Introduction to Vertical Vegetable Gardening:
Today, we will discuss Vertical Vegetable Gardening, it’s components and suitable crops to grow in vertical systems.
A Vertical vegetable garden is an easy way to boost growing space, reduce insect and disease problems, and beautify decks and patios. In a vertical garden, vegetables grow up tall arrangement instead of across the ground. Vertical Vegetable Gardening is an alternative for gardeners with limited space.
Vertical Vegetable Gardening is speedily becoming one of the most popular methods for maximizing the space within a greenhouse. Vertical gardening is accurately what it sounds like gardening in vertical rows instead of horizontally. In other words, the plants are, in different configurations, stacked one on top of another. For greenhouse horticulturists, vertical gardening opens up the possibility of satisfying the greenhouse from the bottom to the top with foliage.
Origin of Vertical Gardening:
Vertical gardening has been known as a literal “revolution of agriculture”. Vertical gardening ideas were first developed by NASA for raising the food crops in unlikely habitats & climates. The unique concept behind this idea was that as the world’s population increased, we would need to use cutting edge technology to find additional ways to produce food. In addition to climate concerns, several were able to foresee a lack of space being a concern, which is why the focus was shifted to building vertically, where space is essentially unlimited.
How to grow Vegetables in Vertical Gardening:
A vertical vegetable garden is very easy to create. You can create one using shelves, hanging baskets and trellises. The first step is to find out what the conditions are like in the area you wish to place the vegetable garden, such as on the balcony. The amount of sunlight will be the greatest thing in determining which plants will thrive in your urban environment. For instance, if you live in an area surrounded by other buildings, balcony or patio may be shaded the majority of the time; therefore, you should choose your plants accordingly. Leafy vegetables like lettuce, cabbage, and greens do well with limited sunlight, making excellent choices for shady areas.
If you are blessed with an abundance of sunshine, your choice of plants will be greater, as vegetables thrive best in full sun. Choices can include:
Even vine crops, such as squash, pumpkins, and cucumbers can be developed as long as the container is deep enough to accommodate them and proper staking is available. Fill containers with peat moss & a suitable potting mix amended with compost or manure.
Vertical Vegetable Gardening models:
Growing a Vertical vegetable garden almost several vegetables that can be grown in a garden will also work well as a container-grown plant. Nearly any type of container can be used for rising vegetable plants. Old washtubs, wooden crates, gallon-sized coffee cans, and even five-gallon buckets can be implemented for growing crops as long as they give adequate drainage.
Since most vegetables can be grown in containers, shelves offer the benefit of growing numerous types of vegetables on each shelf as high up as you can reach or as space allows. You can position the vertical vegetable garden so that all of the plants receive adequate amounts of sunlight at a similar time. Although every type of shelving may be used, the best type is the kind with slats. This will allow better air circulation & during watering intervals, the excess water on the top shelves will trickle down to the bottom ones.
If shelves are not for you, containers situated in tiers, forming a vertical appearance as well. Alternatively, vegetables can be grown in hanging baskets or hanging in trellises.
Hanging baskets can be placed on the balcony or on appropriate hangers. Many types of vegetables can be grown in hanging baskets, especially those with trailing characteristics. Peppers and cherry tomatoes not only look excellent in hanging baskets, so do trailing plants, such as the sweet potato vine, but they thrive nicely in them. Keep them watered daily, however, since hanging baskets are more prone to drying out, particularly during hot spells.
Vertical planters are either manufactured or homemade planting structures planned to houseplants in a vertical manner. Vertical planter in homemade is a plastic 55-gallon drum with holes cut into the side where the plants can be placed. Vertical planters are generally designed to be used with potting soil. Naturally, these planters are watered from the top, allowing gravity to bring the moisture to all of the plants in the container. Strawberries and lettuce are two crops normally grown in vertical planters with great success.
Trellises can be used for maintaining of trailing or vine crops. A fence can also serve as a trellis for beans, peas, tomatoes and vine crops like squash & cucumbers. Using corn stalks is a different great way to take advantage of vertical space while making interesting pole supports for beans and other climbing vegetables. Use a stepladder as a makeshift trellis to maintain vine-growing plants like pumpkins. The rungs of the ladder can be used to train the vines while placing the vegetables on its steps for further support this works well with tomato plants.
Advantages and Reasons for Vertical Vegetable Gardening:
Vertical Vegetable Gardening saves the space. Cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, & squash require a large amount of ground space. One untrained cantaloupe will crawl over an area of sixteen square feet. The similar melon trained vertically will take only one or two square feet of the ground.
Avoid pests and disease:
Slugs, snails, and other pests can easily attack crops rising off the ground; it is more difficult for them to climb trellises or strings. Crops increasing on the ground come in contact with wet soil, which can reason rot or disease.
