that allow plants to wrap around the outside of the barrel to save even more space. Updates and results to be discussed soon!

5 Gallon Container - Looking for a less expensive option? Try a 5 Gallon container and trellis.  This size is appropriate for one tomato, bell pepper, summer squash or eggplant in addition to a few herbs. 5 Gallon containers/pots are sold at most gardening locations. You can find recycled containers (plastic pots) at most nurseries for a discounted price (or free if you are lucky!), just ask an associate.  If the container is recycled, be sure to bleach the container with a 1:1 water/bleach mix, before planting to reduce the risk of causing your plant to grow a fungus.  

If you want to use wicking technology like we do in our beds, there are a couple of options that work for smaller spaces – DIY 5 gallon buckets with plans from Global Buckets or commercial patio planters from Earthbox.

 Vertical Wall

Our yard and garden is on the backside of a fence, which was somewhat of an eyesore. The solution to turning the fence into a fun and functional landscaping piece? A vertical wall. 

Vertical walls use little space and may grow a large abundance of produce! Additionally, they reduce the risk of pests and certainly make harvesting much easier while creating an attractive divider between properties. If you have a wall or vertical space, it might be worth your time to plan ways to add places to grow. Any box or container that you can mount can be turned into a hanging planter.

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We understand that this style of vertical gardening is not practical for everyone, but we do hope that this may help to inspire you, or that you may take some of our work and adapt it to be your own!

Check back for more information on how to create a vertical wall! 

Raised Bed Trellising

Tomato cages are wonderful for supporting heavy fruit/vegetables, but they certainly take up a lot of space! Training your plants to climb up a trellis, or aiding them by securing them to the trellis with plant ties, will save you ample gardening space!  If you have ever grown zucchini and/or cucumber, you know how much space they can take if left to crawl on their own. A trellis can grow the same amount of produce in 40% less space.

Considerations when going vertical

What will grow on a trellis? *be sure to check that the variety you have selected is “vining” and not “bush.”

Tomatoes

Cucumbers

Beans

Zucchini

Summer Squashes (Yellow Straightneck, Yellow Crookneck)

Winter Squashes (will require additional support for heavy vegetables!)

Melons (will require additional support!)

Peas

Throwing shade

As you make plans to grow your plants up, make sure that your plants won’t prevent sunlight from reaching your other plants. For example, it may make more sense to place your trellis on the eastern side of your space if you primarily get afternoon sun – and vice versa for morning sun / western edge.

Wherever you build your garden, make sure you have the basics – sun, soil and water. Raised beds and containers make it easier to control these elements, but it never hurts to keep them in mind as you build your dream space and grow delicious food. Happy building!