4 Tips on Growing A Vertical Garden

by Erin Enouen

Short on space? Try growing up! Whether you have a big or small garden, you surely have smaller spaces that you can grow into this season.

Small spaces are intensively planted, so planning and thoughtfulness go a long way to reaping a better harvest. One great way to maximize your growing space (no matter the size) is by utilizing the space above the soil with vertical growing. Pole beans, tomatoes, climbing flowers, peas, and even cucumbers can be trained to grow upwards, and will reward the time you spend trellising with yield and beauty. Here are some quick tips to provide support and maximize your harvest with climbing plants.

1. Provide enough room. Though a great way to utilize space, don't squeeze plants in too tight. Follow the horizontal spacing guidelines on your seed pack for the best plant health and yield.


2. Choose the proper support for your plants. Some plants grab hold as they climb, so a string or rigid trellis close by is all they need, but others need to be supported as they grow. Check out this post for more.

3. Inter-plant climbing varieties with non-climbing plants to maximize space. Think strategically about your plants and their space requirements. A 10-gallon planter will generously accommodate one tomato plant, but is too small for two. Why not put a couple of basil plants in to utilize the space without over crowding?

4. Start with good soil. When growing in small spaces, like containers, raised beds, or small gardens, we ask a lot of our soil. The nutrients in a pot of soil will last only about one season, if even. Start with good quality, balanced, organic potting mix each year, and plant in an appropriate sized container so that your plants have enough food. Be sure to add organic matter to raised beds or small garden spaces, and consider having your soil tested for nutrients so that you know how best to feed it.

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