Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Vertical Gardening

I've been reading about vertical gardening and have experimented with it at small scales. There is the typical trellis system that gardeners have used for eons to control their vining plants; and then there are the pot brackets hung on walls, window sills and fences.

But there are more non-conventional vertical gardens to consider. One can take reclaimed lumber and other materials to make beautiful arrangements of landscape to fill a space,

Or consider extending their garden up a wall by growing vertical gardens of vegetables. Salad greens work very well in vertical garden spaces.

I have numerous walls on the Gallery House which may work beautifully for different types of vertical gardens.

This year I have begun building small vertical gardens, using old reclaimed shutters. The first one I created, was a small one, using an aluminum shutter. It had no openings and was merely a decorative house shutter, so I had to drill holes. I used reclaimed 1"x6" boards to make the box.

Once I built the box, I lined the wood box using a construction trash bag. I chose a construction grade trash bad due to its toughness and thicker ply and availability. Then I secured a water trough at the bottom. My trough was an old feed trough about 6 inches long. The plastic is draped into the trough, so that water draining along the back area of the vertical garden box would move down into the trough, rather than spill out of the garden box. This is in hopes of conserving water loss.

The box was then filled with peat moss, as a soilless medium. I chose peat since it is supposed to hold water better.

I then took and nailed a piece of long narrow hardware cloth along the surface of the peat to reduce loss of the peat moss via the holes. This also should help keep the root systems in place as the plants grow.

Then I secured the shutter into place over the hardware cloth wire. I then sewed seeds into each hole, after showering the peat moss with water.

In a few days we should begin to see small plants emerging from the holes created.

A few concerns I have is whether or not the holes were drilled large enough to satisfy the needs of the plant stems. In the next version, I think I will see about ways to make the holes larger.

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