Plant a Vertical Vegetable Garden

Plants being trained up posts in a garden

Growing a vertical vegetable garden is an excellent way to ensure that your kitchen will never lack fresh veggies even if your outdoor space is limited. In vertical vegetable gardens, the plants grow upward, supported on props that come in various designs. Starting on such a project is relatively inexpensive since these props are quite affordable.

Different Types of Props

  • Tripods
  • Obelisks
  • Wire cages
  • Trellises
  • Arbors
  • Twine
  • Growing containers – can be the conventional plant pot or even an old tub or pail.

Step 1 - Select Location for Your Garden

Location is the most important consideration for two reasons: first, your plants have to grow in a place that receives adequate sunlight across the day (six hours of sun exposure daily is the recommended minimum); second, your vegetable garden needs a good supply of water. For this reason, plant the garden far from big trees and some shrub varieties that consume lots of water.

Step 2 - Ensure that the Soil Type is Right

hands sifting through soil

This is especially important if you intend to plant the vegetables in containers. In this case, you should remember to change the soil annually. Otherwise, prepare the soil so that it will have just the right texture and pH for the growing plants. You may have to use some compost and mulch.

Step 3 - Decide On the Type of Supports You Will Use

This depends on whether you want to invest in permanent structures like trellises or in some that you can dismantle after a growing season is complete e.g. bamboo stake tepees.

Step 4 - Make a Plan For the Vegetable Garden

Decide how the vertical vegetable garden is going to be structured by making a plan on paper to scale.

Step 5 - Map Out the Plan on the Ground

With the plan as your guide, mark out the ‘to be’ vegetable garden. Walk through the ‘garden’ even while pushing a wheelbarrow to confirm that you will indeed have good working space.

Step 6 - Set up the Plant Supports

variety of plants in a courtyard

You can either purchase readily assembled wire cages, trellises and arbors, or you can opt to assemble them yourself. The wire cages can be made by nailing chicken wire around wooden posts that have been secured in the ground. Trellises and arbors can be made by nailing lattice sheets onto similarly secured wooden posts. Twine only needs to be attached to stable supports like the garden shed or the garage.

Step 7 - Make Pathways inside the Garden

You can make paved paths in the garden to ease your access. To do this you can simply use old bricks or even gravel.

Step 8 - Plant the Seeds

Plant the vegetable seeds into the soil at appropriately distanced shallow holes. Have each hole contain three seeds from which you will select the healthiest upon germination. The other two will then be removed. Water the soil as you plant the seeds.

Step 9 - Train the plants onto the supports

Your young plants will not automatically reach out for the supports; you have to train them. Use twine to anchor the plants onto the trellis, arbor, or otherwise. Twine is soft and expandable; it doesn’t eat into the stems as they grow.

Step 10 - Mulch Your Plants

It is important that your plants receive a good amount of water daily. To retain soil moisture spread some mulch around the individual plants.

Step 11 - Use Manure or Fertilizer

Your plants require various nutrients to grow well. You can either use fertilizers or manure that has the right composition for vegetables.

Step 12 - Harvest and Plant Again

Once the crop is fully matured proceed to harvest it and use it in the kitchen. You can then start again by planting new seeds in the vegetable garden.