Want to take your garden to new heights?

If you can’t grow OUT, grow UP

 

You might not think you have room to grow a garden – but a vertical garden can solve that problem.

Oftentimes, even a small area has room to grow UP when we can’t grow OUT.  A garden grown on a wall can grow a crop of farm-fresh produce, a bouquet of flowers or a chef’s collection of tasty herbs.

Even on a tiny loft patio with minimal floor space, there’s room to grow a variety of herbs, veggies and flowers because the growing is done up the side of a wall.  In small spaces, the garden can become an artful backdrop to the outdoor living area on a patio or balcony.  In larger outdoor areas, it can be a more sustainable use of space and focal point.  

Vertical gardens can be planted in specially made canvas “pockets” designed to be hung on walls or other containers with mounting hardware.  Check with your local garden center for these supplies.

Vertical gardening is similar to any other type of gardening.  The plants have to match the exposure, so sun-loving plants need to grow on sun-bathed walls and shade-loving plants need to be on shaded walls.  

Here are the basics for vertical gardening:

  • Be sure you have access to water as vertical gardens in sunny areas in particular, will dry out faster than gardens in the soil.  Using drip irrigation is an easy way to water and can keep plants thriving when you’re away for days at a time.
  • Match the needs of the plants to the sun exposure of the wall.
  • On a large wall with tiers of plants, place the more sun-loving plants above shade-lovers below.
  • Use a variety of plants to get an assortment of both color and function.
  • Fertilize regularly so that plants grow large and cascade over the container.
  • The vertical garden is as seasonal as other annual containers, so it won’t survive the winter.  

Great plants for a sunny vertical garden include:

  • Veggies that thrive in hot weather-tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, melons. 
  • All types of herbs are great.  If you include herbs like cilantro and sage, they will attract beneficial insects.
  • Sun-loving annual flowers add color to the mix.  Portulaca, petunia, zinnia, ipomeas, lantana, verbena, cosmos and calibrachoa are all good choices.    

If you have a small outdoor space – or want to make a larger one even more productive – consider growing up as much as out.

If you would like help with your verticle garden, please contact Designscapes Colorado at 303-721-9003 or cfarley@designscapes.org

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