vertical garden

Most apartments have a small outdoor space, like a balcony or patio but this doesn’t mean you should think small in your gardening. Vertical gardening is the best way to maximize your growing area as well as produce vegetables, flowers, and other plants just a step from your door. Check out these tips on how to start a vertical garden in your outdoor living area:

Choose your style

Many different styles and trends of vertical gardening exist and your installation system will depend on what kind of gardening you would like to do. Pocket gardens are available which allow you to grow small plants into canvas or felt pockets that hang in a row. Vertical container gardening is also a choice in that potted plants are in their own small containers that are either stacked or attached to the wall. If your apartment complex doesn’t allow things to be installed directly to the building, container gardening of stacked pots in a corner would be a good option.

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Choose a spot

Depending on what kind of gardening you decide to do, choosing the appropriate area of your outdoor space is crucial to the success of your garden. Take note of your patio or balcony area and keep track of which spots get the most amount of sunlight. You should also note what time this sun exposure is strongest. Is it in the morning, afternoon or evening? This will help you choose plants that do well in your sun conditions. If you only have one wall to use you may be limited on your choices and have to choose plants that will do well with the light exposure that already exists in your outdoor space.

Choose the plants

You may be surprised with what you can grow in a vertical garden. Many renters will start with easy to grow items like herbs and flowers but don’t let the idea of growing vegetables scare you. Many different types of edible produce can be grown in a vertical garden including peppers, peas, beans, and lettuce. Consider purchasing a vertical tomato plant that hangs upside down from either a hook or a stand. If you will be container gardening, produce that grows underground like carrots, potatoes, and onions could also do well if your container is deep enough to allow easy growth.

Plant like with like

When growing plants in a smaller area, make sure that every plant enjoys the type of sunlight that your area experiences. Full shade or full sun plants should be grouped together so that they all can get the most out of the location. Remember that height and placement also is important in vertical planting. Check the seed packets or tags of your plants for companion planting suggestions. Place shorter plants on top and taller plants on bottom. This will allow the shorter ones to get access to sunlight because they won’t be in the shade of an aggressively-growing neighboring plant.

Pay attention to the kind of watering your plants enjoy. Water will run down the planter so make sure that plants that enjoy drier soil conditions sit towards the top of your planter while those who are thirsty drinkers will be towards the bottom.

There are so many options to vertical gardening and they can greatly raise the overall look of a small outdoor space. Making sure to choose a style of vertical gardening that fits your needs as well as the prime spot in your outdoor living area will help plants grow well. Take time in choosing the right plants for both your vertical gardening location as well as those plants that will work well together. Just a quick trip to your local garden center can get you started and help to make your outdoor space enjoyable and beautiful as well.

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Katie Kuchta
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