Watering, pest control & working with soil is much easier with a vertical garden. While some plants need to be watered and fed frequently, this is a simple trade-off to the many other tasks essential for maintaining a traditional ground covered garden.
Harvesting process from vertical gardens is much easier than harvesting from ground cultivation. Not only does this growing method to save strain on your back, but the task is much quicker to complete.
Protection and garden beauty:
Vertically vegetables growing leaf out across the support. Masses of leaves protect ripening vegetables from sun & wind burn. A leafy trellis or fence can shield the garden from prevailing breezes & block out unwanted views of neighboring property or compost piles.
Things to Consider with Vertical Vegetable Gardening:
There are a few things to consider when setting up a vertical vegetable garden. One big thought is shading out other plants in the greenhouse. The tallest vertical scheme should be placed on the opposite side of the prevailing light. The most excellent way to visualize an appropriate vertical garden in a greenhouse is to think of it as stadium seating. In other words, the plants are staggered from shortest to tallest so that the plants can receive the majority sunlight possible. Another big consideration for Vertical Gardening systems is nutrient consistency.
Experimenting with Vertical Gardening can be as simple as trying special shelving configurations or as advanced as an automated vertical hydroponic system. Vertical gardens allow greenhouse hobbyists to better develop the space within a greenhouse by literally having plants from the floor to the roof. When the garden space is better utilized, more plants can be developed, which is good news for any greenhouse enthusiast.
Steps to Start Vertical Vegetable Gardening:
Determine where to situate the vertical garden:
Most vegetables require at least six hours of sun, so choose a sunny location in the vertical garden. If you live in an apartment building, a sunny balcony may be a choice. If you have a yard, consider a sunny position against a south-facing wall of your house.
Select vertical structures:
In order for plants to grow vertically, they need a vertical maintain system. Common support structures contain trellises, tripods, pyramids, walls, fences, wire cages and walls. Arches or arbors can serve as focal areas while supporting vegetables. Almost any structure that points to the sky can be used for Vertical Vegetable Gardening. Consider original options like bamboo poles, tree branches, ladders, sunflowers or corn stalks.
- Select a support structure strong enough for the vegetables you want to grow. Mature plants loaded down with vegetables can be very heavy. For example, tomato plants require very sturdy vertical structures, while peas may climb about any structure without bearing much weight on it.
- Place the carry system in your garden or on your patio before planting vegetables. This prevents you from damaging plants.
- Locate vertical supports on the north or east side of the garden where they won’t block the sun from the rising vegetables.
- Anchor the hold system securely. Vertical supports trellises or wire cages can be staked directly in the ground. Trellises and other flat vertical supports can be attached to the exterior wall of a home. If you attach a vertical support to a wall, leave space between the wall & the trellis for air circulation as the plant climbs.
Prepare the soil:
Whether you plant vegetables in the ground or in containers, soil feature are important for your vertical garden. Use weed free and manure rich soil. To encourage excellent drainage in containers, mix the soil with peat moss or perlite.
Choose containers as applicable:
If you are growing vegetables in containers, can use almost any type of container. Make sure that the container is deep enough to accommodate the kind of vegetable you are growing. Larger and heavier vegetables will require larger & sturdier containers. Consider hanging baskets, urns, window boxes, washtubs, coffee cans, clay pots, and wooden crates. If the container does not have drainage holes, drill small holes on the bottom of the container previous to filling it with soil.
Understand the Basics of Growing Vegetables in Vertical Vegetable Gardening:
Any type of vegetable can be developed vertically as long as the container is deep enough to accommodate the plant and the vertical stacking is strong enough to hold the plant.
Find your garden conditions. Choose vegetables that will thrive in your garden based on its lights, wind, heat & moisture. If you are increasing vertical vegetables in containers, be prepared to water the containers daily.
Select vegetables to grow in Vertical Vegetable Gardening:
While most vegetables can be developed vertically, several types of vegetables are known for their success in vertical gardens. If you are starting out in Vertical Gardening, consider these vegetables.
Peas are a spring yield. Space them just two inches apart and train them up chicken wire or a fence. When the vines dry up, replace them with beans or squash or every other vine crop.
All winter squash can be grown vertically without maintain for the fruit, except the large and heavy Hubbard and Banana squash.
Grow winter squash & gourds vertically. Winter squash and gourds have long vines that can extend up to ten feet (3.0 m) for the squash and 25 feet (7.6 m) for the gourds. Because the vines grow so long & become heavy, you must provide a sturdy, secure vertical support. To give extra maintain to heavy winter squash, such as butternut, wrap cloth twine or strips of pantyhose around each fruit and tie to the vertical supporting structure. Do not use string to maintain the squash because it may cut into the stems. Some garden centers sell materials made particularly for supporting large vegetables, like winter squash and gourds.
