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Vertical Gardening

Updated on October 30, 2011

growing up

The gardener will eventually emerge in us if we do not lock ourselves into a pre-conceived definition of what a garden is and what it looks like. Take a minute a think up instead of along the ground, vertical and not horizontal.

We grow beans on poles and peas why not expand that list. When you make the choice to grow vertical your small space expands, growing up means growing more.

You still need sunlight, just as many hours as you do if you are growing along the ground but you need much less space.

You can grow plant, cucumbers and zucchinis, for example, vertically and in containers as long as the container has suitable drainage and is large enough so that the plant’s root system develops. Roots are important to the plant’s vitality so do not squeeze them too tightly or your plant will suffer.

Balcony railings can also provide enough support for beans and pea and a little privacy screen as well. One year we had lettuce, peas and cherry tomatoes on the balcony and you could sit out there and pick yourself a fresh salad.

The peas grew in containers and I used twist ties to fasten the stalks to the rails.

Another year I experimented with a miniature zucchini in a container and let the vines use the rails for support. The crop was good, perhaps not as good as it may have been in the backyard but then I did not have a backyard garden so I made do with the space that I had.

If you choose to grow squash or melons vertically, it is important to make sure that you sue a support that is strong enough to hold the fruit. You do not want the results of your weeks of care falling off before it is time to harvest.

I have seen people grow watermelons up trees and use hammock to cradle the fruit as the vines where suspended between poles. These are large space projects.

What we are looking at here are ways to grow in a small space and still get a good crop.

There are commercial stacking systems that you can purchase that enable you to grow several different herbs or vegetables in a small space. They look like houseplant stands and occupy approximately the same amount of space.

In fact, you could probably use a houseplant stand, one that will hold 3-5 pots to grow appropriate plants, based on pot size, in your balcony or patio garden.

Do not be deterred from enjoying the many benefits that cone from gardening simply because the space you have is rather small.

If the space gets 5-6 hours of sunlight a day, you can grow a variety of herbs and vegetables and have fresh, straight from your garden produce at hand through the gardening season.

Let your imagination and creativity guide you as you design your small space garden. You are thinking up and not out and be sure to take a good look at any existing support structures in that space, fences, walls, balcony railing can all provide you with a palce to grow.

vertical gardening

vertical space

courtesy flickr/ nichlas boullosa
courtesy flickr/ nichlas boullosa

vertical gardening


Submit a Comment
  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    You are welcome, happy growing

  • profile image

    growing beans 

    8 years ago

    You really have a wonderful hub Bob. I love reading your posts. They are very informative. Thanks!

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • profile image

    Gardening For Dummies 

    9 years ago

    Just looking for information on maintaining the lawn and possible more extravagant things as I’m a new gardening enthusiast; Excellent activity for pastime I might add, anyway excellent post, I found it insightful and informative.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    11 years ago from New Brunswick

    thanks, I'm working on a project for an organization that has little outside space and will definetly set the garden up vertically, enjoy.

  • Earl S. Wynn profile image

    Earl S. Wynn 

    11 years ago from California

    That is an absolutely fabulous idea! Now I'm all stoked. A way to utilize existing space more effectively! Excellent work, Bob!

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    11 years ago from New Brunswick


  • Kat07 profile image


    11 years ago from Tampa

    Great tips! I'll remember this!

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    11 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks, creativity and gardening are companions

  • Thera Santorini profile image

    Thera Santorini 

    11 years ago

    What a great idea! Thinking outside the box.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    11 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thank you for the comments, when it comes to gardening where there is a will there is a way.

  • yenseca profile image


    11 years ago from Canada

    Thanks for another good one Bob. Even people with limited balcony space can grow stuff with your help!

  • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

    Zsuzsy Bee 

    11 years ago from Ontario/Canada

    Very interesting Bob! great hub as always.

    regards Zsuzsy

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    11 years ago from New Brunswick


  • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

    Patty Inglish MS 

    11 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

    Nice Hub! Definitely something I will think about trying soon.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    11 years ago from New Brunswick


  • C.S.Alexis profile image


    11 years ago from NW Indiana

    This is great stuff! I like the way you started with not having preconceived notions of what a garden should look like. Imagination is key. Good job!


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