If you’re like most people new to homesteading and self-sufficiency, then you have limited space to garden. What’s the best way to make the most of your small parcel of land? Vertical gardening.
Vertical gardening allows you to produce more food per square foot of space than you could growing horizontally. One good example is growing squash. If you grow squash traditionally, then one plant can take as much as 16 square feet of space. If you have a small lot, that may mean your whole yard will be taken up by a couple of plants. Indeterminate tomato plants also can take up a bunch of room if not staked up.
In an area that is 1 foot by 6 feet, you can grow a cucumber plant, tomato plant and blackberries just fine. You could produce a couple of pints of blackberry jam, 30-50 pounds of tomatoes and 10-20 pounds of cucumbers in that small area.
Besides saving room, growing vertically also will help keep your plants healthy, make it easier for insects to fertilize flowers, require less weeding, and make it easier to harvest. It’s the best way to make the most of your space.
Older people or people with medical conditions will have a much easier time of gardening in this fashion. Everything becomes taller, so picking or working with your plants is more enjoyable. Anyone who has spent hours on their hands and knees in the hot sun will appreciate this fact.
Some of the ways you can go vertical is by using garden netting. Stringing your netting between posts is among the fastest ways to go vertical. You will need to sink in the posts deep enough so that when the weight of the crop is applied, the posts won’t pull in together.
Wood trellis is also a good option. This is a bit more labor intensive but can also be really attractive in appearance. Having a raised bed with an attached wood trellis adds functionality and beauty to any garden.
Going vertical can be as simple as a horizontal line strung about 6 feet in the air above the peas or tomatoes. Then, each plant will have a string tied to the main string and the other end to the plant, so they can crawl up as the plant grows.
Smaller plants also can be grown vertically by other crafty methods:
- Using gutters strung up on a wall or structure.
- Planting in skids that are crafted to hold soil.
- Going vertical downward (planting cucumbers in buckets and letting them dangle down a patio).
- Using plastic plant bags that are meant for hanging.
Some plants are better than others when it comes to vertical gardening. Indeterminate varieties of tomatoes and cucumbers like to crawl, making it natural for them to climb. Determinate tomatoes and cucumbers like to bush, so they don’t produce as much in an area like the indeterminate do.
When it comes down to it, you can get more efficient with planting. You may be surprised with what you can produce in a small yard when you get crafty!
What tips would you add on growing vertically? Share your advice in the section below: