Vertical gardening, also called vertical farming or vertical planting, is the practice of growing plants on vertically inclined surfaces. This innovative gardening method is quickly gaining popularity among home gardeners due to the numerous benefits of vertical gardens. If you have limited yard space or want to maximize your gardening output, it’s time to start growing vertically!
This article will explore the top 12 benefits of vertical gardening and explain why it’s worth utilizing vertical space when growing plants. Read on to learn how vertical gardens can allow you to grow more food using less space, reduce maintenance needs, improve air quality, and much more!
1. Grow Up to 24 Times More Plants in Less Space
The main impetus behind vertical gardening is to maximize production in a limited space. By training vining crops like cucumbers, beans, tomatoes or trailing flowers to grow vertically on a trellis or lattice, you can grow them in a smaller footprint than if they were left to spread horizontally along the ground. This allows urban gardeners or those with tiny yards to grow a lot more food!
In fact, going vertical with your plants can increase your growing area by as much as 24 times. Just imagine how many more pots of herbs and vegetables you could grow on a vertical wall-mounted or freestanding structure compared to a standard horizontal garden bed. Utilizing vertical space makes it possible to have a thriving and productive garden even with minimal square footage.
2. Require Less Work & Maintenance for the Gardener
Another major benefit of vertical gardening is that it requires much less backbreaking work compared to traditional gardening. There’s no need for digging beds, weeding around plants, or using machinery like rototillers. Building a vertical garden eliminates many of the labor-intensive tasks associated with growing vegetables, herbs and flowers horizontally along the ground.
Vertical gardens are also much easier for gardeners to access and tend to without excessive bending or reaching. Pots can be arranged at comfortable heights for planting, pruning and harvesting. With a reduction in certain gardening chores, vertical gardening is great for seniors or gardeners dealing with physical limitations. It makes growing fresh produce accessible for more people.
3. Deter Certain Pests Like Snails and Slugs
Gardening vertically significantly reduces problems with common garden pests like snails, slugs and ground-dwelling insects. When plants are elevated off the ground and grown vertically on structures like walls, trellises or stacked pots, they become harder for these pesky critters to reach.
Plants prone to rotting when left on the damp ground also benefit from improved air circulation and drainage in vertical gardens. Better air flow means faster drying out, making for less favorable conditions for fugal diseases. Overall, lifting crops off the soil keeps them away from some of the biggest threats to healthy plants!
4. What Are the Best Plants for Vertical Gardening?
Nearly any type of vegetable, herb, vine, shrub or flower can be trained to grow vertically or kept compact enough to grow in a vertical garden. Good options include vining crops like pole beans, peas, cucumbers, melons, squash and tomatoes. These all naturally grow on vertical supports.
Lettuce, spinach, kale, chard and other leafy greens also grow well on vertical walls and structures in raised beds or pots. When it comes to ornamentals, cascading annuals like petunias or pansies make great choices for hanging baskets or layered vertical installations. Even fruits like strawberries and raspberries grow wonderfully along fences or up trellises. The possibilities are endless!
5. Increase Urban Green Space Without a Large Garden
For city dwellers and anyone without ample gardening space, vertical gardens provide a simple way to reap the beauty and bounty of growing plants without a sprawling backyard or large horizontal garden. Apartment dwellers can create impressive vertical gardens on patios, rooftops, next to windows, or even indoors.
You don’t need acres of land to create lush “green walls” covered in flowering vines or pots overflowing with vegetables and herbs. Vertical gardening transforms urban areas into vibrant habitats that help support biodiversity. Our concrete jungles start looking a lot greener and more inviting!
6. Help Mitigate Noise, Dust & Pollution
Believe it or not, green walls and vertical gardens can actually help absorb noise pollution and improve air quality – making them especially beneficial in urban environments. The layered foliage helps block high frequencies while the plant roots and growing material absorb lower frequencies. This significantly cuts down on noise from traffic, machinery and other irritating sounds.
Plus, vertical gardens purify the surrounding environment. Plants release oxygen into the air while absorbing and filtering out dust, smoke and other airborne pollutants like volatile organic compounds. By helping mitigate noise, dust and fumes, vertical gardens create cleaner, healthier and more tranquil spaces to enjoy the outdoors!
