Due to limitations of space, vertical vegetable garden system is becoming popular especially in urban areas. It involves growing of vegetables in a limited space through utilizing the space above the ground. This can be done either by letting vegetables grow upwards instead of spreading outwards or by planting them on metal or wooden trellises thus utilizing the space vertically. Another option would be use of green walls, hanging shelves, containers, baskets or a combination of these.
Some of the plants that can fit in vertical vegetable garden system include: climbing plants such as cucumber, tomatoes, squash, lima beans, peas and green bees and none climbing plants such as lettuce, onions, peppers, radishes, eggplants, potatoes, parsley and herbs. However, climbing vegetables need support since their stems are weak to support the whole weight in a vertical orientation. Trellises are therefore appropriate for such vegetables. On the other hand, shelving and use of hanging baskets are more appropriate for non climbing vegetables while, green wall can fit both.
Advantages of vertical vegetable garden system
Saves space: by utilizing the space above the ground, vegetables that could have been grown on a large space can be grown on a small space.
Harvesting is easier: plant population at a given point is increased. The harvester can pick more vegetables from the ground level up to the highest reach while standing at the same point.
In the case of climbing vegetables, keeping the plants off the ground improves air circulation within the plants making them healthier and more productive. In addition, mold growth, soil borne diseases and damages from crawling insects are reduced.
Finally, by considering the best vegetables to grow and having the correct plan, vertical vegetable garden system can offer a solution to urban residents by providing fresh vegetables at the doorstep. When planning to implement vertical vegetable garden system, be aware that your vegetables will require approximately six hours of sunlight every day; in addition, you also need to have a reliable source of water.