Design Detailing

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The Best Plants for Vertical Gardens

The Best Plants for Vertical Gardens

You can grow many varieties of plants with a vertical garden plan. Flowers, greenery, vegetables and fruit can all do well with vertical gardening techniques – and most of the time, yield more than a traditional, horizontal garden space.

Growing vegetables is especially easy with a growing-up garden because the veggies are off the ground and away from soil-borne diseases and pests. For those of us who love having a garden but have difficult bending and kneeling, a vertical garden is great for harvesting while standing.

Some vegetables that grow especially well in vertical gardens are cucumbers, tomatoes, peas and squash. You’ll need to be sure you’ve chosen the correct structure to support these plants as the weight of some vegetables can topple the vines.

Weeding your garden is practically non-existent and you’ll need very few supplies to keep your vertical garden green and yielding. You’ll also enjoy the fact that air circulation is better for the plants when growing upright and that watering is required less frequently.

If you’re preference is for cascading greenery or flowers, there are many varieties that do very well growing upright. Lantana, creeping phlox, trailing Impatiens and verbena make beautiful green and flowering walls.

You’ll need to consider the type of garden you’re planting (vegetable, flowers or greenery) and how much they’ll be exposed to the elements that exist in your garden. For example, will they be growing in full sun, on a trellis, arbor or shaded wall or fence?

If you’re growing plants against a brick wall, take into consideration the amount of heat that will be generated and what impact that will have on your chosen plants. Also, consider whether your garden will be perennial, evergreen or annual. Annuals such as some flowering vines grow fast, but your garden will be without foliage during certain times of the year.

Plants such as clematis, grapes and hedges may need pruning during the year and some trees may require trimming to keep true to the desired shapes. Vines are popular for vertical gardens, but be cautious about the media they’re using to climb. Some can damage paint and wood while others might require twine or wire in order to have something to cling to.

Be sure that whatever you choose as a growing structure is secure, especially if you’re growing heavy fruit and vegetables such as squash, pumpkins and melons. There are ways to give the plants more support, such as “slings” or wire cages.

Besides being able to grow and harvest beautiful flowers, fruit and vegetables, you’ll enjoy the beauty and decorative splash that vertical gardens add to a structure. Blank garage walls can take on a whole new meaning with cascading wisteria and an unattractive brick wall can become elegant with evergreen vines.