Thought Leader Series: Vertical Gardening Tips and Tricks for Green Living
Erin Pennings is a marketer by trade who serves up tasty treats and fun feats, and shares her love for gardening on SalmonAtSeven.com.
Vertical gardening is one of the hottest trends in outdoor – and indoor – living. Landscapers and home gardeners alike love the options available for creating functional gardens that take up minimal real estate, while still allowing homeowners to enjoy beautiful green spaces. There are myriad options for your own vertical garden, which can easily be watered using your rainwater collection system, resulting in truly green living.
Why Garden Vertically?
Vertical gardens are an awesome way to maximize space, especially when yard or terrace size is limited. The terms vertical garden and wall garden have shown significant growth in Google Trends over the past five years, peaking in the spring and summer months. Both are wide ranging and refer to any non-traditional type of garden using vertical space to grow plants, flowers, and edibles. Green walls, tiered planters, and the many other vertical options are all effective ways to increase your green output, indoors and out.
These nontraditional gardens are perhaps most popular among those wanting to grow their own food, but don’t have access to acres – or even a half-acre – to cultivate. Urban gardeners love the choices available and the creativity involved. People with limited mobility will also love the option of a beautiful garden or green wall that they can access without walking long distances. Similarly, families with young children or pets who take over the yard appreciate having a smaller physical area designated for their gardens.
A Creative Outlet
There’s no wrong way to build or commission your vertical garden. You read that right. There are no rules. If you can dream it, and you can build it, you can make it work. Virtually self-sufficient hydroponic gardens or self-watering green walls can easily be made utilizing your rainwater harvesting solution, particularly if you utilize gutter helmets (gutter guards), which act as a filtration device. Collect your rainwater and let your vertical garden work for you, visiting it only if you need to add nutrients or harvest.
Looking to grow vegetables like cucumbers, zucchini, or winter squash? Place your plant in a container or a multi-level garden, and ensure that there’s some kind of lattice or wire for the tendrils to connect to. Some plant “training” and additional securing may be necessary, but you can easily grow your own food if your climate allows for it.
Reuse unfinished, untreated scrap wood by building a box, filling with dirt and covering with lattice. After your seedlings have rooted, adhere the box vertically to a wall for herbs, lettuce or flowers that grow throughout the season.
Some of the most fun, most creative vertical gardens are constructed with re-purposed items – mason jars, closet shelving, even old gutters following a gutter replacement or upgrade! Secure them to the wall or fence and fill with dirt and seedlings. Or elevate them and fill with strawberry plants or nasturtiums to create a pergola above your seating area.
Enjoy the Green!
The possibilities for your vertical gardens and green spaces are endless! You’ll see the green pay off as you save money and gain satisfaction – and accomplishment – by growing your own food and enjoying the beautiful space you’ve created.
When you upgrade your gutters to include gutter guards (learn more about gutter guards here), you have a pre-filtered water source perfect for your gardening needs and can take advantage of green living in more ways than one!
Written by Del Thebaud