For those of you, who are confined to an apartment lifestyle and have little or no space for practicing full-fledged gardening, vertical gardening could be your saviour.
Gardening is a luxury not every city-dwellers can afford. Vertical gardens serve as an alternative option to people who don’t have a lot of horizontal space. All it needs is a little creativity and imaginative mind and you’re good to go.
Types of Vertical Gardens:
Keeping in mind the various factors such as cost, type of plant, growing conditions required, watering needs and drainage, the different types of vertical gardens are:-
1. Green Wall
A green wall is the most attractive vertical garden. It can either be free standing or attached to the wall and can either be designed indoor or outdoor use. It is also termed as a ‘living wall’ as the entire wall structure is covered by the vegetation. Generally creepers go well with this kind of vertical gardening.
Growing plants in pockets is another way of growing plants vertically. The pockets are made out of felt fabrics through which the plants can breathe so that they grow better. We can also use fabric shoes instead of pockets to make it less expensive.
3. Arranged Garden pots
In this type of vertical gardening we use normal gardening pots of various materials and colours and hang them on the walls. Plants of various herbs and flowers with coordinating colours are planted in these pots to create an attractive view. Herbs, seasonal and annual plants go well with this kind of gardening.
4. Trellis Gardens
Vines have been long known to be growing on trellises, vertically. In this kind of gardening we use the same type of trellises we get in the market or we can make one of our own by wood or wire in a shape of our own choice.
5. Tiered Gardens
When several long bed-like structures are placed to look something like a staircase, the garden developed this way is known as a tiered garden. Plants are planted in those beds in little planters or baskets. This type of gardening makes efficient use of space and is the best option for urban-gardeners.
Caring for a Vertical garden:
A wide range of plants can live in a vertical garden. One should choose the plants according to the existing environmental conditions like temperature, humidity and light as well as the aesthetic look one intends to achieve.
If a vertical garden is created indoors, it becomes quite necessary to keep a tab on their water requirements as natural means of watering (rainfall) is completely cut off. The excess water must be collected in the water collection trays at the base which can either be re-utilized or drained away.
If pockets are used for a vertical garden then water is supplied at the top row of pockets which wicks down the felt fabric and this water can be supplied by a drip-irrigation or hand-watered. In case of a green wall, drip system on the top layer is sufficient enough to irrigate the lower layers of plants as water seeps down.
Plants according to their light requirements are rated from shade to full-sun. Every plant needs adequate sunlight to thrive while some may even burn in direct sunlight. So, choosing the suitable plant for a particular vertical garden location is most essential. Asking someone who is an expert in this regard about the best plant for a particular location, can be the wisest option. Also, artificial lighting can be used if no natural light is available in a location where gardening is needed.
Always use quality topsoil that includes essential elements of vermicompost, peat moss, sand and organic matter. A slow release fertilizer must be used on the topmost layer of the plants, so that the nutrients are washed down to the plants below by watering.
The term “vertical farming”, coined by Gilbert Ellis Bailey in 1915 in his book- Vertical farming, refers to the practice of urban farming to produce fruits, vegetables and herbs. Though it becomes a little difficult to produce fruits and vegetables vertically at home, it is quite possible to grow herbs at home through vertical farming.
Vertical farming is an integrated form of agriculture where farming can be practiced within the concrete walls of our apartments. Herbs like lettuce, parsley, thyme, oregano, mint, coriander, etc., can be grown in a vertical farm. These herbs can be grown along a wall in pockets, trellis, pallets, pots, bottles etc. Besides kitchen gardening, vertical farming is the best way to grow food right at our doorstep, regardless of the horizontal growing space available.
So, we see what an amazing discovery vertical gardening/vertical farming is. It is probably the best option of gardening for the people living in urban environments where growing space is very limited. Why crib about space for gardening when there is always an option of vertical gardening? Let’s seize the chance and start gardening right away!