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kitchen garden basics
Published October 23, 2019 by Nicole Burke

4 Practical Tips for Vertical Gardening

Filed Under:
vertical gardens
garden tips
Nicole Burke's vertical garden

Growing a vertical garden is the perfect way to make the most of a small space and get loads of harvests, too.

What does vertical gardening mean?

Vertical gardening involves stacking containers like stair steps so that each level receives sun and air flow, rather than taking up a lot of horizontal space. Think, vertical gardening—grow up, not out.

Follow these four tips for a vertical garden and see how fun it is to grow up!

Vertical Herb Garden

Tips for better vertical gardening

Tip One: Build Your Vertical Garden to Last

When it comes to growing vertically, a quick setup can end up in a big let down when wind or heavy rains tip your vertical garden over. Choose materials that are durable and will hold up in humidity, heat, and water. Some of our favorite materials for vertical gardens are made with cedar, redwood, or any durable local wood that doesn't need chemical treatment to last for years in your landscape.

Once you've chosen your material, be sure to attach your vertical garden securely to your home, fence, or whatever structure you're growing against. The structure alone will be heavy enough, but once you add soil and plants, your vertical garden will weigh more than you'd expect. So, before you fill it up, use decking screws or another durable connection to keep your vertical garden standing tall.

Tip Two: It's Okay to Be Shallow (with a Vertical Garden)

A vertical garden is perfect for some plants and just not right for others. Which ones are a great fit? Plants with shallow roots will thrive in a vertical garden, but vining and deep plants just won't.

Which plants have shallow root systems? We're so glad you asked! Lettuce plants, most herbs, and edible flowers all have roots that generally don't reach more than six inches below the surface. Radishes are also a good choice.

So, let your thoughts be deep but your plants be shallow, and you'll see so much vertical garden success!

Take our fun and easy Green Thumb Quiz

We'll help you determine which plants are best for you based on your space, your goals, and your gardening skills. Then, we'll send lots of resources and helpful tips your way to help you level up your growing abilities.

Tip Three: Don't Forget About Your Vertical Garden

Do vertical gardens work? Yes... if you don't neglect them.

That is to say, your vertical garden is a little more needy than typical raised beds or in-ground plantings. The small containers will dry out quickly and therefore need more of your attention, so check on your plants at least once every other day, particularly when it's super hot and sunny.

What's the secret to reminding yourself to go check on your vertical garden? Plant the things you want to harvest and enjoy in the kitchen most often. If you're regularly heading to cut from your vertical herb garden, you'll obviously be doing a little check on your plants and their current situation at the same time.

vertical gardens

Tip Four: Harvest from Your Vertical Garden Frequently

Harvest from your vertical garden at least once a week. Cut the lower and outer leaves first. Believe it or not, regular harvesting keeps your plants producing more new and healthy growth. Aim to cut one third or less from your plant each week, and you'll get more than three times the production you thought possible.

By harvesting more often, you'll also make room for a wider variety of plants in your vertical garden and ensure that each plant gets its fair share of sunshine, water, and air flowthe three essentials for healthy plants.

cedar vertical garden

What Are the Advantages of Vertical Gardening?

In your vertical garden, you'll maximize the amount of things you can grow, ensure each of your plants receive the resources they need (i.e., water, sunlight, airflow), and gain a beautiful fixture in your landscape or on your patio area.

No matter how much growing space you have, there are plants for you, and Gardenary is here to help you plant, grow, and harvest all the delicious leaves, fruits, and vegetables you desire!

Want to learn how to grow in a vertical garden, an herb garden, a raised bed, and so much more?

Start your first lesson in Gardenary 365

Gardenary 365 gives you on-demand access to our bestselling online gardening courses including Salad Garden School, Herb Garden Guide, Microgreens, and Indoor Seed Starting. You'll also find monthly coaching, habit tracking, and a private community. There's no other place on the internet where you can grow like this.

4 Practical Tips for Vertical Gardening