Building a Vertical Garden

Building a Vertical Garden

Building a Vertical Garden

Vertical gardening can be a very interesting task for every homeowner. It’s an alternative type of gardening when you don’t have enough horizontal space, want to cover up an unappealing wall, or want to experiment a little bit. Some of the main advantages of having a vertical garden are: providing an extra layer of insulation, keeping homes cool in summer, bettering the air quality and reducing noise pollution. Learn how to create your own garden wall art by following our guide.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Build a Vertical Garden

Blank brick wall without a vertical garden.Green vertical garden on the brick wall.

1. Choose a Vertical Garden Style

There are many variations on vertical gardening. You can use pretty much anything to build it – wood, pallets, containers, wall planters, pockets made of felt or canvas, hanging shoe organizers, old cupboards, etc. You can go at the end of the article to see some great examples. All of the options have their advantages and disadvantages which have to be taken into consideration based on the flowers you want to plant. If you are new at gardening or want some advice, you can always consult a professional gardener who will give you the most valuable tips.

2. Decide on Plants

Before you start building your outdoor vertical garden, you should decide on the plants you want to have. You can grow pretty much everything from succulents to herbs to vegetables to perennials and ferns. However, since you want them to grow vertically, you should take into account their flexibility. For example, herbaceous plants are the best plants for vertical garden and are more suitable than woody ones. Herbaceous are more flexible in the way they grow downwards because they have soft, green stems. While trees, shrubs or vines have rigid, wooden stems, which will just stick out.

Strawberry flowers in a vertical garden.

“Strawberry wall” by Ruth Hartnup is licendes under CC BY-2.0, https://bit.ly/2FEMXPA

Next, you should choose plants that have the same growing habits. For example, choose only all-sun or all-shade plants. The rate of growth it also important. If you put a plant that grows faster next to one that doesn’t, the more aggressive one will take over the space and shade out the other one.

3. Choose the Place

Technically, your vertical garden can be placed anywhere. However, the one thing you should take into consideration is the sun exposure. The type of plants you want to grow will determine where to start vertical gardening. For instance, if you plan to have succulent plants such as cactuses, you should choose a place where there is half-exposure rather than full sun or full shade. Moreover, you can always hang your plants outside in the summer and bring them inside during the winter. Once you figure out how your plants can grow better, you can start building your vertical garden.

4. Construct the Structure

Now it is time to build the structure where your plants will be growing. Depending on the style, it can be made of pretty much anything. Even old cupboards or hanging shoe organizers. A classic construction for vertical gardening, however, consists of three layers – frame, plastic sheeting and fabric.

Florafelt system for a vertical garden with flowers growing from it.

“Vertical Garden” by Christine and Hagen Graf is licensed under CC BY 2.0, https://bit.ly/2W9dA5w

Firstly, it is advised to use PVC pipes for the frame. Alternatives are metal, which will add additional weight and expense, or wood, which needs a lot of maintenance against moisture rot.

Secondly, attach the sheet of plastic to the frame. It will serve as a support for the fabric and will keep the water off the vertical garden wall.

Finally, attach the fabric to the frame. This fabric will hold water and will be the place where your plants will live. Anything that can keep water without rotting, such as basic felt carpet padding, is suitable. Avoid any buckling or wrinkles when you are done attaching.

5. Implement Some Basic Planting Practices

Make sure you familiarize yourself with some best practices in gardening. Using potting soil is the key in making a vertical garden since they dry out quickly. Potting soil helps keep the water and moisture that the plants need. Gravity is also an important factor when planting. Plants that don’t need a lot of water should be placed on the top. The ones that need a lot of water should go on the bottom of the garden to avoid drying out faster.

Vertical garden with violets and other flowers on a balcony.

Photo by Jaysin Trevino is licensed under CC BY 2.0, https://www.flickr.com/photos/orijinal/12858402085/

6. Start Planting Horizontally

Depending on the style you’ve chosen, you might need to follow this advice. In order to achieve an astonishing effect with your vertical garden, you should try growing your plants horizontally first. So, if you are using a wooden pallet or a system of panels, place it horizontally and let the roots establish themselves in the soil for a few weeks. Otherwise, planting vertically first will result in weaker roots. The idea is that the roots have to grow still. Some people use wire and glue to hold everything together. However, if you plant vertically first, you will see how the plants do their own work. Finally, you can gradually lift the pallet to a vertical position during those first weeks in order to secure the garden.

7. Attach an Irrigation System

Usually vertical gardens need more care and watering since they rely on less soil. The bigger the wall, the more need of a drip irrigation system there is. There are many options for vertical gardening systems. The drip system can be complicated with hoses and timers that you can buy from the store or simpler with planters or pockets with holes in the bottom for water to drip down. You’ll want a quick flow of water for 10-15 seconds from 3 to 6 times per day. It depends on the weather conditions, your setup and your plants’ needs. Most probably, there will be some overflow, so you can plant a flower bed under the vertical garden to utilize the extra water.

8. Have Some Extra Plants on Hand

Long vertical garden with green bushes and flowers.

“Vegetal Wall” by Ithmus is licensed under CC BY 2.0, https://bit.ly/2W9dA5w

Planting a vertical garden is definitely a harder job to maintain. For sure some plants will die out but that doesn’t mean you are bad at gardening. It’s just how it happens sometimes but you can be prepared even for this scenario. You can always keep a few extra plants to plug in the holes left from the dead ones. This procedure is especially easy when you use a container-style design where there’s more space between the individual plants.

Vertical Garden Design Ideas

Now that you learned how to create a beautiful vertical garden, let’s see some great examples of garden wall ideas that will inspire you even more to start planning. You will notice that you can go as creative as you want.

Hanging Plant Pots

Hanging pots with colorful flowers for a vertical garden on the walls of a white house.

“Vejer de la Frontera” by Lee Cannon is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0, https://www.flickr.com/photos/leecannon/6153923035/

Traditional Trellis

Trellis used for growing a vertical garden on a house wall.

“Lines & Colurs” by Dennis Jarvis is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0, https://www.flickr.com/photos/archer10/15478548735/

Tray Herb Garden

Three small herb vertical gardens on a wooden fence.

Vertical Gardens” by Miriam Luck Avery is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0, https://www.flickr.com/photos/myrlueck/5999893716/

Hardware Cloth Frame

Large vertical garden made from hardware cloth frame with pink flowers growing in it.

Photo by hardworking hippy is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0, https://www.flickr.com/photos/hardworkinghippy/3995161023/

Recycled Bottles Garden

Eight recycled bottles with growing flowers and hanging on strings.

“Bottle Planters” by Giles Williams is licensed under CC BY 2.0, https://bit.ly/2FmLa2D

Florafelt System

Florafelt system for vertical gardening with growing green flowers.

“Vertical gardening” by Ruth Hartnup is licensed under CC BY 2.0, https://www.flickr.com/photos/ruthanddave/8106517443/

Succulent Gardens

Vertical garden with colorful succulent flowers.

“Entrance Gate House” by cultivar43 is licensed under CC BY 2.0, https://bit.ly/2W9dfzO

A Hanging Shoe Organizer

A white hanging shoe organizer used for growing plants in a vertical garden.

“Vertical-garden” by wiccahwang is licensed under CC By 2.0, https://www.flickr.com/photos/wiccahwang/5480666227/

 

There are many more ways to go in order to make your own vertical garden. Using your imagination is key with this type of gardening. So, don’t be afraid to experiment with your vertical gardening ideas and start planning now!

 

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