Growing Vegetables In A Vertical Garden Growing Vegetables In A Vertical Garden

Homeowners tight on space can grow vegitables a vertical garden, which has the added benefits of preventig damage by certain animals, is easier on the back for weeding and picking, and adds an interesting visual appeal. Here are some steps to follow to grow vegetables vertically in the garden.

Step 1: Figure Out Space and Climate Conditions

Measure the amount of space that is available. Although the garden will be a vertical arrangement, careful consideration of total square footage is required to make an informed decision on both types and quantities of vegetables that can be grown.

Consider the type of climate the vegetables require. Vegetables need lots of sun to thrive, and many have several harvests during a growing season.

Step 2: Allocate Containers According to Vegetable Size

If the intention is to grow vegetables that get to a fairly large size or need substantial containing structures, such as melons, cucumber, pumpkins or squash, the vertical garden will probably consist of fewer, rather than more, such arrangements. If, however, the vertical garden will be divided among smaller-growing vegetable varieties, such as green beans, tomatoes, peas or other less heavy crops, the total number may increase.

Study the growing requirements of each type of vegetable. Cucumbers, melons, squash and pumpkin typically require a great deal of space when allowed to trail along the ground. Gourds can take up to 25 feet of ground space, and squash up to 10 feet. When planted in vertically, they may take up less than a  quarter of the space.

Step 3: Determine Vertical Garden Containers and Support

Will the containers for the vertically-grown vegetables be oak barrels cut in two, large ceramic tree planters, or grown in the ground and supported by an A-frame or trellis? Will the vegetables be secured to the vertical growing support by means of cloth, twine, rope or string? Again, be guided by the heaviness of the maturing vegetable plant as to the type of material used to secure it to the support.

Tomato plants require a sturdy stake tied at intervals with soft twine, or use a commercially-available metal cage or support.

Cucumbers can be easily trained to grow up a trellis, fence or A-frame.  Wide-mesh fencing, reinforced with additional support from iron rods or stakes, can also be used.

Another use for an arbor is to grow pole beans. These vegetables actually grow better vertically than horizontally.

Step 4: Prepare the Soil

Don’t just use any soil for the vertical vegetable garden. The best and most fertile soil is a silty soil, which contains quartz and other fine organic particles. The next best is loamy soil, a combined mixture of 40 percent sand, 20 percent clay and 40 percent silt.

Add natural organic material to the soil such as composted manure or homemade compost. Composted manure is readiy available at garden centers.

Step 5: Plant the Vegetables

Vegetables can be started in trays from seed and transplanted to vertical garden growing containers when they reach appropriate size. Or, buy vegetables in 4- to 6-inch pots for a quicker head-start on the vegetable growing season.

Place supports in the vertical growing container. As the vegetable grows, it can be easily secured to the support.



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