7. Lower Ambient Temperatures Through Evaporative Cooling
As plants give off moisture from their leaves, a process called “evaporative cooling” occurs. This means that a vertical garden can help cool the wall surface by as much as 50 degrees Fahrenheit! Plants essentially function as natural air conditioners, providing noticeable cooling effects on building walls or vertical structures.
Vertical gardens support a more comfortable microclimate. Plus, the shade and insulation the plants create help reduce energy costs related to cooling indoor spaces near green walls during warm weather. Vertical gardens literally help you chill out!
8. Allow Growing Food & Plants Indoors & Outdoors
Vertical gardens can be designed for growing edibles and ornamentals either outside or inside the home. You can train vining vegetables up a trellis right in your outdoor garden bed, create a “living wall” of lush ferns and foliage plants on your patio, or install stackable hydroponic grow towers in a sunroom or spare closet.
Vertical gardening works wonderfully indoors and outdoors. The modules and vertical structures take up very little floor space while maximizing vertical growth potential. For folks dealing with short outdoor growing seasons, growing food vertically indoors provides vegetation and fresh produce year-round!
9. Help Prevent Soil Erosion & Protect Plants
Installing vertical gardens along steep slopes, hillsides or riverbanks offers a great way to prevent soil erosion while transforming rugged areas into beautiful terraced landscapes. The layered plants help hold soil in place while their roots stabilize the earth and prevent runoff. Structural elements like wooden frames or trellises also protect the plants from getting damaged.
Vertical gardens are equally advantageous on windy properties or in areas prone to storms. Plants trained to grow vertically on sheltered walls or privacy screens are partially hidden from winds while still getting adequate sunlight and moisture to thrive.
10. Enjoy More Privacy & Security in Your Landscape
Vertical gardens provide a living screen that increases privacy and seclusion in your outdoor living spaces. Vining plants create lush green barriers when grown vertically along fences, arbors, property perimeters or the exterior of homes and sheds. You can hide air condition units or other unsightly utility areas.
The vegetation acts as a natural sight and sound barrier from neighboring properties or public spaces. You end up with more private relaxation and entertainment zones perfect for outdoor dining, grilling or lounging by the pool.
And as an added perk, vertical gardens discourage intruders. Lush walls with thorns make it much harder for trespassers or prowlers to access locked windows or gates. The landscapes look beautiful yet remain highly secure!
11. Help Wildlife like Bees, Birds and Butterflies Thrive
Besides growing gorgeous flowers, fruits and foliage, vertical gardens also provide vital habitat for songbirds, butterflies, bees and beneficial insects that keep the garden ecosystem in balance. Birdhouses and bee boxes can be integrated into living walls and trellis structures. Hummingbird feeders work wonderfully too.
Since vertical gardens attract pollinators, you’ll reap bigger harvests from fruiting crops like squash, berries or melons grown in adjacent garden beds. Install a few vertical planters or flower towers specifically to support butterflies, bees, and birds for healthier gardens all-around!
12. They’re Great For Renters & Temporary Living Situations
Finally, unlike building traditional garden beds or sowing lawn seed, installing vertical planter boxes, wall mounts or freestanding structures doesn’t require making permanent changes to a rental property or home you may not occupy forever. Vertical gardens can move with you to a new place.
Most vertical structures utilize screws, clamps or clips to stabilize onto existing architecture or fencing without damaging it. And container gardens are inherently portable. For renters and folks in transitional housing, short-term arrangements or uncertain futures, vertical gardening offers a flexible way to grow plants that you can take just about anywhere!
Conclusion: It’s Time To Use More Vertical Space for Growing
As you can see, vertical gardening offers numerous advantages over traditional horizontal gardening. By going vertical, it’s possible to:
- Grow way more plants in less square footage
- Reduce backbreaking digging, weeding and watering
- Deter most ground-dwelling garden pests
- Grow food anywhere – even without a yard
- Help cool buildings and clean surrounding air
- Prevent soil erosion and protect plants
- Boost privacy, security and support wildlife
- Create fantastic gardens even as a renter!
Vertical gardening allows both beginners and master gardeners with limited time, energy or space to grow thriving vegetable patches, cutting flower gardens or lush potted arrangements anywhere imaginable. All while reaping the endless benefits of interacting with beautiful, nourishing plant life daily. It’s a win-win for you and the planet!
With so many upsides to vertically oriented gardens, isn’t it time to look up and consider installing a vertical garden or two of your own? Your plants and palette will thank you!