If you’ve heard about vertical gardening, you’re probably interested in developing one. This new craze has become increasingly popular over the last few years. Below, we’re going to discuss how you can maintain your vertical garden, but how exactly are you able to achieve this?
To maintain a vertical garden, there are a few essential factors. These are:
- Watering – Provides vegetation with sufficient amounts of nutrients.
- Fertilizing – Aids growth by adding additional nutrients.
- Disease control – Reduces the chances of your vegetation becoming damaged.
- Pest control – Minimizes the damage caused by pests.
- Training and tying – Support systems which aid your vegetation to grow a certain way.
- Pruning – This can reduce the chances of diseases spreading around your plant.
- Winter preparation – Protecting your plants or vegetables from the cold season.
- Harvesting – Correctly harvesting your vertical garden for maximum crops.
From the above, you should understand the core fundamentals of what it takes to maintain a vertical garden. The above is brief, and If you want to expand your knowledge on vertical gardening, I suggest you read the below for further information.
Are vertical gardens easy to maintain?
Surprisingly, many people say that vertical gardens are easier to maintain than ground-level or horizontal ones. This is due to several reasons, so let me explain why:
- Less watering – Because of their upright positioning and container-like pots, they’re excellent at retaining water. From this, you’re able to water them much less, as watering the above plants will slowly filter down to the bottom ones.
- Easier maintenance – Something else people adore about vertical gardening is the ease of access. Typically, vertical gardens will be above waist height. Due to this, you’re able to perform upkeep on them while standing. For most, this is much better than the traditional method of getting on your knees or crouching down.
- Reduced amount of pest and disease – Because your vegetation is lifted off the ground, you see a decreased amount of damage caused by pests or diseases. This is because soil-borne diseases will be unlikely to occur, and the same follows suit for larger pests walking across your crops.
Apart from the above, there are many more reasons why vertical gardens are easy to maintain. Many people prefer to produce this way as it’s much easier to perform upkeep. If you’re ready to start developing your vertical garden, read the below maintenance guide.
How to maintain a vertical garden
If you want to develop a beautiful vertical garden that flourishes into something extraordinary, then you’re going to need to maintain it well. Without a doubt, it’s much easier than many people think and, if not easier than traditional gardening methods. To help you better understand how to maintain a vertical garden, see the below guidance:
No matter where you grow plants, water will always be mentioned. For those who don’t know, 80 to 90 percent of plant weight is actually water. Because of this, we can start to develop knowledge about how important water is to plants. Including this, it also helps transport nutrients to the roots. By providing this, plants can receive a food source and become malnourished.
Now you understand the severity of water and plants. You should consider the below maintenance tips:
- Water the base, not the plant – Although that may sound somewhat questionable, it’s relatively accurate. The way plants receive the benefits of water is through their roots. Because of this, it’s much more beneficial to water the base of the plant rather than the leaves. By providing this, you also reduce the chances of fungus and mildew growth. Apart from lowering fungus growth, it can also minimize the chances of weeds appearing.
- Remember, frequency – Plants don’t need to be watered every day if you do it right, instead of drowning them in water over a short period of time. It’s much better to water them slower, for longer. This way, water can sink deeper into the soil, which provides the plants more nutrition.
- Consider drainage – Just like humans, plants can suffocate and drown. Therefore, you’ll need to be sure they’re planted in containers that have sufficient drainage. From this, the excess water they don’t need can be filtered out.
- Use mulch – Many people cancel out mulch when it comes to developing a vertical garden, but it’s most certainly something you can still consider. Mulch can help with retaining the water which is fed to the plants. From this, you’re able to water less and still offer your plants a healthy living.
- Think, irrigation watering – Sometimes, vertical gardens will be in hard-to-reach spots. To counteract this, many people install irrigation watering systems to offer an adequate water supply. This Hiraliy drip irrigation kit is the perfect solution. To make this even more “hands-free,” you’re able to install a water timer on your water butt or outside tap. From this, you can set up a time, which will feed water to your system, allowing the system to water your plants.
As you can see from the above, watering your vertical garden is highly similar to your ordinary garden. If you’re unable to purchase an irrigation system, I recommend investing in a long spout watering can.
Something else you should be considering is fertilizing. This is because the correct fertilizer can help aid plant growth. However, for vertical gardens, this is even more important as plants won’t feed themselves from ground soil. Instead, they’re hung in containers, so they rely on us to provide them enough nutrients to live. Below is what you need to consider before fertilizing your vertical garden:
When you’re fertilizing your vertical garden, there’s one main factor you need to consider, organic. Unfortunately, many online retailers, garden centers, and other related stores sell chemical fertilizers. Although they can provide us with results fast, they can be devastating for the soil and environment.
