1. Why a vertical garden?
Where gardening space is non-existent or at a premium, vertical gardens are a great solution. Any available vertical surface such as on a balcony, in a courtyard, in an alleyway can be used to have a food garden.
You can have fresh, healthy organic food, green your space and experience the joy of ‘growing your own’ in very little space.
2. What do you need to set up your garden?
A vertical surface – walls, fences, trellises, balconies, trees or even watertanks.
A couple of Vertical Veg Panels and Pots – depending on the size of your space.
If you have not got a wall our free-standing, mobile Vertical Veg Box Panels can be used. They are perfect in places where you can’t attach panels to walls such as in rentals and retirement villages. They are easy to move around to get the best sunlight and also you can take them with you if you change address.
Generally, outdoors is better as the panels do drip water after watering
3. What do you need to consider when placing your vertical garden?
Space: Measure your wall so you know what size panel you can put up.
Aspect: Which way does your wall face – North, South, East or West
Watch which way the sun moves across your space. Gardens need some sun every day. For flowering and fruiting plants (edible flowers, strawberries, tomatoes etc.) you will need more sunshine. Morning sun is best. North-facing walls are too hot for fabric panels, as they dry out too quickly.
Wind: Extremely windy areas may also not be suitable as plants get damaged and again soil in the pockets will dry too fast.
Accessibility: If you are growing food you will need to be able to reach your panels to feed and water and harvest. You need an accessible water source.
Our system is so versatile – panels can be placed anywhere so that even wheelchair-bound people can garden easily. No more backache from bending down to garden!
4. What herbs and /or veggies can you use?
Always best to start off small, and also to grow what you like to eat.
The Vertical Veg pockets are large and spacious for good root growth. Most of the soft herbs will grow well in them such as: Origanum, Thyme, Marjoram, Rocket, Chives, Basils, Sage, Parsley, Tarragon, Mints, etc. (see our FAQ’s on the website)
Heavy and large herbs like Rosemary and Lavender are too large for the pockets and will prefer the open ground or a single large pot.
Veggies such as Spinach, Chard, Asian greens, Lettuces as well as edible flowers all do well on a wall. Root veggies and large plants like tomatoes or peppers will not do well on a wall – use a big pot or in the ground.
5. How often should you replace the plants?
Annuals need replacing every year, and perennials can be cut back and they will re-grow. Just as for gardening in pots so treat your vertical garden in the same way.
6. What potting mix and fertilisers should you use?
We advise on using a potting medium that matches the kind of plants you wish to grow. A good potting soil available at Garden Centres for veggies / herbs is great. Often these are ‘lighter’ and ‘richer’ or may even contain fertilizers in the mixture.
Your food garden will need more feeding and watering than those in open ground. Pelletised fertilizers can be incorporated into the planting mixture at the beginning but liquid fertilizers are easier to distribute into the pockets once the plants have grown.
7. What about watering systems?
If you have a lot of time to focus on plant care, then you can water and feed by hand using a watering can or hose.
If you keep the panels indoors great care must be taken when watering as the water will drip out.
In hot or windy conditions, they will dry more quickly so will need more watering. Adding water retention material to the soils on planting is a way to ensure this effect is minimised.
If you don’t have enough time then consider placing the vertical garden onto an automatic drip irrigation watering system
8. A few tips:
Intersperse your planting with edible flowers – this looks beautiful and also is beneficial for companion planting.
Take into account the plants’ needs for water and place those that prefer wet conditions near the bottom of the panel and those that prefer drier – at the top.
Plants can easily be replaced as needed.
The panels can be emptied and washed with a mild washing liquid and a gentle scrub. Once clean they can be re-hung and re-planted.
Regular harvesting encourages growth – so cut and eat or preserve your produce.