Thursday, 5 June 2014

When you can't grow out, grow up! Or, vertical gardening.

When you're as limited in space as I am, sometimes up is the only way to grow. Vertical gardening, vertical planters or "green walls" have all become very popular over the last five or six years, as urban dwellers seek to grow food regardless of the size of their plot. From planters made of old pallets to custom-built plant pocket solutions, using any wall space that would otherwise be wasted makes sense. 
Via Urban Food Producer
Via The Green Head
One of the things I wanted to do with my garden was to ensure that I could grow slightly larger plants than would usually be held by most of the systems on the market. Things like squashes, pumpkins and courgettes. So I needed a heavy-duty system that could take the weight of large pots and fit along the very small wall next to my french windows. The solution? Heavy duty wire garage shelving. It's not the prettiest solution but it does take up to 250kg of pots quite happily and increases my growing space enormously. 
Shelving when it first went up
Shelving showing larger pots
I tend to rotate the plans so that they each get a chance to grown at the front of the shelves and take a turn at the back week on and week off and so far (fingers crossed), it seems to be working! The plants are getting huge and the courgettes in particular have already started flowering. I can't wait for my first harvest! So voila, vertical gardening is possible even if you're no good at DIY and don't want to screw pockets to your wall. The trellis on the side not only stops the pots falling off but more importantly, it stops the cats from using the shelves as a springboard to escape the garden. And the pots made from hacked IKEA storage are supported well!
Shelving showing larger pots



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