Because of this, you want to opt-in for organic fertilizers. This way, your soil will become enriched with natural products which won’t harm it. Organic fertilizers are found globally, and you should be able to purchase them in any gardening store. If you’re looking for good fertilizers, I recommend you choose Dr. Earth.
A typical killer within the gardening world is disease, and believe it or not, vegetation in vertical gardens is much less unlikely to become disease-ridden. This is because they’re off the ground, meaning ground-related diseases cannot attack our plants. However, this doesn’t mean you don’t have to eliminate disease control as a whole. For a better understanding of this, see below:
- Pruning – Without a doubt, regular and proper pruning is one of the best ways to minimize the chances of disease destroying your plants. From this, you’re able to eliminate the diseased parts of the plant before it overcomes the entire thing.
- Mulch – Using mulch like bark, wood chippings, or compost can reduce the amount of soil splashing up onto the plant’s leaves during watering or heavy rainstorms. Because of this, it reduces the chances of soilborne diseases affecting your vegetation.
- Watering – Something else that can reduce disease is the watering technique you use, depending on the time of day. For example, if you water your garden in the morning, you’re able to get away with watering the leaves as they’ll dry out throughout the day. However, it’s best to stay away from the leaves if you water at night and target the roots.
- Disposal – Another important tip to consider is disposal. Remember, not all green or brown vegetation is healthy for our compost bins. If your plant dies due to disease, burn it or put it into a bin. This way, you’re not mixing the diseased pathogens with your compost mix.
- Soil – If you’re repotting or locating plants, make sure you always provide them new, fresh soil. This way, you’re introducing them into their ideal environment and will reduce the chances of them getting diseases.
Apart from protecting your vertical garden from disease, you’ll also need to protect them from pests. These pests can massively range from cats to small, microscopic insects which love feeding off sap. Either way, you’re going to need to protect them, and to achieve this, you should consider the below.
- Furry pests – Although we adore our little furry friends, they can be damaging to our crops. Because of this, we need to keep them away from our vertical gardens. Luckily for us, the likelihood of them disrupting this type of gardening is near impossible. However, if you do need extra safety precautions, you can create fences out of materials like chicken wire.
However, controlling our furry pests is much easier than the microscopic insects you cannot see. Although insects can be beneficial to our vegetation, you’ll need to control them as significant infestations can have devastating consequences. Here’s how you’re able to achieve just that:
- Use structures – A prevalent and effective method for controlling pests with your vertical garden is by creating physical structures that’ll protect your plants. Such things as row covers, or any other gardening-related cover, will work perfectly.
- Make use of other insects – In all animal kingdoms, there is a life and death cycle. For example, the deer eats the grass to grow, and the lion eats the deer, and so on. This is the exact same for the insect world. So from inviting spiders and wasps, etc., will minimize the number of pests you have in your garden.
- Only use organic pesticides – It goes without saying that it’s only recommended to use organic products when it comes to gardening. One because they’re better for our environments, and two, because they’re much more useful at the job they do. If you choose synthetic pesticides, you’ll find that you’ll kill a lot more insects than you’d hope for. This includes the good and the bad ones.
- Target only pests – It goes without saying when you’re trying to deter pest away from your vegetation, try to only deter the “real” pests. Failing to do this will result in good pests leaving, including pollinators, which help aid the growth of plants and vegetables.
Training and tying
Depending on what type of vertical garden you opt-in for, you may need to train your plants to grow a certain way. There are many methods to how you can train or tie a plants growth, but if you’re trying to achieve this, I recommend considering the below:
- Vines – It goes without saying, training vines is a lot easier than most larger plants. To achieve this, many people weave the vines in and out of trellises. Once you’ve weaved the vine a few times, it’ll naturally start to grow up the framework.
- Long branches – Now, longer branches can be a little more complicated when training them. Instead of weaving them in and out of a trellis, you may need to tie them around a support system. This is because branches are strong and can break out of growth patterns to suit their needs more. To counteract this issue, you’ll need to tie them onto a sturdy support.
If you’re training vines or branches, be sure to weave or tie them loosely. You’ll want to do this because either will start to grow thicker.
Many plants that you grow in your vertical garden will benefit from being pruned or pinched. This is because it’ll give them another chance to flourish a bloom successfully. Apart from that, it helps maintain their size, health, and visual looks. For tips on how to prune effectively, I suggest you read the below:
- Deadhead – Typically, you’ll need to deadhead a flower if you believe a plant’s bloom isn’t flourishing correctly. By deadheading, you’re encouraging the plant to grow another healthier-looking bloom.
- Frequency – From pruning regularly, you’re able to improve the air circulation to the plant. From this, you’re radically reducing the chances of disease and fungus occurring.
- Pinch – If you’re thinking about growing bushy plants in your vertical garden, then pinching them will help them maintain their size.
- Dead and diseased leaves – If you want to maintain a healthy vertical garden, then you’ll need to check for dead and diseased leaves. From this, you’re able to quickly snip them away before it spreads around the entire plant.
- Pruner upkeep – Something that many people don’t consider is keeping your pruners fit for use. What do I mean by this? We’ll if you’re snipping diseased ridden plants, then your pruners will also have particles of the disease. Therefore, when you perform regular maintenance to your plants, you risk passing the infection on. To minimize this from occurring, you’ll need to sterilize your pruners regularly. This could either be with hot soapy water or rubbing alcohol.
As gardeners, we’re aware of the damages cold weather can have on our vegetation. Because of this, you need to think about a “winter plan” to keep them safe. When preparing for winter, you may want to consider the following:
- Location – If you have a portable vertical garden, you may want to move it inside for the winter months. From doing this, your summer-loving plants have a much higher chance of survival.
- Clear soil – Many people are unaware of this, but if your vertical garden contains pots, you’ll need to clear some soil out of them. This is because the soil will expand due to the temperature fluctuations and can break the containers.
- Watering – When watering your plants during the winter, you’ll want to consider watering them in the morning. By doing this, you’re reducing the chances of water becoming frozen on the leaves.
- Mulch – If you’re worried about your soil freezing, you could always add a layer of mulch to reduce this from happening. Mulch is used to stabilize soil temperature, and it’ll work great at trying to stop frost damage.
Lastly, if you’re growing vegetables in your vertical garden, you’re going to want to understand more about harvesting. This unique way of growing vegetables is becoming an increasingly popular trend due to the massive amounts of extra yield you’re able to retrieve. To better understand how to harvest your vertical garden, read the below tips.
- Frequency – Harvest as soon as your crops have been produced. By doing this, it will encourage the plant to grow more. After all, that’s why we’re developing them.
- Timing – Some people believe that the longer you leave your fruits and vegetables, the bigger they’ll become. However, this isn’t true. Leaving a crop on the vine for too long may make it become seedy and tough, which won’t be very pleasant to eat.
- Damaged produce – If you believe that a vegetable or fruit is disease-ridden or damaged on the crop, I would remove it right away. By doing this, you’re reducing the chances of your crop becoming damaged.
As you’re able to see from the above, taking care of your vertical garden is somewhat similar to your ordinary vertical one. Without a doubt, there are a few changes, but nothing too major. Just like with any new gardening venture, take it slow and monitor the process. Remember, gardening certainly isn’t a sprint, and going at your own pace to ensure everything is okay is absolutely fine.
How often should you water a vertical garden?
As we gardeners know, watering is a crucial part of vegetation’s life. Without supplying them with the correct amounts, they’ll quickly dry up and die. Something that people over-complicate is watering a vertical garden. Considering it’s a massively different gardening technique compared to your traditional one, the watering methods you use don’t really change that much.
As a rule of thumb, you should water around 2-3 times a week. However, this may vary depending on the amount of rainfall you’ve had over the past days. To understand if your vertical garden needs water, perform a finger test. To do this, push your finger into the soil and see if it’s moist 2-3 inches below the surface.
If it isn’t moist, you’ll need to water it. For best results, you’ll want to water it on a low setting for a prolonged period of time. This way, instead of just watering the topsoil, the water will sink deeper in the soil to ensure it gains access to the roots.
Not sure what you need to water your vertical garden with? I suggest the below:
Manual watering products
Some people prefer manual watering products to automatic because they’re much more inexpensive and trustworthy. However, with any watering product you opt-in for, you must consider the vertical height of your garden. This way, you’re able to invest in something that’s appropriate for the job. Here are two products I recommend:
Long spray hose attachment
If you want a garden hose attachment to water your vertical garden, then this is the perfect option. The long hose attachment is 24 inches long, so I’m sure this will suit most vertical gardens. If not, you’re able to invest in more expensive options that offer this.
Long spout gardening can
Something else you’re able to opt-in for is a long spout watering can. From this, you’re able to receive a slightly longer reach than what you’d generally be able to achieve with a traditional watering can.
Automatic watering products
Now, if you love everything to do with automation, this next product will be right up your street. By supplying your vertical garden with an automatic water supply, you’re able to rest easy, knowing they’re being provided a sufficient amount of water each day.
Drip irrigation system
If your vertical garden allows for it, you may want to install a drip irrigation system. This connected with a hose watering timer will make your watering completely automatic. However, if you do opt-in for this method, it’s recommended to only turn on the system when you’re performing maintenance outside with your plants. This way, you’re able to monitor if It’s working correctly.
As you’re able to see, maintaining your vertical garden is relatively easy with the proper guidance. It’s very similar to performing upkeep on your regular garden but just with a few tweaks. Nonetheless, it’s easily achievable from most people and something everyone is able to implement today.
Now you’re aware of how to execute correct maintenance to a vertical garden, why not start developing one today? I’m sure you’ll be amazed by the outcome.