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Planning

How To Plan and Plant Your Vertical Garden

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.

Time Your Harvest (531x800)

How To: Time Out Your Leafy Green Harvest

Planting leafy greens is exceptionally easy and for many variety results in both an ongoing harvest, as well as the opportunity for a second harvest in the same season. Some of the hardier varieties can be effectively overwintered, as well. Continue reading

Expert Tips on How to Make S’mores

how to make smoresThe original recipe on how to make s’mores appeared in the American Girl Scout Handbook in 1927. This recipe utilized Graham crackers – first invented by Sylvester Graham way back in 1829, before anyone knew how to make s’mores – plus chocolate and marshmallows.

If you ask anyone today how to make s’mores you might get the original recipe that tells you how to make s’mores, or you might be told how to make s’mores a completely different way.

Here are some tips on how to make s’mores the traditional way:

•    Use Graham crackers which are more like cookies than crackers.

•    Get the crackers and chocolate ready before you toast the marshmallows.
You can ‘roast’ them over a stove burner or use long metal forks for roasting
over an outdoor fire pit or grill.

•    Marshmallows are ready when slightly brown outside and runny inside.how to make smores

•    Sandwich chocolate with a toasted marshmallow between a halved cracker and squeeze together gently.

Other fabulous s’mores recipes:

The Mexican S’more: use flour tortillas with crunchy peanut butter, chocolate chips and marshmallow.

The Chilled S’more: spread peanut butter and instant chocolate pudding on Graham crackers and add whipped topping instead of marshmallows.

The Elvis S’more: spread peanut butter on the Graham cracker, add chocolate and banana… marshmallow is optional!

Tell us… what is your favorite recipe for making a s’more?!

FTCOPTCINT-C 4

Video of the Month: How To Decorate A Patio

Are you wondering how you are going to decorate your patio this year? Wonder no more… AvantGarden® has all the answers! Watch our video to find out great expert tips and advice.