Add a splash of color or the scent of fragrant herbs to your small garden space or patio with a vertical garden. Whether you choose to create your containers from recycled products or purchase a ready-made kit, you'll soon find that vertical gardens can be eye-catching and practical.
Pouch Vertical Garden
Pouch vertical gardens can be created using felt-based pouches and/or planters. The felt-based containers may be used on their own, by individually attaching them to a wood frame or a fence to create individual soft pouches for your plants. The specially made fabric cuts down on the amount of soil needed for planting. Some commercially available vertical garden planters use the felt planters tucked inside tiered plastic pockets. The pockets may be individually watered or hooked up to a drip irrigation system. The pouches and vertical planters work equally well for decorative plants and herbs.
Vertical Vine Container Garden
Sometimes it’s the plant that creates a vertical garden. Vines are a perfect example. Set a floor garden planter in the corner of your garden or patio, add some vertical supports for the vines and watch them climb. Your supports can be as tall as you wish and made from almost any material. Rough textured supports, such as bamboo stakes, give the vines a better grip. Place the stakes in the container before planting. The baby vines will gravitate toward them.
Ensure the size of the container and the strength of the support match the growth potential of the vine. Sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus), an annual that grows between 3 and 8 feet tall with a spread of 2 to 3 feet, is a colorful and manageable option.
Recycled Pallet Vertical Garden
Transform a recycled shipping pallet into a multi-tiered vertical garden container. A pallet garden can be mounted on a wall or fence, or with the addition of supporting legs, can be free-standing. Building options vary, but the most common involves covering one side of the pallet, along with three of the edges and the bottom, with landscaping paper and a waterproof barrier. Soil is packed into the other side through the slats while the pallet is still horizontal. Once the plants are in place, the vertical garden is mounted. Care and watering are determined by the type of plants you choose and the climate.
Soda Pop Bottle Container Gardens
Plastic soda bottles also make interesting vertical garden containers. One idea is to suspend rows of bottles on ropes or chains from the top of a wall or fence. Ensure they are equally spaced so the display is visually appealing. Each bottle becomes an individual planter. A rectangular opening is cut out of the side of each bottle to make room for the soil and plant. The holes already cut out for the hanging ropes act as drainage outlets. These planters require individual watering, but they are inexpensive and can fit just about anywhere. Another option is to hang individual strands of ropes on a porch or patio with soda bottles attached. Cut the bottom ends off for planting and watering. Hang the bottles upside-down with the cap on.
Recycled Dresser Vertical Garden
Recycled dressers also make eye-catching vertical gardens. Go rustic and place an old dresser, drawers included, in one corner of your garden. This works best with a dresser with at least three stacked drawers. Open each drawer, with the lowest one pulled out the most, the next up about three quarters open and the top about half-way open. This creates a tiered garden, ready for soil and your choice of plants. If the drawers are in fairly good shape and pretty much intact, you may need to drill holes in the bottom for drainage. More elaborate vertical gardens may be created by stacking drawers from different dressers. Nails and/or screws are usually needed to provide stability.
Self-Watering Vertical Garden Containers
Self-watering vertical garden containers combine the space saving advantage with convenience. Kits are available that include stackable planter holders with central reservoirs. Water is pulled up from the reservoirs into the bottom of the containers, which fit in individual slots in each tier. Gravity pulls the excess water down to the next tier until it reaches the bottom drip tray. This prevents the system from over-watering the plants. The frequency of watering is governed by the type of plants and the climate. These planters work well as hanging gardens or when placed on a solid surface.