Vertical Gardening Techniques

No horizontal space to grow your own fruits and veggies? Grow up!


By Patricia Snook


Growing your own fruit and vegetables provide many benefits to your environment, health, and wellbeing. With increasing global environmental pressures on our planet such as desertification and rapid population growth, access to fresh fruit and vegetables can be a challenge. Growing your own small harvest will not only provide delicious nutrition, but also serve as an excellent stress relief.

You don't need extensive horizontal space; a small balcony or even windowsill can provide an excellent bounty of homegrown greens. There are a range of innovative solutions available which utilize vertical space, such as hanging planters, green walls and pallet gardens.

There are plenty of other solutions available, which do not require extensive space so that you can grow small gardens within a smaller footprint.

Pallet gardens are easy to assemble and take up minimal ground space thereby making balcony gardens easy to set up. All you need is a pallet and a thick liner like a geotextile membrane nailed or stapled into the middle section of the pallet. Then, fill it with soil, sow seeds or plant saplings.

Bottle gardens are a great solution if you have a small wall or window available. Simply cut a section of plastic soda or water bottle horizontally on its side and use it as a planter. You can hang multiple bottle gardens using a piece of garden twine wrapped around the neck and base of the bottle.

Aquaponic systems are devices that allow plants to grow above a tank of water, they enable plants to grow in the water. They come in a range of sizes and types. Setting up a small off-the-shelf system can lead to great yields and excellent soil quality in your vertical garden. As with all gardening, the better the soil, the more sustainable your system.

Green walls are exactly what they sound like. These systems allow plants to grow on the wall. They look fantastic in any setting. A half height green wall on a balcony can provide both aesthetically pleasing settings and an opportunity to grow fresh salad leaves, vegetables, and even fruit.

Accessing a bounty of homegrown produce through growing them in any space you have available, can provide an excellent source of fresh produce. Supplementing your meals with fresh greens like leafy kale, herbs and mixed salad leaves both provides a rewarding sense of accomplishment and a great meal.

Patricia founded AWS in 2008 as a means of sharing and documenting her health journey. Diagnosed with familial hypercholestrolemia as a teenager she has worked with nutritionists and sports professionals to holistically alter the expression of her epigenetic markers. Out of AWS grew the Urban Farmer which showcases her passion for gardening and self sufficient living. When Patricia is not gardening you will find her cooking, rock climbing and hiking.

Second Photo Credit:  bangkoksmile/ ; Third Photo Credit:  Carl Stewart/