The Basics of Vertical Gardening

Posted by The Pole Yard

Everyone loves having a garden of their own, but not everyone has the space for one. But that doesn’t matter. So long as you have a bare wall or a fence, you can have a garden – A vertical garden that is.

Even if you have enough space for a traditional garden, you may still be interested in planting skywards. That’s because vertical gardening just looks really cool, being more than a space-saver.

Best of all, vertical gardening isn’t difficult. And there are a lot of ways to do it. If you just know the basics, the sky, quite literally, is the limit.


The type of vertical garden you have depends on the framework you use. There are many types of structures you can use. You can hang pots along a wall, hang cloth bags along a fence, or build vertical planter boxes yourself with timber.

So long as the framework is able to sustain the weight of the plants and the chosen growing medium, you’re good to go. Wire mesh is often used to strengthen the framework.

Trellises and topiaries are popular outdoor structures to use. Indoor vertical gardens work just as well as outdoor, but will require waterproof casing to avoid water damage.


Growing medium

What are your plants going to take root in? As with any other garden, a combination of soil and compost should be fine. For vertical gardening specifically, there are other synthetic growing mediums available too.

Gravity being one of the challenges you face, a good tip is to use moss on your soil, because it will keep the soil from falling out your structure. Just tuck the moss in around your plants.


Almost every plant that you can grow in a traditional garden can be grown vertically. Just visit your nearest Stodels Garden Centre and see what flowering blooms strike your fancy. Or speak to a friendly nurseryman for advice if you’re not sure what will work well.

There are a few things to bear in mind. The size your plants can grow will be limited by the framework you use. So be careful of planting something that’s going to grow very big. Fast growing and wide-spreading plants will need to be kept within bounds, which require more trimming. Depending on your framework, you’ll want to think about whether you need to use plants with shallow root structures.


You might be able to water your garden the same way as any other garden – especially if it’s outside. A watering can or hose should work fine. However, if your vertical garden extends very high, then you’ll need to choose an irrigation system. Like a gravity drip fed irrigation system which is a popular choice for vertical gardening. You simply attach the system to a hose, and run the drip lines through the open channels in the backs of your framework.

Indoor vertical gardens will also need some type of irrigation system, especially for the more elaborate ones where a watering can won’t suffice. You can also use a simple irrigation system that disperses water from the top, and uses plastic tubing running down the garden.

These are the basics you need in place to have your very own vertical garden. Beyond these factors, you simply need ingenuity. If all you wanted to do was hammer in a few old pairs of shoes along your wall, and fill them with soil and greenery, that would be a vertical garden.

There are so many ways you can have your own vertical garden, so here is some inspiration to get you started:

1. Hang a pot – Attach pots to any vertical surface, and grow plants in them like normal.


2. Frame it – take the backing out of old picture frames and use plants with shallow root systems for a picture perfect look. Smaller frames are great for planting herbs along kitchen walls.

3. Too easy – Simply use hang PVC tubes with an opening cut out. You could do a similar thing with two-litre plastic bottles.

4. String it – A string garden looks beautiful, ethereal even.

5. Romantic arches – Another popular, easy-to-use structure is an archway.


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