The guide to vertical gardening
Attention all small-space, bedless green fingers! Here’s your chance to grow vegetables, herbs, flowers, and foliage without a garden. Take your passion to the walls and grow your heart out with these nifty vertical gardening ideas. Bring your patio to life, suspend your edibles, dare to go soil-less, and have some fun with hanging baskets.
A bare patio or balcony wall is prime location to begin your first vertical gardening project. You’ll need a drill and screws to secure pots against the wall in your desired shape/layout. Try an elegant symmetrical grid style, leaving a pot-width space between each container (4 pots across by 4 pots down is a good start). You can also experiment with circle pot arrangements, horizontal lines, or a diagonal pattern with cascading creepers in the top pots.
Plant picks: ‘Compact Royal Jewels’ Lobelia for a flowering spiller, English Ivy for dramatic trails of leaves, and ‘Versa Green Halo’ Coleus for an exotic-looking mound.
Dare to be different with an intriguing water-based, soil-less garden. Hydroponic planting gives you complete control of the environment, minimises pests, boosts plant growth, saves water, eliminates weeds, AND gives you eye-catching, living décor. There are a variety of hydroponic growing kits available, not only for vertical growing. Consult your garden centre advisor for different installation options and nutrient formulas.
Almost all herbs, leafy veggies such as celery and lettuce, fruits such as Key limes and avocados, and indoor ornamentals such as Philodendron, Peace Lily, Chinese Evergreen, and Spider Plant.
Hanging baskets are ideal space-savers that add texture and life to baren corners, on the patio or indoors. Use a chain to hang containers from the roof (climbing plants will play up the chain and spill over the edges), or try half baskets attached to the wall with an added trellis behind them for trailing plants. Achieve a lavish look by opting for line-wire hanging baskets with coir mats that conserve moisture.
Plant picks: TryString of Beads for a sweet spiller,Large Forest Asparagusfor a textured climber, and Flowering Ivyfor a quirky little creeper.
Suspend your Edibles
Vertical planter bags allow you to grow herbs and veggies without beds, against any wall that receives good sunlight. Get the kids involved with this one by letting them choose their favourite edibles, and then educating them on how to grow and care for their food. Planting pockets are available at your garden centre and can be mounted against a wall or hung-over fences and gates.
Choose your food: Visit garden centres for a variety of seasonal seed packets and seedling treys to plant/sow now. Remember to plant Marigolds between your veg as a natural pest-repellent.