Vertical gardening is a valuable technique used by gardeners, especially where space is at a premium. It is also very visually appealing. If you have a spare fence or wall, or an empty space that looks a bit plain and needs filling, you can create a vertical garden to transform a bare area into a lovely green oasis.
That’s all on the good side. So far it sounds like a no-brainer. Of course, the question is, are they a good idea for the average gardening person or something better to be left to the experts? Let’s go over the pros and cons then you can decide if vertical gardening is for you.
Vertical Gardening: The Pros
So firstly, they really can be beautiful. I grew a wonderful vertical garden last summer on my back deck and it really did transform the area – it made it a space that we just wanted to hang out in. It solved several problems for us in the process. Combining the plants with the deck dramatically improved the livability of the space, especially on hot summer evenings. It is very satisfying when plants and architecture work together to make a space more comfortable and liveable.
Like most people in urban areas, our back yard has limited space to plant all the things that gardening people like us want to plant. So anyone in apartments or houses with little to no space for gardening – a vertical garden can be a great solution. Vertical gardening allows you to plant flowers, herbs, greens and even tomatoes or cucumbers and in the process, also makes the surrounding areas look and feel better. Aesthetics and practicality can really meet in the middle when it comes to vertical gardening.
Another fantastic thing about vertical gardening is that they are very good for the environment. They filter pollutants from the air, thereby improving the quality of air we breathe. Vertical gardens also help to reduce heat absorption by all the man-made hard surfaces. This means people who live in areas that get really hot do not have to use their air conditioning as much, thus saving on their electric bill!
As with everything else in life, vertical gardens also have some cons. Vertical gardens block the sun! This is usually due to their height and most people do not consider this when planting them. So, before you plant yours think about how tall you are wanting it and how much sun the plants you are planting need. It is also wise to consider plants that may be around the vertical garden and how much sun they need as well.
Vertical gardens can also be higher maintenance compared a regular soil based garden. They can require more water and more fertilizer, which in turn means-more time! Since vertical gardens are exposed to wind and heat more so than regular gardens, it is important that they are properly maintained. Make sure you are aware of this fact and make sure you will have for maintenance.
Another con to vertical gardening is the support they offer to the plants. Smaller plants usually do very well in these types of gardens. Larger plants, like tomatoes for instance, tend to be heavier thus requiring more support. If you plan on using a vertical garden for heavier plants you may want to also consider securing the garden more so than if you plan on having lighter plans. It would also need to be put on something that is very sturdy and can handle extra security.
Vertical gardening is not only amazing in regards to structures and beautiful in regard to aesthetics, it is also very soothing. You just have to be aware of everything a vertical garden entails prior to doing one. If you have the location and the means then go ahead and make your yard beautiful-and the surrounding areas, too!