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Vegetable Garden on deck

Updated on July 10, 2014

A Garden Design Idea

I have a great deck with lots of space but my wife only likes to plant flowers and although I enjoy the look I wanted to do something more functional, like vegetables and herbs. However I am relegated to a small corner of the deck, we had no more pots left and I had no idea how to grow in a small space like that. I needed to think of a good garden design.

My Vertical Garden Design came about serendipitously but I think that there are lots of ways to build something similar. Maybe this will just get the creative juices flowing enough to do your own thing. Lots of links in this article for other ideas too.

Here is how I went vertical with my garden...

Vertical Rack Images-Updated thru 2010!!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
I have created a monster.Sweet Peas, 6/19/2010This is not even the latest photo of the cilantro. More to come!Been using the lettuce about 2 times a week for salads.Sweet Peas are going nuts!Latest PicMy finished Vertical Garden RackA Bin off the rackBin With Soil and Garden Mat inside
I have created a monster.
I have created a monster.
Sweet Peas, 6/19/2010
Sweet Peas, 6/19/2010
This is not even the latest photo of the cilantro. More to come!
This is not even the latest photo of the cilantro. More to come!
Been using the lettuce about 2 times a week for salads.
Been using the lettuce about 2 times a week for salads.
Sweet Peas are going nuts!
Sweet Peas are going nuts!
Latest Pic
Latest Pic
My finished Vertical Garden Rack
My finished Vertical Garden Rack
A Bin off the rack
A Bin off the rack
Bin With Soil and Garden Mat inside
Bin With Soil and Garden Mat inside

Vertical Garden Photos

A-Frame
A-Frame

Growing Vertically...

My wife, who works retail, needed help cleaning out a storage unit for her store and I found a vertical rack with movable bins that looked perfect for my Vertical Garden. It is roughly 6ft tall and I figured I could get about 5 racks on with enough sun to grow anything.

The racks I lined with garden fabric and filled with dirt. In two racks I did butter lettuce and spinach. In the other racks I planted cilantro, chives, some sweet peas and parsley. So in this case by going vertical I put 20ft of planting in a 4ft by 6ft space which is much more efficient.

This same effect can be gained thru a wood frame and boxes as well, maybe using an A-Frame to hold the containers. Just be careful with the weight of the dirt, remembering they will hold added water weight as well.

My vertical garden

Many vertical gardens will utilize vine plants and grow up a trellis to grow more vegetables more efficiently. My vertical gardening system worked out a little differently but is still well suited to urban gardening and small space gardening. My rack can hold bins on both sides so I get 4ft times 5 bins that are 4ft by 10in and about 4in deep. So I got about 24 plants squeezed in, not bad.

You can see in the images that one of the racks in the rear will be shaded more often and that one I put lettuce in because it needs less sun. However the rack is also light enough to turn and let the NW facing side, which is also shaded by trees, get some sun too. This should allow for adequate sun and medium sized veges and herbs.

  • UPDATE: April 2010

The plants are growing very well now. A few days to dry out has done the spinach well. We did burgers, mine was a Jucy Lucy, mmm, and we used the lettuce from the garden! It is so much more satisfying when you grow it, pick it, eat it yourself. Perfect Day!

  • UPDATE: June 2010

Most of my plants have gone nuts! This in only about 6in of dirt too. Spinach didn't do as well and I replaced that with some other herbs instead. The sweet peas are taking over almost and are about ready to harvest some. The Cilantro and Chives are huge and I will post new pics this weekend, stay tuned!

  • UPDATE: July 2010

The Sweet Peas are all finished, they were super good and did really well in this vertical garden system. I made a few salads with them and dipped them in ranch too. I added some Stevia and Oregano to the bottom rack and they are doing well.

Organic Veggies

So now I have a small space filled with my own Organic vegetables to pick at for the next few months for roughly $120 and an hour of my time. With lettuce being what it is in the store and having about 12 heads now, in about a month I should be able to feed off them and save about $40 a month for about 8 months off and on or until the lettuce bolts. Hey, a penny saved is a penny earned I say.

Types of Vertical Gardens

Comments

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    • DON BALDERAS profile image

      DON BALDERAS 

      6 years ago

      In schools here in the Philippines, vertical gardening is introduced to the urban people since its needed by them.

      This will help others maintain their gardens and expand some more.

    • jestone profile imageAUTHOR

      jestone 

      6 years ago from America!

      Thanks, Sunnie Day! I am actually going to install one of these trellises next, http://www.feeneygarden.com/somerset.shtml, but need to find a sunny area for it since it will be attaching to an exterior wall on my house.

      J

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 

      6 years ago

      This was so encouraging..I love the idea of a vertical garden..We are trying to figure out how to redo our garden as we have six free range chickens..I like the ideas! Thank you.

      Sunnie

    • jestone profile imageAUTHOR

      jestone 

      8 years ago from America!

      Thanks Peggy!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Good job! While living in Wisconsin many years ago we used a portion of the chain link fencing to grow snow peas. Our neighbors were invited to pick on the other side of the fencing and since it was in a corner, we made 3 families happy! Amazing what you have grown in so few inches of soil. Thanks for the inspiration! Rating this useful.

    • jestone profile imageAUTHOR

      jestone 

      8 years ago from America!

      GmaGoldie,

      I was late doing strawberries this year, I am sure they would work in my baskets though.

      J

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      8 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Very neat idea. Excellent photos. Any suggestions for strawberries?

    • jestone profile imageAUTHOR

      jestone 

      8 years ago from America!

      Thank you Isabellas!

      An A-Frame would be another great way to do Vertical Gardening and probably get better sun too. Though mine is light enough to turn if I run into problems.

      Keep hubbin'

      J

    • Isabellas profile image

      Isabellas 

      8 years ago from Ohio

      Another great thing that my dad built for my husband and I is an A-Frame type garden that allows me to plant in containers or even frame it in to plant that way. Nice hub!

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