Pole beans make throughout the season (bush beans, mature all at once, and then stop).
Melons and pumpkins:
Grow melons & pumpkins in a vertical garden. Like a winter squash, melons and pumpkins have long vines and the fruit needs additional maintain when growing vertically. Grow melons & pumpkins up strong, secure vertical structures. Wrap slings made of old sheets, rags, towels or fabric scraps around the melons and pumpkins and secure them to the fence or trellis to offer needed support.
Cucumbers grow vertically. Cucumbers are ideal for a vertical garden because they physically climb. They can be grown up almost any structure, such as an A-frame, cage or trellis, but it must be strong enough to maintain the weight of the vines. Firstly, cucumbers may need a little encouragement to attach them to the vertical structure, but as soon as the tendrils wind around the support, they will climb vertically without assistance. The cucumbers will hang vertically from the plant, production them easy to harvest.
In the early spring, before it’s time to plant other vegetables, you can plant various varieties of potatoes in your containers & grow bumper crops. They will develop very fast in the prepared loose soil.
Tomatoes grow in a vertical garden. Because tomatoes are heavy plants, they want a sturdy vertical structure. As the tomato plants develop, tie the branches to the structure with a soft twine or cotton cloth at regular intervals. Indeterminate or vining tomatoes that keep rising long from the tip of the vine will grow on any vertical structure including strings. Tomatoes are generally grown vertically in cages or on poles.
Summer squash will form fruit along the length of the vine when developed vertically. Tie summer squash in at about one foot lengths.
Vertical Farming Ideas:
These can be prepared from the wooden trellis, horizontal battens of wood or netting held taut between the two frames. Lean the frames together & secure at the top with wire or hinges. Grow climbers up the two frames & use the space between to grow plants that will appreciate shade during the warmer summer weather salad leaves & spinach for example. A well-constructed frame can be used year after year just pull it free from the ground at the end of the season & store in a shed or garage.
Salad tower, you will never run out of homegrown greens. Easy to make, this is a cylinder built from a sturdy wire mesh, lined in plastic, & filled with soil. To build, bend a six foot tall section of metal mesh into a two-foot diameter cylinder. Line with a garbage bag and a large plastic sheet. Fill up with moist potting soil. Poke holes or cut an X through the plastic & slip a seedling into the cylinder, making sure the roots are pushed into the potting soil. Go on to plant seedlings all around the cylinder. Water well and feed every two weeks with a liquid organic food. Mix and match lettuce, arugula, spinach, chard, Asian greens, & kale for a tapestry of greens.
Invest in one of the many walls or fence-mounted modular planters or panels obtainable. Fabric Woolly Pockets are one example. There are also stackable planters that can be built from the ground up. Plant them up with herbs, salads and strawberries & watch a blank space takes on a whole new life.
A hanging basket takes up no ground space, but can propose a bumper crop of sweet strawberries or tumbling tomatoes. Look for ever bearing or day neutral kind of strawberries for the longest harvest. Hang the basket in a sheltered sunny spot and water & feed often.
Pioneered by Fern Richardson, author of small space container gardening, pallet gardens have become a huge garden trend in current years. A pallet garden is an easy & an effective way to grow compact vegetables.
Window box wall:
One of the easiest ways to develop food vertically is to secure window boxes or individual pots to fences and walls. To actually stand out, paint the containers in bright colors before they are hanged. Plant with compact herbs, vegetables, & strawberries.
An edible divider is more attractive than a solid conifer hedge or artificial alternative and you can eat it. Espaliered fruit trees make excellent normal dividers. Train the trees onto the trellis to provide an all-year-round divider & plant the base up with annual vegetables or flowering herbs such as rosemary to keep pollinating insects busy for longer. Annual climbing veg such as peas & beans make excellent seasonal screens and have the bonus of being very quick growing.
Disadvantages of Vertical Vegetable Gardening:
Moisture and mold:
Vertical gardens planted against a brick or masonry wall may drip & harbor moisture that can damage the structure. Similarly, a vertical garden planted above a deck can stain & discolor whatever lies beneath. Vertical Vegetable Gardening is best around concrete or other building materials that are impervious to moisture.
Lack of support:
Vertical gardens may not be sturdy enough to maintain large plants such as wisteria vines, melons or tomatoes, although they may work well for sweet peas and other lighter plants. If you want to grow heavy plants, you may need to anchor the set-up to an extra substantial supportive structure. This complication is one of the several downsides of Vertical Gardening.
When it comes to Vertical Vegetable Gardening disadvantages, keep in mind that vertical vegetable gardens are tall structures that may cast shadows over lower-growing plants. If you select to grow a vertical garden, consider the needs of plants that may be prevented from receiving adequate sunlight. If necessary, consider shade plants.
Read: Growing Asparagus In Pots.