Vertical Gardens: Grow More in a Small Space
We’ve moved to Sweden, and of course, one of the first things we’ve done here is plant our new vegetable garden!
Our new garden differs from our previous one because we’re growing on an apartment patio and balcony in the middle of the city. I know it may seem impossible, but luckily both James and I love a good challenge—we’re confident we’ll be able to grow lots of food here, despite the challenges.
Since space is an issue, we’re focusing on growing food vertically. Vertical gardening is a way to encourage fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers to grow up instead of down on the ground using some kind of support or structure.
Vertical gardening works well with planting in the ground, in containers, on a wall, or even without soil. It’s a great way to maximize yields and prevent diseases; a huge bonus is that it’s easier on your back.
Naturally, not all plants can be grown vertically. The best edible plants for growing vertically have climbing or vining habits, such as cucumbers, tomatoes, pole beans, peas, and even a variety of squash and pumpkins. You can also grow peppers, lettuce, strawberries, and most herbs.
Here are some ideas for growing vertically:
Trellises — Trellises are frames to help support the growth of climbing plants. They’re usually made from wood, heavy plastics, wire, or metal. You can either attach them to an exterior wall or use them freestanding by leaning them against another structure.
Movable Vertical Garden – These are great for growing leafy greens. I love that they are easy to move if needed.
Vertical Hydroponic System for Lettuce — These can be used to grow lettuce both indoors or outdoors and do not require any soil. We love this system from Lettuce Grow.
Walls of Container Plants — If you have a wall, you can add lots of containers for growing food. Here are some fun ideas on Pinterest.
Pallet Planters — Pallet planters make excellent vertical planters for growing herbs and lettuce. Pallets can usually be found for free, so it’s an excellent option for those on a budget. Here’s a tutorial to get you started.
Plastic Bottles — Believe it or not, you can build a vertical garden with plastic bottles
I hope you have not missed our online course “how to turn your backyard into a food pantry“. If you want to learn how to start growing food in your backyard, patio, balcony or even indoors this the course for you.
James also teaches a 101 composting class and you find more information about it here
If you’re interesting in urban gardening we posts lots of videos on our YouTube channel