We all know that plants enrich our lives in myriad ways–cleaner air, improved mood, and better productivity among them. But if you don’t have a ton of space, how can you incorporate more plants into your life? Use what you have–walls–and try out vertical gardening.
Vertical gardening can mean a number of different things. Here at Plantscapers, one of our favorite projects to design and install are living walls. These collections of plants are incorporated into grids to create pattern and texture where only paint would have lived before. There are countless options for types of plants to include, from succulents to trailing vines, or even herbs, if you want to use your walls for culinary purposes. Even the side of your refrigerator can be a great place to grow herbs in magnetic pots with adequate sunshine.
A large yard isn’t necessary for growing vegetables either. Vining plants will grow up if presented with a structure to climb. Even voracious vining vegetables like cucumbers or zucchini can grow vertically as long as there is a wall or trellis available. But don’t let traditional trellising be the end of your vertical gardening journey. Get creative!
Consider your sunlight–You may be sipping square footage, but you still need to consider your sunlight needs. For vegetables, full sun is needed for good yields. For living walls, dappled sunlight or even shade can work depending on the mix of plants that you choose. Either way, set yourself up for success by choosing a spot that will feed your plants the vitamin D they need.
Think about how to water–Living walls are beautiful, but how do you water them? The easy answer is to have Plantscapers do it for you, but if you’re building one yourself, consider a drip irrigation system. Drip systems can vary in complexity, but the basic premise is that water starts at the top and works its way down. Also, consider choosing plants that don’t require as much water. That’s one reason that succulents are so popular in living walls. Air plants, which require a misting of water at most, are also great options and give a tropical feel to your space.
Choose plants that play well together–Look into which plants work well together. Plant behaviors are important–if you have a vining plant, make sure it won’t creep into another plant’s space and steal its resources. Plant height is also a factor. Don’t plant something that will grow tall quickly and obliterate sunlight for shorter varietals. And lastly, try to pick plants that have similar water needs. A succulent will drown if put next to a water guzzler. Keep like plants together for ease and harmony.
Have fun–there are so many different ways to grow vertical gardens. Puncture holes in the sides of a plastic barrel for one option. Stack different sized pots in an artistic tower for flowering plants or herbs. If you’re a Francophile, read up on espalier methods, where trees can be trained to grow in beautiful designs within fences and along walls. The options are truly endless and limited only by your own space and creativity.
Stumped? Plantscapers has plenty of ideas. Let’s find something together–drop us a line, and we can brainstorm!