Imagine the joy of being able to shop for fruit and vegetables right in your backyard rather than at the grocery store. That dream is now a reality for around 42% of Americans. They now spend their hard-earned dollars on seed and saplings rather than squash and spinach from the store.
If you'd love to start a vegetable garden at home but have limited space, think upwards rather than outwards. Vertical gardening makes the best use of space and we're not just talking about a vertical garden wall. There are cost-effective solutions using commonly available items that can help you maximize your space and enjoy bumper yields.
Let's dig into some of the best vertical garden ideas that you can accomplish on a limited budget.
What Is Vertical Gardening?
When most people think of vertical gardening they think of a vertical herb garden growing on a balcony in New York City. Those are great but most of us don't live like that. If your yard is small but not that small, growing vegetables vertically can help you make the most of the space you have.
You could go out and buy some vertical gardening solutions. But we think a DIY vertical garden is more economical and so much more satisfying.
How to Make a DIY Vertical Garden
A little forward planning and a few bucks are all you need to quickly establish a great vertical garden. These three ideas don't break the bank but provide the perfect supports for bumper crops of both winter and summer favorites.
Cattle Panels and T Posts
Cattle panels, also called hog wire fencing, are cheap and widely available. All you need to make a cattle panel trellis is t posts and a little ingenuity. Cattle panels already have a grid shape so all you need to do is bend them into shape and support them.
Standard cattle panels come in at 16 feet long and around 50 inches wide. When you buy it from the farm supplies store it's sold in flat panels but is fairly easy to bend into a shape to create a cattle panel tunnel.
What you'll need is:
- 1 standard cattle panel
- 4 x 6-foot t bar posts
- Heavy duty hammer or sledgehammer
- Zip ties or rebar ties (rebar ties are more robust)
- Tape measure
You'll also need a strong friend to help you. This is not a one-person job!
The panels may look light but they work well for this job because they're so strong. After all, they're designed to keep cattle where they should be, not grow zucchinis!
Select your location. Think about what you're growing there. If you want it to be a vertical tomato planter, you're going to want a location with lots of sun for vine-ripened goodness.
Now work out the positions of your t-posts. They should be five feet apart crossways and 50 inches lengthways to allow you to securely attach the panel. Get a friend to check the stakes are level and keep checking as you drive them in.
If they're not level, you'll need to do it again. Sorry to be a stickler on that point!
When your t-posts are secure, you and your strong friend need to bend the cattle panel into shape. Find the center of the panel first and mark it. That needs to be your apex, otherwise, it'll look off.
Carefully bend the panel into shape and use the zip ties or rebar ties to secure it to the t-posts. Use as many as you need to make it secure.
That's it! Now you're ready for vertical zucchini growing and so much more! Bean tunnel, anybody?
Wood Trellises With Chicken Wire
A simple wooden frame and some chicken wire are all you need to create a versatile vertical planter. They're perfect for tomatoes and bell peppers, and you can even grow cucumbers vertically.
A wood trellis is ideal for growing squash vertically. You can grow more squash, stop the fruit from rotting on the ground, and they look beautiful!
Raised Bed Garden Boxes
If you can afford to buy a few planks, some rebar, and have soil to fill it, you can easily make DIY raised bed garden boxes. You'll need:
- 2 x 8 feet long 2 by 12 planks
- 2 x 4 feet long 2 by 12 planks
- 12 x 2 feet long pieces of rebar
- A hammer or mallet
The rebar acts as external supports. Simply position each piece of rebar one foot from the edge on all sides. No screws or nails are needed.
When you fill it with soil, this will hold everything in place. Finally, make sure the rebar is hammered down so that it doesn't poke out and cause a hazard.
Raised beds are perfect for growing:
- Medicinal and culinary herbs
They're incredibly versatile and are better at keeping pests away. Plus, they're kinder to your back. If you would like drawn out, step-by-step raised bed garden plans make sure to grab our free Raised Bed Plan E-book here
The Benefits of Vertical Gardening
One of the major benefits of vertical gardening is the increase of available space to grow food and medicine, all while saving money and creating resilience in the long run. With a bit of practice, you'll find what works well and gives the biggest harvest while saving your back and expanding your space. You'll also know exactly what pesticides and fertilizers - or not- were used on your crops which is a big bonus.
Gardening also has health benefits. As well as being a good workout, it can improve your mood, provide opportunity to soak in some more vitamin d and is a great way to meditate on God's creations.
Also, many plants benefit from being grown vertically. A vertical planter helps to keep squash and other vegetables away from fungi which can develop if they're on the soil.
Ready to Transform Your Backyard?
DIY vertical gardening is an awesome way to create a beautiful backyard, full of nature's bounty!
If you've been inspired by these suggestions, you'll love our e-book entitled Raised Garden Box Plans. This guide helps you take weed-free garden boxes from idea to reality!
If you're looking to create a garden that can heal you as well as feed you, an herb garden is a great place to start. Make sure to also check out our Planning & Planting the Herb Garden E-book today!
I'd love to know, do you already have a garden? Is it in ground or above ground? Do you do any vertical gardening already? What do you wish you could grow vertically? Let me know in the comments below and we can share vertical gardening ideas and tips with each other!
Read more Herb Gardening Posts Here
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- Companion Planting Chart for Herbs
- Most Affordable & Productive Medicinal Plants to Grow
- Growing Herbs in Pots
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