It’s hard to grow your own produce when you live in an apartment. Many urban dwellers are eager to reap the benefits of homegrown vegetables and herbs, but they simply do not have room in their living spaces. Vertical gardening systems are the perfect solution to this dilemma.
If you are interested in cultivating a vertical garden for the nutritional and aesthetic benefits, in addition to the pure enjoyment of the process, here are five tips to help you get started.
1. Choose a Suitable Space
Take a look at your apartment to see where the sun hits at different times of the day. Most plants will benefit from something known as half-exposure. Half-exposure is when plants get sun for some – but not all – of the day
Make sure you have appropriate electrical outlets near your vertical garden because you may also need to supplement sunlight with grow lamps. Grow lamps are electrical lights designed to simulate the sun’s rays and stimulate plant growth.
Observe if there are any drafts in your selected garden spot. You also want to avoid direct gusts from the air conditioning or heating vents.
2. Select Appropriate Plants
It is so satisfying to grow things you can eat in your vertical garden. Choose carefully, however, because some vegetables adapt better to this indoor method than others.
Start with one of these to get your garden “off the ground”:
- Bok Choi
- Herbs like tarragon or basil
It’s important to select plants with compatible growing habits. Don’t place shade-loving species next to ones that need more sunlight. Avoid situating plants that grow quickly like mint next to ones that are more gradual, because the more aggressive ones will take over.
In addition to these vegetables, other great options for vertical gardening systems include:
- Trailing varieties like philodendron
3. Set Up a Planting Structure
There are numerous structures you can use for vertical gardening depending upon your taste and available space.
Creative gardeners have used existing structures like a wall or staircase around which to arrange their plantings. Some people cobble together their own versions which exhibit the plants in an attractive manner in addition to encouraging growth. Some examples include:
- Trellis or lattice
- Wall with hanging pots
- Pyramid structure
- Pocket Walls
- Wood shipping pallet
- Shoe organizer
4. Choose Your Planting Method
Depending upon your species choice, you need to find a method of planting which will help those particular plants flourish.
If you are not interested in the mess associated with potting soil, you might consider hydroponic gardening. You’d be surprised at how little hydroponic planting requires: Only nutrients, light, and air. Many espouse the nutritional benefits of food grown in this fashion, free from chemicals and pests.
5. Find the Best Irrigation System
With the minimal amount of soil (or lack of it, if you are going hydroponic), you need to have a regular and consistent method of watering your garden.
Drip irrigation uses hoses and pockets so that water can drop down to plants lower on the vertical structure. You can find a wide variety of mechanisms online for this kind of watering, or you can construct your own.
Vertical Gardening Systems: An Easy Way for Anyone to Grow Their Own Food
Don’t let a small space limit your gardening capabilities. With a little light, water and ingenuity, you can set up a green space in your city apartment which will bring you fresh produce all year round.
Check out the latest methods for successful vertical gardening systems to get started on your green space today.