Vertical Edible Garden
Vertical gardens are gardens that grow upwards on panels that have been suspended vertically. Vertical gardens have recently taken off in the industry, however, not many people take advantage of this new technique in their homes. In fact, vertical gardens are frequently only seen in public spaces, where flowers or any other types of plants are used to cover up walls and create vertical green spaces where horizontal space is limited. Vertical gardens can be used in homes for decorative reasons as well. However, they can also be used to grow edible plants, such as fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
Here are a few tips on how to create an edible vertical garden:
1- Choose the best location
An edible vertical garden’s location is very important. Because they are used to grow fruits and vegetables, these gardens must be placed or grown on a wall that provides the best growing conditions for them. In fact, almost all herbs, vegetables, and fruits need to be placed under direct sunlight to flourish. This is why it is best to select a spot on a wall that gets a lot of sunlight during the day. It is also important to pay attention to the shadows of the buildings around your house and avoid places that are surrounded with trees. Generally, all plants that produce fruits need the most sunlight, while vegetables like lettuce and other leafy greens can grow better with less sunlight.
2- Set up an effective irrigation system with a fertilizer injector
To keep plants growing in a vertical garden, an irrigation system that can provide moisture whenever needed is necessary. Polyethylene tubing is one of the best options for an irrigation system, as it is lightweight, durable, and corrosion resistant. This irrigation system allows water to drip down and irrigate all plants whenever needed. Another simpler option is to set up an irrigation system using repurposed or recycled plastic bottles or jugs. This option is a more environmentally friendly, as it helps reduce plastic waste. On the other hand, using a fertilizer injector to fertilize your plants is also very important for your plants to flourish. Fertilizer injectors are, in fact, the most efficient and accurate way to fertilize, as fertilizers can be added to the irrigation system, which means that the nutrients would be delivered in liquid form directly to the roots of your plants.
3- Choose the suitable growing containers
One of the first things to think about when creating an edible vertical garden is the containers you want to grow your plants in. To make the suitable choice, the surface that will be used must be taken into consideration, whether it is a chain link fence, wood, or brick, etc. One of the cheapest options is making self-made growing containers. For example, recycled plastic, such as milk jugs, yogurt containers, and plastic bottles, can be sewn into large pockets or hung from fences or walls. Other containers can include repurposed painted tin cans, clay pots, ladders, crates, terrarium planters, or pouches. Pouches, for instance, are often composed of biodegradable material and are super durable and environmentally friendly. One other unusual, but suitable container, is upcycled dressers, where old dressers are repurposed, filled with soil, and planted with leafy green vegetables.
4- Choose the best edible plants and herbs
As with any gardening, the weather in your area must be taken into account to choose the best plants. The sun, humidity, wind, and cold all affect plants and the types of plants you should grow. For instance, all nightshade plants, which include tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes among others, can grow really well in vertical gardens. However, they require lots of sun and varying degrees of heat. Root vegetables, on the other hand, which include radishes and carrots, also grow well in vertical gardens. These vegetables like cool weathers, which mean that it would be best to plant them in more shaded places. If stacked crates are used as growing containers, leafy greens like lettuce can also be planted. Fruits like strawberries and kiwi need a lot of space to grow, as they are vining fruits, which is why it is better to plant them at the top of the edible vertical garden or on a trellis to give them space to trail down and grow.
5- Maintain the edible garden as best as possible
Like any gardening, an edible vertical garden needs to be maintained. This is where the most challenging part of gardening lies. Once the planting process is over, it is important to remember to water your plants and fertilize them regularly and keep an eye out for harmful bugs, like spider mites and mealybugs. If an automatic irrigation system is not available, it is better to set reminders to water the plants manually or refill the self-made irrigation means. Different types of fertilizers should also be used to make sure that your fruits and vegetables flourish. Pesticides, on the other hand, can be made at home. Garlic, for example, can be turned into a spray and used as a pesticide. The nicotine found in tobacco is also poisonous to all kinds of insects, but it should not be used on nightshade plants, as it can affect them negatively.
Even though a large amount of people and cities aren’t taking advantage of edible vertical gardens, they are now becoming more popular with the lack of space and with the growing concerns about urbanization and air pollution. These gardens can have a positive effect on cities and improve air quality. The good news about edible vertical gardens is that they can be grown anywhere, whether outside or inside the house, or across cities. And even though they require additional care and attention, they can help lower our carbon footprint and create a healthier and a more sustainable environment.
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