Benefits of vertical gardening 020222 | Living

Benefits of vertical gardening

Go vertical to expand your outdoor garden space, create privacy and add beauty to bare walls and fences. This age-old technique has been used to grow food and flowers, adding beauty and productivity from scratch.

Even those who garden on small urban lots, balconies and patios can go vertical to expand their gardening possibilities.

Grow green beans, peas, squash, melons, tomatoes and other climbing edible plants on supports. This saves space, reduces the risk of disease and greatly facilitates harvesting.

Enjoy the many benefits of vertical gardening even when growing in containers. Make your own or buy a support that fits securely and supports the vines growing in the pot.

Or buy a container with a built-in trellis. Reduce maintenance further by using a self-watering pot like the City Jungle Self-Watering Tomato Planter large enough to grow and support two indeterminate tomatoes.

Mount the containers on a wall or fence or stack and secure them vertically to increase growing space. Systems like the Vigoroot Four-Tier Balcony Garden offer plenty of planting space in just a few square feet.

Include trellises and arbors in raised beds and raised gardens to further maximize growing space. Trellis pulls the vines upwards while arches allow you to grow two layers of plants, one on top of the trellis and one below.

Dress up a bare wall or fence, hide poor view, or create privacy with a plant-covered trellis. Leave space between the wall and the trellis when gardening next to a building.

This space allows air circulation between the building and the plants, reducing the risk of mold on the wall and diseases infecting the plants.

Grow annual vines for quick coverage and perennial vines for years of beauty. Mix the two together to quickly cover the trellis with the annual vine while waiting for the perennial to become established and reach adult size.

You can plant two vines with different bloom times on a trellis to extend the colorful flower display. Or look for ones that bloom at the same time to double the floral impact.

Use decorative brackets to add beauty or a focal point all year round. Select the rustic, formal or colorful style that complements your garden design, furnishings and personality. Make sure whatever you choose is strong enough to support the plants you are growing.

Hide rain barrels, compost bins and other functional areas of the landscape with a wall of plants. Leave space for easy access when filling your compost bin or harvesting finished compost and rainwater.

Dress up a lamp or mailbox post with a vine-covered bracket. Create your own from chicken wire or purchase a curved trellis like the Bosmere trellis suitable for this application.

Use trellises and arbors to illuminate often overlooked spaces. A vine-covered arbor makes a lovely floral welcome at the entrance to a walkway or a colorful transition between garden areas.

Make sure the opening is large enough to accommodate visitors and any necessary equipment.

Whatever your style and location, vertical gardens can help you maximize your grow space and the beauty of your garden.

Melinda Myers is the author of over 20 gardening books, including Small Space Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses DVD series “How to Grow Anything” and the nationally broadcast television and radio show Melinda’s Garden Moment. Myers is a columnist and editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and her website ishttp://www.MelindaMyers.com.

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