Discovering the benefits of growing vertical urban garden
Here are some of the many benefits to growing a vertical urban garden:
Space saving: You can grow more plants in a smaller area because you can train your plantings to grow vertically instead of competing with one another for space horizontally.
Simplified efforts: It is easier to harvest from a trellis than to stoop and harvest from the ground. It is also easier to get around the garden when there aren’t vines sprawling around to step over.
Less chance for plant disease: Growing plants vertically may also help reduce disease problems like powdery mildew by improving air circulation through the foliage. In addition, keeping your plants away from direct contact with the soil helps reduce the risk of soil-borne fruit rot diseases.
Easier to weed: Every square foot of garden you have is a square foot of soil that may require weeding. The vertical garden encompasses less space and thus less area to keep weed free!
Easier to fertilize: Vertical garden beds are more accessible and easier to fertilize when needed.
Water conserving: Vertical gardens help you save water. They take up less planter space, reducing water needs.
Shade providing: Vertical gardens can provide shade, reduce temperatures, and create a cooler, more comfortable microclimate.
Greater sun exposure: Vertical plantings have less competition with one another for sunlight exposure, which is also why this gardening technique can provide you greater shading capabilities.
Wind shielding: Vertical plantings and structures can help protect against harsh winter winds while also working to channel summer breezes into your urban garden area.
Visually pleasing “Wow Factor”: Whether as a backdrop to your outdoor room or as a special focal element and garden feature, vertical gardens provide a visually stimulating accent to your outdoor space and a great conversation piece for entertaining guests.
Facing the Challenges of Growing Vertical
Here are some of the challenges to growing vertically:
Room to grow: Placing a trellis up against a wall may hinder plant growth since room is needed on both sides of a trellis system. When fixing a trellis to a wall, add 2″-by-2″ wood lath strips along the façade first and then fix your trellis to these. This will help keep the trellis system far enough away from the wall, allowing ample room for plants to climb and grow well.
Building regulations and municipal review: For larger vertical construction, one of your challenges may be obtaining approvals from your condo association and local municipality. Be sure to call or visit your local city planning and zoning and fire prevention departments to find out what requirements you may need to follow.
Protection from winter frost: Vertical plantings are more susceptible to low temperatures and freezing soil conditions in the winter when compared to planting at ground level. For small container plantings, consider moving planters indoors during the winter months if possible. The south and west sides of your home provide greater sun exposure to keep plantings warmer in the winter.
Finding the right plants: Selecting suitable hardy plantings for your vertical garden is key to having a beautiful and successful garden. When purchasing plants, be sure to ask questions.
Watering: Hosing down the plants horizontally will only moisten surface growth because the majority of the water splashes back onto the ground. Be sure to develop your vertical garden with watering in mind. In addition to drainage holes, provide adequate room for irrigation or watering efforts that can penetrate through the soil or growing medium appropriately.
Drainage space: Make sure that your vertical containers allow ample room and drainage so water doesn’t get trapped inside your planters and cause root decay. Containers like terra-cotta clay pots provide excellent drainage capabilities, making over-watering less likely.