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How to Improve Health with Vertical Gardens (With Documentary)

Updated on February 8, 2015
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Healthy Eating Made Easy

Aside from being exceptionally cool and great-looking, vertical gardens provide a solution to the difficulty of finding healthy food. They are also advantageous because they can be grown in far less space than an in-ground garden. Maintenance is relatively easy, which is especially helpful for people who are busy or those who have physical limitations. Vertical gardening is also a great way to incorporate fresh and healthy vegetables into your diet.

Traditionally, having a garden meant spending a lot of time and effort preparing the ground, fertilizing, raking, hoeing and stooping over to pull weeds. But when the garden grows up, these chores are nearly non-existent. There are a number of ways that an upright garden can be built but no matter the configuration, there is no plowing or hoeing needed.

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Get More Garden Variety

In one of the simplest forms, a vertical vegetable garden might consist of some large planters on the porch with a trellis for each one. Vegetables that grow on vines, such as green beans, tomatoes or squash, would be trained to grow up the trellises, instead of along the ground.

There are many other ways to build these kinds of gardens, as well, and many people have gotten quite creative with the concept. Getting the materials and getting set up for an upright garden can be very inexpensive, but there are also a host of more complex arrangements that are very interesting. Hydroponic gardens and aquaponic systems that include fish are a couple of examples of this.

Simple Materials for Vertical Gardens: Wire, Wood and Water

To get a taste of vertical veggie gardening, start with a very basic idea that goes a little beyond the planter and trellis system. You can get some chicken wire or a large net and securely stretch it between two upright poles. The poles could be anchored in the ground, or in buckets of cement. At the base would be large planters or a trough for the soil and seedlings. As the plants grew, you would simply help them climb the fencing.

Another very basic option is a cylindrical garden. This concept requires the use of some supports, such as PVC pipe or bamboo poles, and some garden fencing. You would have to construct a cylinder with these materials. An old burlap sack would serve as a liner, and be hung on the top edges of the cylinder, similar to the way you set a trash bag in the trash can. Then, you simply fill the sack with dirt and cut holes in the burlap at various places around the outside of the structure. In these holes, are planted a variety of vegetables, like carrots, turnips, lettuce, and spinach. Things like broccoli could be planted in the top.

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Vertical Gardens on the Walls

Herb and flower gardens can also be planted vertically, in a frame of sorts, and hung on a sunny wall. This design calls for using a sturdy, four foot wide board, some landscaping material, potting mix and a layered fiber mat. The landscaping material, doubled, is stapled to the board. Over that, the fiber matting is rolled out and stapled on. Small, horizontal slits are cut in the fiber mat layer in rows. These will make pockets for planting seedlings. Once everything is planted, the garden gets mounted on the wall.

Many people have also taken to creating beautiful "living walls," on the sides of buildings or indoors. These can be seen in some big cities and are especially popular in Europe. These installations are breathtaking to see, but that is not all. They also improve air quality. In some cases, recycled materials can be used to create masterpieces like these.

Vertical Gardening in Containers

A great deal of vertical gardening has been done by clever people in very creative ways. One example of this is the use of recycled plastic containers or colorful crocs which are hung on a sunny wall or fence. The containers or shoes are filled with potting mix and seedlings.

If you put some thought into it, you can come up with your own ideas – as long as they go up. Your vertical gardening can be completely organic, as well, which would mean that you get to eat fresh, pesticide-free food.

When you start planning your vertical garden, remember, the sky is the limit.

Learn more about Vertical Gardens

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    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      6 years ago from USA

      This is such a great idea. I didn't know so many plants could be grown vertically. The video was most helpful in showing exactly how things grow. Excellent hub!

    • stephensaldana profile image

      stephensaldana 

      6 years ago from Chicago

      I saw a show not long ago that did a vertical garden. I had never seen them before but what a great way to have your garden even if you don't have a lot of space. Great information!

    • WiseRabbit profile imageAUTHOR

      Robin Turner 

      6 years ago from Western North Carolina

      I'm happy it was helpful, Melissa... go for it!

    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 

      6 years ago from New York

      Wow this is cool. How gorgeous! I certainly don't have a lot of space to garden, so this is an idea.

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