Vertical gardening generally implies planting in a structure that provides elevation to make use of vertical growing space rather than horizontal space. Infrastructure is needed to contain the plants and a system for feeding and watering. These aspects imply a cost to set up your system. What costs can you expect when setting up and maintaining your vertical garden?
A vertical garden can cost between $150 and $350 for an initial setup. The costs can be reduced by using equipment you may already have, making your own compost, and creating a manual system rather than an automated one. DIY systems can cost from $50 to $150 to set up.
Vertical gardens imply plants are not grown on the soil but rather in infrastructure with some height needed to support the plants. Since they are not grown in the ground, you will need to provide a growing medium for the plants and regularly provide their food and nutrients. While there are always some costs, you can create a vertical garden by keeping the financial investment minimal.
How Much Will A Vertical Garden Cost?
The great aspect of vertical gardening is that you can create a vertical garden on almost any budget. Certain aspects of this growing method can cost a fair amount of money, but if you have the ingenuity, you can cut the costs dramatically.
In general, there are 5 parts to vertical gardening where costs can accumulate.
- The system infrastructure. This cost represents the type of structure you use for your vertical garden system. This part has the most variable cost and is where the highest savings can be made.
- Growing medium. This will be your choice of growing medium for your plants, which will mostly depend on the type of plants and the type of system you have chosen. Potting soil is the most common substrate.
- Seeds or seedlings. The next cost for your vertical garden is getting some plants started in the system.
- Feeding or watering system. Some systems can be run with manual watering, while others require a more complex system to feed and water your plants.
- Maintenance costs. Some ongoing maintenance is required on the system, and you will need to buy fertilizer or other nutrients to keep the plants healthy and productive.
The costs in each aspect of getting your vertical garden up and running can vary greatly, especially if you have access to products you can re-purpose. We will discuss each cost in the system and give you some ideas on how to keep the financial cost to a minimum.
Vertical Garden Infrastructure Cost
The vertical infrastructure for the plants can be the highest cost for the whole system. There are many commercial vertical growing systems, and these can be quite costly.
The type of vertical garden system you choose will influence the cost. You can select rows of PVC pipes, gutters, grow walls, or vertical stackable planters, among other choices.
You can choose between a smaller or larger system when choosing a commercial solution, depending on your budget. Many systems offer a modular solution that you can build up over time and as your budget allows.
Commercial PVC piping vertical gardening systems can cost between $130 and $150, such as the INTBUYING Grow Kit.
Stackable planters can range from $70 to about $100, depending on the size of the system selected, while vertical planters on a stand can cost $120 or more.
Adding hydroponics to the system increases the initial cost, especially when purchasing a complete commercial hydroponic vertical solution such as the TIRUSS Hydroponic Growing system, which can set you back up to $300.
How To Minimize Vertical Gardening Infrastructure Cost
The best way to minimize the cost of setting up a vertical garden is to build your own infrastructure by purchasing component pieces, such as PVC piping or re-purposing items you may already have lying around.
Creating your vertical garden using re-purposed material can eliminate most of the cost, and you may need $10 to $20 in hardware or fasteners for the system. Buying component parts and building the infrastructure yourself can limit the costs to $50 to $80.
Vertical Garden Growing Medium Cost
The growing medium for your system will be a fairly low-cost component and, in some instances, can cost you nothing.
Many vertical grow systems use potting soil as the growing medium for the plants. Most systems should not need more than 4 bags of compost to provide enough filling for the containers.
Buying in bulk is usually cheaper than individual bags, but your total potting soil cost should not exceed $20 to $30.
Other vertical garden systems use alternative growing mediums such as coconut coir in hydroponic-based systems. These are cheaper initially, but you will spend more money on nutrients for your plants. used alter
Minimizing Growing Medium Costs For Vertical Gardens
The way to minimize your potting soil cost is to make your own potting soil mix. The only problem with choosing this option is the time it takes to produce a good quality mix.
A composting system is necessary to make potting soil, and if you have one of these already, then your costs will be minimal
Seed Or Seedling Costs For Vertical Gardening
When selecting your plants to grow in your vertical garden, you can opt to get a headstart by planting seedlings, which will cost you more money, but you will get a harvest much faster.
Seeds are the lower-cost option, but you will need to germinate the seeds and get them to seedling size in the growing system, which can take some time.
Seeds are our recommended choice for planting in vertical gardens to minimize the cost. A variety pack of seeds will cost about $20, but you will get more seeds than you will use in a single planting.
How To Save Costs For Seeds In A Vertical Garden
Even though seeds are not a high cost in planning your vertical garden, you can save this cost if you have an in-ground garden. Save some seeds from your current garden and use them in your vertical garden.
Friends and family who have gardens are also a potential source of low-cost seeds. Ask fellow gardeners for a few seeds to get you started!
Watering System Costs For Vertical Gardening
Watering the plants in the vertical garden can range from simple to complex. If you have hydroponics incorporated into your vertical garden, the cost of pumps and reservoirs for nutrients can be fairly costly.
On the other end of the spectrum, using a vertical garden that makes use of potting soil can have a watering system as simple as a manual watering can to a drip system to constantly feed the plants.
A computerized drip irrigation system such as the Raindrip R560DP Automatic Watering Kit can be obtained for about $35.
Larger systems with customizable components to suit most types of vertical gardens will cost up to $50. An example of a component kit that can be custom-built for your needs is the MIXC 226FT Greenhouse Micro Drip Irrigation Kit, which comes with drippers and misters.
How To Minimize Watering Costs For A Vertical Garden
The best way to minimize watering costs in a vertical garden system is to keep it as simple as possible and use a manual system.
Checking on your plants and watering them periodically is a normal gardening task, and most people get enjoyment from tending to their plants. Create your watering schedule for when you go out and examine your plants for health and growth.
Vertical gardening can be as expensive or cost-effective as you like. It is possible to create a system with minimal cost by using ingenuity and re-purposing equipment you may already have.
Commercial systems will save you time and are generally more compact than DIY versions. However, the functionality you will get from either system will be similar and allow you to enjoy your own homegrown food!