How to Build a Vertical GardenDecember 8th, 2009 | Posted by in Lushe
A “How to Guide” for a vertical garden from Alyssa in Washington
Q: What is the wall built of?
A: The structure of the vertical garden is built of three things:
- posts to support the wall
- chicken wire
The posts were cemented several feet into the ground to support the large structure. On each side of the posts, a foot apart, the sides of the wall were erected. After the sides were thoroughly wired to the posts and to each other, the wall was filled dirt.
Q: How do you plant in the vertical garden?
A: It is very simple to plant in the vertical garden. You need three basic tools: a razor knife, a shovel, and wire cutters. I would recommend wearing gardening gloves because the wires can be rough on the hands. Simply cut the wires and bend them back making ample room for whatever you are planting. Then slit the Typar the appropriate size. Shovel out the dirt and gently place your plant inside. Within a few days your plant will begin to grow skyward. It is very exciting to see watch it grow up!
Q: How long did it take to plant the vertical garden?
A: There are two vertical garden at the farm, each is planted on both sides. It took me approximately 8 hours to plant each side. Keep in mind there were probably hundreds of plants for each side. Because there are more steps than normal gardening it does take longer. But it is well worth the effort when you see your final result!
Q: Is it possible to make a smaller version of your Vertical Garden?
A: Yes! It is very feasible to make a small Vertical Garden for those who don’t have enough space or time. You could even build a small cube with the primary goal of growing salad greens. The possibilities are endless!
Q: What kind of plants grow well on the Vertical Garden?
A: I found so many things that grow well, particularly salad greens. Any sort of mustard, lettuce, kale, pac choi, etc. does exceedingly well. I have grown many herbs (Thyme, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley) and flowers. Petunias are perhaps the best flowers to plant in the wall. They do a great job of covering and flowing. Any climbing vines or flowers are fabulous! I haven’t experimented AS much with vegetables, but tomatoes have done great, as well as Chard.
Q: How do you fertilise the vertical garden?
A: I have found it easiest to use liquid fertilizer (MiracleGro) and to pour small amounts into each hole using a watering can.
Q: How do you water?
A: We have placed a soaker hose at the top of the wall. Actually, I have found that the wall very rarely dries out. Because it is shaded it stays very wet. The top foot or so dries out but the soaker hose does a good job at watering that. As I plant I water them in to keep them from going into too much shock.
A bit of a time line of the build
The beginning of the first wall.
The list of plants are:
- Lettuce (Many varieties, ask for more info)
- Swiss Chard- Bright Lights, Ruby Red
- Alyssum-wonderland copper, deep purple
- African Daisy
- Parsley- darki, Italian Flat Leaf
- Dianthus- Pinks
- Chinese Cabbage- Joi Choi
We have figured out that if we water it in 30 minute increments periodically during the day that it will settle quickly. I am hoping that by this weekend the second wall will be completely ready for planting. After the last catastrophe, I have decided that I would rather wait a little longer than risk the wall’s hunger for more parsley.
follows: Alyssum, Petunias, Parsley, Phlox, Mustard, Joi Choi.
Plants included: Various Red Lettuce, Hybrid Phlox, Redbor Kale, Mustard and Endive, Alyssum (Wonderland Deep Rose), Swiss Chard (Bright Lights).
On to the second side
Yesterday I finished my third side of the Vertical Garden. It is very time consuming because you have to cut the wire, slit the typar, dig the hole, then find a way to fit the plant in the hole. Up until now other gardens have taken a priority, but I have finally found the time to complete this one. I have to say I am very satisfied with its outcome.
Only one side left! Now I have been paying very close attention to the plants as they grow in this strange establishment and several have just thrived! I think one of the most interesting is the strawberry plant. You’ll see why in the picture. The petunias are doing fabulous! By far the best plant for the wall. Pansies also seem to like it. I planted them a few weeks ago when they were smaller and now they are starting to bloom .YAY! As far as veggies go, I think the lettuce would get first place. I didn’t think it would get so big! It really just fills out. I love it! Let’s see….what else is doing well. Actually I can’t think of much that isn’t loving it. Except maybe the Coleus. I don’t think get as much shade as they would like.
One thing I am looking for as I watch these plants grow are plants that really fill out. Even though some are surviving and doing ok, they aren’t really covering as much as I would like. Plants that I have noticed to fill out are Petunias, pansies, lettuce, chard, alyssum, and Mimulus. So those are definitely keepers. Well, I think I have spoken enough. Now I will allow you to see for yourself. ENJOY!