How to Grow: Vertical Gardening

Listen to this podcast on how to grow edible plants vertically on your deck, balcony, or wall.


If you’d like to start an edible garden, but your yard is limited in space or sun, think up. Vertical gardening has become popular in urban areas around the world. I see vertical gardens everywhere, from small balconies to skyscrapers. But you don’t have to live in a city to grow vertically. It’s a good way to maximize any space and keep your favorite edibles within reach.

The first step is to assess your growing space. Determine how much sun it gets and the wind exposure. Remember your plants will be growing on the wall, so watch the sun’s location where plants will be growing and if it’s exposed to high winds.

Then match the conditions to the edibles. For sunny spots, grow fruiting plants such as pole beans, strawberries, peas, edible flowers and dwarf tomatoes. For shadier spots, stick with leafy greens such as kale, spinach, lettuce, arugula and parsley.

Then decide where you’ll plant. You can garden on a wall or grow vining plants in a container on the ground and trellis them up. For a wall, look for vertical gardening kits or make your own. Determine if you can safely drill into your wall to erect a vertical garden. It might be better to attach a strong trellis to the wall, then attach your vertical garden kit to the trellis for better air flow and support. Vertical garden kits can be simple or complex. Some even have a irrigation systems with them. Choose ones that suit your gardening style.

Another method is to use containers on the ground and grow vining plants up. Grow peas, pole beams, climbing nasturtiums and other vines in the pot with a trellis in it. Support their growth as they reach for the sky making for easier harvesting and less use of space.

Excerpted from the Vermont Garden Journal on Vermont Public Radio.

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