Planning your Vertical Garden is different from planning a traditional garden, but shouldn’t be done with any less care.
Step One: Consider the location of your Vertical Garden
Ideally, vegetable plants in your Vertical Garden should get at least six hours of sustained sunlight a day. Pick a spot that will allow for maximum sun while minimizing filtered light through trees. If a large wall on the side of your house gets the best light, that’s a perfect spot to consider. Even well-lit balconies and porches will work. If it’s available, a south-facing location is the best.
A wonderful aspect of vertical gardening is choosing a location. You’re not as limited by space as you would be with a traditional garden. In fact, you’ll probably find that you have an abundance of available space to grow up rather than out. Remember that an area as small as an apartment balcony can serve as an excellent vertical gardening spot. Just a few containers and trellis supports will do the trick.
Step Two: Where’s the Water?
As with any vegetable garden, make sure that wherever you choose to place it is close to a convenient source of water. Ideally, your Vertical Garden can be reached by a garden hose.
Step Three: Soil for your Vertical Garden
Depending on your space, you’ll want to decide whether to plant your vegetables in soil at the base of your growing area or use containers. In either case, use a good gardening soil. Augment it with rich compost to provide the nutrients your plants will need.
Step Four: Plant Choices
Carefully consider what you’re planning to grow in your Vertical Garden. Naturally vining vegetables are perfect, of course. However, don’t rule out other vegetables and herbs that grow closer to the ground. While vining plants will likely require a trellis or some other form of support, those that don’t vine can be planted in nearly anything that you can hang or mount on a vertical surface.
Step Five: Follow the Plan
Plant seeds just as you would in a traditional gardening. Take care to leave enough space according to the planting instructions. When planting vegetables that will need a support structure, don’t forget to install the supports at the same time you plant. Adding supports after the plants have sprouted can damage the young root systems.
Step Six: Training
As your vining plants sprout and mature, “train” them to grow upward. Simply manually thread the young vines up through the support system. This is an ongoing process and should be part of your regular Vertical Garden upkeep.