Vertical gardening is a perfect way to still sow and reap the benefits of a traditional garden without relying on the space that a traditional garden requires. While it may be different from what most gardeners are used to, certain DIY methods can be used when you don’t have the luxury of space because either your backyard is too small or you live in an apartment complex with limited space. Due to this, certain fruits and vegetables will need a green thumb that is up to the task. We compiled a list of both fruits and vegetables that should help you get started with your vertical garden.
1. Climbing Edibles
If your vertical garden is established by the use of trellises and poles, plants that tend to climb with vine-like structuring will be especially successful. Many of these plants need a grounded root system but will grow upwards endlessly.
By far these are the easiest plant to grow in a vertical trellis garden. Tomatoes are abundant and quick to climb almost all year long. They are hardy plants that will give you plenty to harvest for making salsa and sauces all spring and summer long. Opt for smaller varieties like grape or cherry tomatoes for the most success. Here is a great article on Diseases that affect Tomatoes that you may find insightful.
A similar plant to the tomato, tomatillos are a delicious green addition to any vertical garden. Their strong stalks love to climb and thrive in direct and indirect sunlight. They can be roasted and used in a variety of dishes to deliver some serious levels of complex flavor.
Some varieties of peas are strictly ground-based, but pole peas are bred to climb. In vertical gardens, they get the benefit of increased sunlight and are significantly easier to harvest than traditional peas. There are also varieties of pole beans that can be grown, but peas tend to fare better.
Quite a few berries can be successfully grown in vertical gardens, but few fare as well as strawberries. They can grow in both compact and trellis style vertical gardens. Strawberries grow best in mild temperatures, so be wary of frost and be ready to harvest come early springtime because this berry has plenty of output.
Although a tad unexpected, kiwi, with their small size and fuzzy skin, grow in similar conditions to strawberries and thrive in vertical spaces. A tad more complicated to grow than strawberries, they are still an unexpected and rewarding addition to any vertical garden.
Cucumbers are some of the most versatile ingredients in the kitchen and exciting plants in the garden. Any moderately green thumb will love watching these beautiful fruits (yes, they are a fruit) reach their maximum size in vertical gardens. In fact, professionals recommend for cucumbers to always be grown upright because they grow straighter and with fewer blemishes.
8. Compact Edibles
If you are using a vertical garden that is completely elevated from the ground, perhaps hanging from a free-floating shelf, select plants that can grow in compact spaces with shallow root systems. These gardens are perfect for a wide variety of fruits and leafy vegetables.
Lettuce is notoriously difficult to grow in gardens prone to slugs, but elevating your garden makes the process significantly easier. Vertical gardens are perfect for protecting lettuce from slugs and optimizing the visual aesthetic of your layout.
These tiny trees are a great green addition for anyone interested in expanding their gardening techniques. They are slow growing, need over five hours of sun daily, and should be planted a foot apart from each other. They grow well next to herbs and other vegetables around it.
If your garden hangs on a shady wall, consider planting spinach. Not only is it the most popular nutritious green for salads, pastas, smoothies, and more, spinach is easy to grow. When starting from seeds, monitor moisture closely and replenish iron-rich soil regularly.
12. Kale and Chard
These incredibly healthy and surprisingly delicious leafy greens grow remarkably well in vertical gardening. Their leaves are large and have a variety of complex purple and green colors. The rainbow varieties are particularly fun with strong stalks that support.
This is a guest post by Craig Scott of Everything Backyard
Follow Everything Backyard on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BYardMasters/