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What Makes A Vertical Garden Thrive

Here’s the thing – there are quite a few ways to hang plants vertically on a wall.  Not all are problem free and since plants are living growing things, no system is maintenance free.

If you want to distill down the chatter and find the best and most efficient systems, this article will help you know what to look for in order to achieve a lush array of vegetation on a vertical plane.

In order for plants to thrive they need five things.

  1. Water

  2.  Oxygen

  3.  Appropriate Temperature

  4.  Sunlight

  5.  Nutrients

The best systems allow for all 5 variables to be happening in the most efficient, easy, aesthetically pleasing and cost effective ways.

Too much or too little of any of these components and you have a problem.

Growing vertically has many benefits and a few challenges, but all the challenges can be overcome.

For example, with the assistance of gravity and (in some cases) a pump, and a timer, irrigating the systems can be efficient and mess free.  Watering a vertical garden with a hose doesn’t always get the best results and can be very time consuming.   There can be a lot of runoff if the water enters the system too fast; a dripper system set to a slower pace usually yields the best results for a larger installation.

Enabling the system to get the sun it needs is achieved by placing it in a sunny spot.  Sounds simple but can get complicated when there are lots of things blocking the sun.  When you raise something higher off the ground, you’re lessening the chances that something will block the sun it gets.  Having the containers that the plants sit in, tilt to a 30 degree slope will aid in the sun exposure they will receive. 

Infusing nutrients into the irrigation system or adding time released fertilizer into the soil makes nourishing the plants a snap.

Using brackets that allow for space between the wall and the system coupled with the best growing medium will enable the roots to get the air they need.  Insulating between the wall and the system will keep the wall dry and damage free.

Systems that allow for a deeper depth of soil will enable you to use plants that are larger and have a bigger root ball.   Also it ensures the likelihood of perennials  coming back in the spring after a long harsh winter.

Planting succulents in a hot climate will ensure a sustained life for a vertical garden in hot locales where water evaporates quickly.

Things to think about and analyze when choosing the best vertical gardening system for your situation:

1.  Will the system get the afore mentioned five components in a sufficient way?

2.  Will you be able to replace individual plants without having to disassemble the whole system?  

3.  Is the method for which it attaches to the wall a strong one?   Will the wall be able to support the weight?      

4.  Is there a way for the back of the system to get air so that no mold forms and the plants dry properly after watering?

5.  Is the irrigation system...

            efficiently distributing water and nutrients to all plants?

            mess free, leak free?

            recirculating water with a timer and pump, so you free up your time and don’t always have to remember to water?

            letting water get somewhere it won’t be absorbed, drained or dried and consequently forming mold or algae?

6.  Are you choosing the right plants for your climate?  If growing plants that are perennial, you need to choose a system that has a deep depth of soil so the roots are protected and they won’t die off in the winter.

7.  Bearing in mind the amount of sun the location you have chosen will get, can you move the system if need be, did you choose plants that will thrive in the amount of sun it will get, does the system have receptacles that tilt at a 30 to 40 degree angle instead of straight out at a 90 degree angle?  This way they will get more sun and it helps keep the medium from falling out.  A 90 degree angle works too if there is a breathable landscaping material that is holding in the soil.

8.  Is the system made of a durable material that will last and not be affected by extreme hot or cold? 

9.  Is the price fair for the quality, efficiency and design of the system?

10.  If you’re using a trellis to grow vining plants, make sure it’s sturdy enough to support the weight of the plant at all stages of its growth.

The purpose of this article is to give you an idea of the criteria you should be thinking about when selecting the system you use to grow up. 

Vertical gardening is fun, useful and beautiful.  We want to support your ambitions to achieve the best results.