About Vertical Garden Design
Vegetables, fruits and berries can be grown horizontally only on acres of land, but in a small garden, you can grow these gems vertically on fences, trellises, posts, walls or in containers. In fact, squash, cucumbers, berries and peas grow better vertically. The trellises, posts and containers can be placed anywhere: on the patio, on a side fence, or on your balcony.
If your present space is, say 5 by 5 feet, you can, with perhaps only two trellises and a fence, increase the growing space to 100 square feet. The only thing to remember when gardening vertically is that your soil must be specially prepared-it has to have plenty of nutrients so the plants will thrive.
Besides the vine clamps, eyebolts, hangers and wire mesh, which you can buy, you will need posts, trellises and other supports so plants have something to grasp or cling to. The construction of these items is not at all difficult, if you follow our plans.
If you have an existing fence in your yard, half your work is done. You can make a box garden on the fence by hanging planter boxes on brackets at varying levels. The average small fence will hold three 36-inch planters spaced 20 inches apart horizontally.
This box garden is perfect for beets, carrots and lettuce. you can also run wire in a grid pattern directly on the fence, but be sure to leave 12 - 16 inches between wires. Start vining vegetables like squash and peas at the bottom of the fence in planter boxes or in the ground.
Another excellent planting plan, if you have room, involves running a partition at right angles to the fence. This gives you more surfaces on which to grow plants. Cover some surfaces with construction or baling wire or trellises, use planter boxes for root crops on other surfaces.
You will not need a large plot of ground for trellis vegetable gardening. Even if you have only a walkway and fence, you can grow some vegetables in planters, or wherever you can erect a trellis. If you have space, use the ground area for root crops like beets and carrots and, as I mentioned, grow vining crops on trellises or fences or walls.
Do not try to do too much the first year. Put in a few crops for trellis gardening and enjoy them rather than attempt to grow so many vegetables that gardening becomes a chore. You can grow vegetables directly in the ground parallel to fences or walls-wherever you can erect a trellis-or you can use planters.
Just what you do depends on the space and the character of the garden area. If yo have only a patio, it is far better to garden in containers. If there is a small garden area where you are growing other plants, then growing in the ground with trellis support may harmonize better with the overall scheme.
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