One of the biggest problems for many of us when it comes to gardening is space. Not everybody has a few acres to spare to grow a full, standard garden.
Another problem for many people is physical limitations. A regular garden requires a lot of labor that some people just can’t handle.
Many of us also worry that people will find our food source if SHTF.
An open garden planted on flat earth is painfully obvious to just about anybody passing by, but if you can build a vertical garden that is out of sight or even portable so that you can move it out of sight if you need to.
Vertical gardening solves many problems.
4 Benefits of Vertical Gardening
We just touched on a few of the benefits of vertical gardening but let’s get into it a bit further, because this is seriously great way for just about anybody to grow food.
Demands Much Less Physical Labor
When you’re growing a garden, you already know that it’s going to be a ton of work. You’re going to need to till the space, then plant the seeds or plants. You have to weed the gardens so that your plants thrive, and you have to keep the soil loose around them. Then, of course, you have to harvest your crops.
Nearly all of this requires a lot of bending, kneeling, and twisting. That’s great if you’re 25, fully healthy, and WANT to do that much work.
However for many of you, that level of physical labor is difficult or even impossible. Growing a vertical garden eliminates all of these issues.
It’s Easier to Hide
Another benefit is that, even if somebody happens to glance at your back yard, they’re not necessarily going to pay attention to something growing on a wall, especially if you’ve planted flowers among your vegetables.
Looters won’t be prone to look too hard because they’re in a hurry looking for an easy mark.
Vertical gardens are a bit easier to camouflage than an acre-wide garden. Also, you can make your garden so that it faces the back of your house, which would make it virtually impossible to see.
Finally, you can always make your vertical gardens portable so that you can move them out of the line of sight of looters.
Covers Plain Walls with Beautiful Plants
There’s nothing particularly pretty about a blank wall, so cover it up with a beautiful, and possibly edible, wall of plants! Don’t want to look at that privacy fence between you and your neighbors? Cover them in plants.
There’s just something cozy about a backyard with vine-and-flower covered fences and walls. It gives the whole place a homey feeling.
Easier Quality Control
When your plants are growing in pots or planters that you’re managing, you know exactly what’s in the dirt and you’ve possibly made your own fertilizer so chemicals aren’t an issue.
There’s no need to worry about the quality of the nutrients in your dirt; you put them there. You also control the amount of moisture and can feel when the plant needs more or less because all you need to do is stick your fingers into the dirt.
Plants that are off the ground are easier to inspect for insects and fungi that can wipe out all of your plants before you get to taste even one morsel of them.
You can also nip the sucker leaves off and provide all the care that your plants need from a much more comfortable position. When you’re comfortable, you can take your time and care for your plants properly.
Different Types of Vertical Gardens
A vertical garden is exactly what it sounds like – a garden planted vertically instead of on the ground. There are many different ways that you can do this depending upon your space, what you want to grow, and how you want to do it. Your garden, your decision!
Aquaponics is the art of growing plants and fish together. The plants provide the fish with nutrients that they need and the fish byproducts provide nutrient-rich fertilizer for the plants.
The system can be as simple or as complex as you’d like to build it. You can use dirt or start an aquaponics system. As a matter of fact, you can build an aquaponics system that’s very nearly a vertical garden itself, and it gives you fish AND plants.
Latticework with Baskets or Boxes
Another way to build a vertical garden is to use hanging baskets and latticework. This type of garden is good for plants that don’t grow out or get too tall.
Plants such as peppers, strawberries, onions, garlic, lettuce, and spinach are great for the baskets. To help your space do double duty, use the lattice work to grow vining plants such beans or tomatoes.
An alternative to baskets is to hang planters from the latticework. This will allow you to grow plants that vine out a bit or need more room to grow, such as potatoes, carrots, or squash.
You can stagger the boxes as needed to accommodate the space requirements of the plant. Again, you can grow vining or heavy plants on or at the base of, the latticework.
If you have an empty wall – it could be the side of your house, an outbuilding, or a garden wall – then you have a place to put a vertical garden. Plus, you’ll be covering up a plain wall with beautiful plants.
Be sure when you use a wall that you allow space for the extra moisture so that you don’t damage your wall.
You can use just about any construction material that you want. Chicken wire, lattice work, and trellises are all good choices.
You can also use gardening bags, which are made from a variety materials including burlap and canvas. One of the good things about using bags is that the extra moisture drains right out the bottom. You can use this system to water the plants below if you’d like.
I saw this in a magazine and fully plan on making it my next project. The problem is that I don’t have access to old gutters. It’s a simple yet brilliant design.
Just drill drainage holes in the bottom of old gutters and hang them on a wall of some sort. The holes will keep the moisture content at a good level and will even allow for trickle-down watering.
Vertical Towers or Walls
I love these systems. I’m currently using one right now and even though I’ve just started, I absolutely love it. It’s easy to use and has an aquaponics watering system that makes my life much easier while keeping my plants happy, too.
Usually I build my own stuff, but this one looked too good to pass up, so I bought it. It’s a tower farm wall and the short video above was made while unboxing the package.
Possibly the best thing about the wall is that it’s easy to put together regardless of your skill level, and it’s easy to take care of.
The trays are set at heights that are easy to reach regardless of how tall you are and if you were to anchor it, it would be free-standing with very little modification. Low maintenance is always a good thing as far as I’m concerned.
Towers are always a fun way to go. For instance, you can cut out holes from a length of PVC, fill the pipe with dirt, then plant strawberries or other similar plants in the holes. You can also make a tower using round planters.
Use a large one on the bottom, then use two mediums – 1 turned upside down inside the big one for support, and the other one upright to hold dirt. Repeat this step with 2 smaller pots. Fill with dirt and you have a 3-tier plant tower. You can add to the levels if you like.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. Though making your own vertical gardening structures is awesome, it’s not always practical. If not, then consider the Tower Farm Wall that I discussed above. I really am having a good time with it and the customer support is great.
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This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.
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