Spring is around the corner, and so it is time to start considering what vegetables we want to try to grow this year. While we are at it, we ought to also consider how and where we are going to grow those veggies. The days of needing a large plot of land to be productive are over. New ideas have come up, and gardening has become all about the vertical.
Vertical gardening is a great way to gain larger harvests in smaller spaces. Thirty years ago people might have seen a few square yards of garden as almost not worth the bother, but these days people are learning to stack their veggies, to take advantage of the fence, the wall, the posts, even ceilings as valuable space for the opportunistic home food producer.
What once could be grown in a tiny space is being doubled, tripled, quadrupled…what comes after quadrupled…by utilizing more than just the ground, but rather cultivating on railing, dangling produce from rooftops, and creating multi-leveled gardens.
Small Container Vertical Gardens
Likely the most popular of vertical gardening methods is the small container vertical garden. These are often constructed with a series of upcycled plastic bottles, repurposed pallets, or even a collection of classic plant pots. The basic idea is that up and along a wall, fence or rail, we can attach many, many containers in which we can grow productive plants, especially shallow rooting options like different lettuces, herbs and tomatoes. Rather than occupy our ground space with these, we can grow vertically and get more salad on the table, saving our precious square footage for the plants that need it.
High-Tech Hydroponic Vertical Gardens
Hydroponics is popular for its involvement with marijuana production, but it is also utilized quite a bit in commercial farming, especially — once again — for those with shallow roots, as well a thirsty disposition. Most hydroponic systems are run through a series of special food-grade (Be sure of this. PVC is not safe for growing food.) tubing. The tubes are arranged to have a slight tilt that runs one way in one tube and then back the other in the next and so on. A nutrient solution is cycled through them via gravity and then pumped back to the top to repeat the process, all the while allowing roots to grab what they need. This is definitely the techie method for vertical gardening.