Take Your Vegetable Garden to New Heights
Many would-be vegetable gardeners never get started because they think they don’t have enough space for it. If you fall into this category, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn how much you can grow in a very small area.
All it takes is a little creative thinking.
Many gardeners focus only on the area under their feet. Given that most plants are grown in soil, this line of thinking makes sense. However, you can break free from this limited line of thinking once you decide to “look up.”
Did you realize that for every square foot of ground space in your garden, you have another 6 feet of valuable gardening space above it?
It’s true! If you take advantage of all that untapped vertical space, you can grow so much more than you ever thought possible.
Save Space with Vertical Gardening
Plants trained to grow up take up a lot less ground space than those that are left to their own devices. In fact, a single climbing vine only needs a couple of square inches of dirt to thrive. If that same vine is not offered vertical support, however, it would quickly cover several feet of your valuable – and limited – growing area.
There are many ways you can provide vertical support for your plants.
You can also take advantage of unused wall space along your house or garden shed by adding wood shelves, hanging planting pockets or repurposing old gutters into plant containers.
Often you can train your plants up existing structures on your property without needing to build or buy anything new.
Split rail and chain link fencing are particularly effective for this purpose. For an inexpensive option that offers a lot of rustic charm, you can wire 3 long wooden poles or tree limbs together to form a tripod “tepee” that is ideal for growing pole beans or other vining vegetables.
If you want to add an artistic focal point to your garden, there is a huge selection of ready-made decorative vertical support structures available.
For example, you can find decorative wrought iron trellises embellished with glass crystals or beautiful cedar hanging wall units you can add to an unused stretch of sunny wall space.
Ideal Plants for Vertical Gardening
There are a lot of fruits, vegetables and culinary herbs you can grow in your newfound vertical gardening space. In addition to pole beans, you can also grow other vining vegetables such as cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, tomato, squash, and gourds.
Smaller, more compact plants like herbs and edible flowers do well in smaller spaces like hanging baskets or wall-mounted units.
By “suckering” or removing side stems from tomato plants, you can train them to grow in a more upright fashion. In addition to saving space, this process can also help your tomato plants stay healthy and become more productive.
Grow Healthier Plants with Vertical Gardening
In fact, many gardeners find that vertical gardening leads to healthier plants in general. There are some reasons for this. For starters, plants grown vertically have a lot less direct contact with soil, which translates to fewer problems caused by soil-dwelling pests and diseases. If garden pests do attack your plants, the problem will be easier to see and treat if the plant is elevated off the ground.
Also, vertically grown plants have better exposure to light and air than those allowed to grow freely along the ground. This, in turn, leads to better ventilation and food absorption. The result is a healthier plant that is more resistant to disease and better able to produce at peak capacity.
What to watch a selection of vertical gardening wall ideas? Click here, and to start a healthy edible garden for morning green smoothies, start living the good life now.
Vertical Gardening suits people who are busy and a ” home grown” garden is a priority for their health and taste of their fruit and vegetables. You can do this, but how do you get started? Like everything else in life, you need to create plan.
Have you ever stopped to think about your vegetable gardening goals? If you are like many gardeners, you may find your main motivation is simply to get outside and reconnect with nature by digging in the dirt.
You may also enjoy gardening as a way to squeeze more physical activity into an otherwise hectic schedule. Without question, growing a vegetable garden is a very relaxing way to accomplish these goals.
A sense of personal satisfaction and better overall health are admirable and worthwhile objectives on their own. However, if you dig a little deeper, you may find you have some other goals for your vegetable garden. If you find you are short on gardening space, clearly defining these goals before you begin growing will make it a lot easier to achieve them.
For example, if you want to reduce your monthly grocery bill throughout the year here are eight ways to preserve your harvest, you’ll need to figure out how much you can grow in the space you have available. Even if you just want to grow enough so your family can enjoy fresh produce during the warmer months, you’ll still need to figure out what you want to grow and how to make it work within your personal space and time constraints.
Take Stock of Your Time, Space and More!
In most cases, the amount your garden can produce will be defined by the number of resources you can devote to it. Therefore, you’ll want to ask yourself the following questions:
- How much time do you have to work in your garden?
- How much space do you have available to plant? remember to Grow Up
- If you plan to preserve part of your harvest, where will you store it?
- What is your budget?
Taking stock of your current situation can help you find creative solutions to potential challenges. For example, perhaps you can overcome a small budget by swapping seeds with neighboring gardeners or online communities. If you are short on growing space, take advantage of unused vertical space along a sunny wall.
Define the End Results You’d Like to Achieve
Look through some gardening magazine and make a picture board of the look you would like to create.
Once you’ve developed a clear picture of what you have to work with, you can set realistic gardening goals. Make a list of the fruits, vegetables, and herbs you use most in your cooking and highlight your most important “must-have” items. This will help you focus your resources on what matters most to you.
Creating a clear picture of what you’d like to get out of your vegetable garden, and take it a step at a time.