Container Gardening - Going Vertical
If you do an internet image search with the phrase "vertical gardening", you will see so many different ideas that it becomes both exciting and overwhelming. At least it was for me. Gardeners are creative thinkers and problem-solvers. When looking for more space, they will sometimes purchase additional containers but just as often they will build, recycle, and invent the most amazing solutions for adding planting area. I too needed more space for my vegetable container garden this year and am sharing my solution, the Whitmor Supreme Small 3-Tier Shelving unit, with you.
Making the most of my growing space. This is my first full growing season at this address. I have a fantastic balcony that receives brilliant direct sunlight through the afternoons and evenings. Last summer, I barely had time to experiment with a container garden. When the cold weather moved in, I brought my plants into the kitchen. It is now spring and my garden is gradually moving back to the balcony.
I am feeling more adventurous this year and I will need more space. While I love the wooden raised bed pyramids that are used for vertical gardening, there is no way one of those would fit onto my balcony. I also considered the manufactured pots that fit together to form a sort of pyramid, but I balked at the expense. As you can tell, I thought for some time about my options. We had a hard and snowy winter. I had plenty of time to daydream.
My garden plans are limited in space and budget. I am also very concerned about weight due to being on a 3rd floor balcony and having no idea what the structural limits of my balcony are.
My solution. Due to the reasons above, I happily purchased two Style Selections shelves from Lowe's. Note, I am not a Lowe's employee or stockholder. I just searched for quite some time to find something cheap and stable. And something that would fit on my balcony. I was thrilled when I found these shelves.
If you are not near a Lowe's, I have found that same thing with a different brand name can be ordered from Amazon. The Lowe's brand was approximately $10 per unit cheaper. Likely due to it being marketed as the store brand. The price tag suited my budget but I also had to drive to the store and pick it up. Depending on your location, it may be more cost effective to order them and have them delivered.
I love these shelves for the following reasons:
- They were very easy for me to assemble.
- The height of the shelves can be adjusted.
- I can use the 3 shelves provided or only use 2 shelves if I need to house taller plants
- They are very sturdy
- They appear to be of materials that will weather well outside (on my semi-protected balcony)
- There are adjustable feet - to prevent any wobbling
- The wire shelves allow the sun to shine through to the plants on the bottom shelf.
- Small window box shaped planters fit perfectly on the lower shelves.
- Larger window box shaped planters fit perfectly on the top shelf
- While the shelves are sturdy enough to meet my needs, they do not add too much weight to my balcony.
- Going vertical in this way is adding a pretty privacy screen to my balcony. I am blocking my neighbor's view of me in an attractive and green manner.
Image Credit: -- Photo gallery photos are Dawn Rae -- All Rights Reserved
Photo GalleryClick thumbnail to view full-size
My container gardening adventures. I am not a gardening expert. Not by a long shot. But the ability to grow my own meals excites me. I have experimented since moving to this new apartment. If you would like to see my other gardening adventures, I encourage you to look at the following lenses.
Same measurements as my small window box planter that fits on the lower two shelves.
Another vertical planting option for patios or small yards.