Garden Advice

How to Make a Vertical Vegetable Garden

Growing your own herbs and vegetables can be a fantastic activity. You can spend some quality time in your garden, enjoy being surrounded by greenery, and have an endless supply of fresh produce. Plus, cooking with veggies from your own garden is so satisfying!

Now, if you live in a flat or have very limited garden space, you might be discouraged to start growing your own crops. After all, you can’t make a veggie garden if you don’t have the room, right?

Wrong! This is where vertical vegetable gardening can come in handy. It’s a great way to make use of your available space and green up your home, be it an apartment balcony or a tiny garden.

So, if you:

  • Want to give vegetable gardening a go but have limited space;
  • Have already filled your garden plots with veggies, but want to grow even more;
  • Are looking for simple vertical vegetable garden ideas,

Then you’re in luck! This is the guide for you.

Why give vertical vegetable gardening a go

If you’re a green thumb that loves growing your own food, a small flat or tiny garden might seem like your worst enemy. But a vertical garden can be a wonderful alternative to the traditional veggie plot! Best of all, you can build one in pretty much any spot that gets enough sunlight. So, whether you want to make good use of your balcony or cover your garden fence with pots of veggies, you’ve got a good option.

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If you’re lucky enough to have a large garden, but want to create even more growing space, vertical vegetable gardening is the solution. Why contain your activities to the ground when you can shoot to the sky!

The benefits of a vertical garden are not just about space, though. Growing your veggies this way can help reduce the risk of garden pests and diseases, too! Since the plants are kept off the ground, vermin don’t have easy access to them, and the extra airflow and drainage makes fungal diseases far less likely.

What vegetables can you grow in a vertical garden?

Technically, you can grow pretty much any veggie vertically, provided you have large enough containers and a sturdy support system. Still, if you’re looking to make a vertical vegetable garden, you’re likely lacking in space. If that’s the case, giant pots might not be the most practical option.

So, let’s talk about the best vegetables for a vertical garden.

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Some crops can easily be grown on a trellis or a wire mesh. If you really want to make use of all your vertical space, they can even be trained to grow and weave in between containers! These include:

  • Peas
  • Pole beans
  • Cucumbers
  • Vining tomatoes

Other plants do well in containers and look great in them, too. So, if you don’t want to deal with trellising, these veggies are a good choice:

  • Peppers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Sweet potato vines
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Garlic
  • Leafy greens
  • Microgreens
  • Various herbs

How to build a vertical vegetable garden

Now, if you’re more determined than ever to make your own vertical garden, you’ll need to know how to go about building it.

Choose the perfect spot

The first step (and arguably the most crucial one) when building a vertical vegetable garden is choosing the right place to put it.

Your veggies will need a good amount of sunlight daily, so a south, west, or southwest-facing wall will be a good choice. If you do go with a south-facing wall, however, keep in mind that the scorching summer sun might be too harsh for some of your plants. Other than that, the position will largely depend on the available space.

Just make sure you build your vertical garden in a spot you can reach easily. If you have to manoeuvre around and twist like a gymnast every time you go to water or harvest your plants, you’ll likely get sick of it pretty quickly. Not to mention that tight, uncomfortable spaces are just an accident waiting to happen when it comes to working with sharp garden tools.

Pick your design

Now that you’ve chosen the perfect place for your plants, it’s time to select a design. There are tonnes and tonnes of vertical vegetable garden ideas out there. That’s because you can use… well, anything.

Almost every container out there can be used as a plant pot with some preparation. Wooden crates, coffee tins, buckets, rain gutters, you name it. Even an actual plant pot! All you need to do is drill drainage holes in the bottom of your chosen container and find a good way to secure it.

Here are some of our favourite vertical vegetable garden designs:

Shelves

A simple, sleek, and effective solution, shelves can be a great option if you don’t mind drilling into your balcony wall or garden fence. Just put up a few shelves and place your containers on them, and you’ve got yourself a vertical garden.

Ladder

If you don’t want to drill into the wall, a simple stepladder will do the trick just as well. Plus, it can add a cute, cottage feel to your garden or balcony.

Hanging baskets

A hanging vertical vegetable garden is another wonderful option, especially if you want to grow trailing plants. All you need to do is make sure the planters are secure and won’t collapse from the weight of your crops.

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Trellises

Considering how many varieties of climbing veggies you can grow, a trellis is a great option. You can opt for standard trellises, or even a wire mesh attached to your wall or fence.

Wooden pallets

A wooden pallet garden can bring a rustic look to any space and provide good support for your vegetables. You can even use them as a makeshift wall and attach your planters to them. The possibilities are endless!

Plant your vertical garden

So, you’ve chosen the spot and you’ve found the perfect vertical garden design. Now it’s time to get planting!

Something important to keep in mind is your chosen veggies’ required conditions and growing habits. When choosing a layout for your containers, consider how tall your plants will get and space them accordingly.

When preparing the soil for your containers, add some compost. This is a great way to keep your vegetables happy and healthy, too.

Keep in mind that any pots you place at the top will dry out quicker, since they won’t be as sheltered from the wind and sun as those below. The wall base, on the other hand, can provide some much-needed shelter for more sensitive crops.

If you’re growing herbs or other plants that need to be cropped or pruned often, place them in an easy-to-reach spot. You don’t want to bust out the stepladder every day just to get to the herbs at the top.

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And there you have it! With the right preparation and knowledge, making your own vertical vegetable garden is easy as pie!

Need a hand taking care of your garden?

If you like the idea of a thriving garden but don’t have the time to maintain it, why not turn to the experts? The garden maintenance specialists we work with can make sure your plants are happy and healthy, and your green space looks better than ever. So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch and enjoy a stunning garden without lifting a finger!

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Takeaways

  • Vertical vegetable gardening is a great option if you have limited growing space.
  • A vertical garden can keep your crops free of pests and diseases.
  • With the right preparation, you can grow pretty much any veggie in a vertical garden.
  • There are endless design and material options out there to choose from when building a vertical vegetable garden.
  • Keep in mind your plants’ growing habits and needed conditions when planting your garden.

Looking to grow your veggies in an eco-friendly way? Take a look at our tips for organic vegetable gardening next!

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We hope you found this vertical vegetable gardening guide useful. If you have any questions, or just want to share your experiences, don’t hesitate to comment down below!

Image source: Shutterstock / CGN089

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