In vertical gardening, support to the growing plants is given by fences, walls, trellises, arbors or pergolas. Shelves can be mounted on a blank wall for plant-filled containers and a Hanging Planter looks good suspended from’ an arbor or other structure. A system of ropes and pulleys can be installed to allow easy access to the basket if necessary. Many plants such as vines and creepers entwine themselves to the support but others, for example, roses, have to be tied manually.
Though this vertical gardening technique is particularly suited to small spaces, it can be applied even in larger areas as a way of dividing the area up or used to block an unattractive or unwanted view. Plants grown over structures or fences can also offer shade and privacy for the garden. Vertical gardening may allow you to work standing up or seated which has advantages for those with disabilities or older people, or indeed anyone who doesn’t like constant bending!
Charleston Cedar Trellis
Vertical gardening needs a little planning and you should consider:
- How tall the plants are going to grow
- The type of structure required for any particular plant some require stronger support than others
- The sun and shade requirements for each plant
- Will you be able to comfortably reach the plant as it grows
- Where the plants will be rooted in a garden bed, container or raised bed
Vines like morning glories, nasturtium, and sweet peas are called annuals because they grow very fast in one single growing season and then die off. On the other hand, perennial vines including ivy, bougainvillea, jasmine, climbing roses, clematis, wisteria, and honeysuckle can last many years. They may be evergreen, such as ivy, which will remain green all year or deciduous, like wisteria, which lose their leaves in winter.
Vertical gardening is also suitable for growing vegetables such as beans, peas, tomatoes, cucumber, melons, pumpkin, and squash. As the vegetables may need support to prevent them from breaking off, small fruiting plants are more useful. Grape vines and passion fruit both look great and grow well on trellises, arbors or fences.
Vertical gardening plants occupy less space on the ground but the yield per plant is generally lower, however, the yield per square foot is quite high. Since vertical gardening plants are exposed more to sunlight, they dry up much faster and they need to be watered more frequently than the traditionally grown plants. Vertical gardening enables you to make the best use of vertical space to create a useful and attractive garden.