VERTICAL GARDENING has its challenges and so to, does growing vegetables. If you have a basic understanding of the principles of vertical gardening and the few requirements that vegetables have to really thrive, you are more likely to have a positive experience with your vertical produce garden.
ROOT SPACE is KEY
Vertical gardens typically have more restricted root space than those in the ground so find a system that has plenty of root space for your vegetables and you’ll be off to a great start. If you have ever grown vegetables in pots, you will know how important it is to keep the soil (potting media) temperatures and moisture levels as even as possible. Plants that become heat or water stressed quickly lose vigour; leafy vegetables often ‘bolt’ to seed in these conditions, resulting in very poor production.
TRIPLE YOUR EXISTING GROWING SPACE
So… a great solution for space restricted gardeners is to ditch the pots and use a soil based, vertical garden system. Growing a substantial produce garden using pots takes up a lot of floor space. Vertical garden systems actually CREATE gardening space, you can triple the square metreage of your area by going vertical and reap an abundant harvest!
NO POTS – NO TRAYS!
The soil volumes in the steel vertical systems are huge compared to pots and many other vertical gardening systems. In this vertical gardening system, plant roots can travel around in over half a cubic metre of soil media volume. This large volume of soil helps tremendously with maintaining even temperatures and moisture levels – saving you time and water when compared to other vertical gardening systems and other planters.
Your vegetables will thrive in this vertical garden system but importantly, they also look sensational. Your vertical garden will become a feature in any space – a living wall of green that beautifies and also feeds the whole family! Aesthetics are so important in restricted areas but everyone deserves fresh salad on hand!
Due to the large body of soil media in the open tiered, steel vertical gardening system, plants are able to draw from a large supply of nutrients. Regular feeding with traditional liquid fertilisers from a watering can and some slow release fertiliser a few times a year is all that is required.
NO MOVING PARTS
Many vertical gardening systems are based on hydroponic methods of growing where the plants are anchored to a matting or foam and have further systems that control watering and fertiliser solution applications; however the open tiered, steel vertical gardening system is based on a traditional, low-tech gardening experience. This vertical garden is filled with soil media (potting mix) from top to bottom and essentially you just plant your favourite vegetable seeds or seedlings into the exposed tiers of potting media with your trowel and water them in. You can simply hand water your vertical garden with harvested rain or mains water with any method you like, watering can, hose or automated dripper system.
YEAR IN YEAR OUT
Once your vegetables have had their season, simply remove them and plant your vertical garden with your new favourites. Why stop at vegetables though, strawberries and herbs do incredibly well too! Don’t miss the next article in this series, “Vertical Gardening with Herbs.”