Building a vertical garden provides homeowners with an opportunity to be surrounded with lush greenery, thereby improving the scenery and air quality of their backyard.
Many homeowners are weary of building vertical gardens, simply due to a misconception that vertical gardens are difficult to build. In actuality, these unique gardens can be designed and built with relative ease.
The Building Process
The actual process of building a vertical garden incorporates building a frame, Attaching a liner to the frame, providing a plant environment fabric and creating an irrigation system.
Building a Frame
Elbows and four way joints made of 3/4 inch PVC will be used to create a solid frame that can then be attached to any preexisting fence. If you plan on having your vertical garden frame cover the height of your fence, you can easily use the same measurements as your fence. However, it’s suggested that you stop 4 to 6 inches below the top of your fence, to prevent overgrowth. To build the frame, simply cut PVC pipes to length and attach to the joints and elbows.
Attaching a Liner to the Frame
A sheet of plastic will need to be attached to the frame. It’ll provide protection, once the entire frame has been attached to your wood fence. Additionally, a plastic liner will will provide proper backing once, the fabric has been attached.
Providing a Fabric Plant Environment
Once you have the plastic liner in place, it’s time to attach a fabric to the frame. The fabric will become home to your plants, for this reason, it’s imperative that the fabric chosen can hold water and that it will be free from developing rot.
If you’re uncertain as to which type of fabric would be best, you can consult a nearby hardware or garden center.
However, there are several types of fabrics that can safely be used, including standard carpet padding.
Cut and attach three layers of fabric with stainless steel staples. After staples are in place, add galvanized screws for additional durability. While attaching the fabric, be sure to stretch the fabric so that it’s firm.
Creating an Irrigation System
The greatest challenge for vertical gardens is keeping plats irrigated, yet not soaked. By placing an irrigation system at the top of the frame, you’ll be able to ensure proper watering. The irrigation system will actually be providing water to the fabric, the plat roots will will pull water from the fabric so that they can flourish.
A simple irrigation system can be made using poly tubing with locking fittings. You’ll need to have a timer installed that can release water for 15 seconds every four hours, for a total of 6 drippings.
Though this may seem like minimal watering, you’ll have to keep in mind that the fabric is remaining wet, thereby providing plant life with a consistent amount of water. To keep plants healthy, you can add liquid fertilizer with a fertilizer injector, available at most garden shops.
Attaching Your Vertical Garden Frame to Your Fence
The frame can be attached to your fence with brackets. When attaching frame, be sure to use stainless steel screws and brackets to avoid rust. Once the frame is secured, attach the irrigation system at the top of the frame to allow consistent water delivery to your new vertical garden.
Picking Out Your Vertical Garden Plants
When choosing vertical garden plants, keep in mind that native plants will always thrive in your environment. If you want to expand beyond your locally grown plants, follow planting basic guidelines to ensure successful growing.
The best way to achieve this is to pick out plants that can handle environmental demands. For desert climates, you’ll want plants that can handle direct sunlight, high heat temperatures and cold nights.
How to Insert Plants into a Vertical Garden
Inserting the plant can be done by cutting a horizontal slice into the fabric material and placing the plant inside of the sliced area. Prior to inserting the plant, you’ll need to nock the majority of dirt off of the roots. Once the plant is within the fabric, attach the fabric to the plastic lining with stainless steel staples. Use staples to secure the roots by making a half circle around the plant roots.
How to Design a Plant Layout for a Vertical Garden
There are a few choices when designing a plant layout.
You can plant several varieties that will grow to the same thickness, thereby requiring the same amount of expansion.
However, one plant layout that’ll expand your variety, is placing thick plants that will protrude from the wall by a foot to two feet at the top of your wall.
Doing this, will provide shading underneath, allowing you to plant several plant types that typically prefer shade.
How to Care for a Vertical Garden
Caring for your vertical garden is simplistic, as the irrigation system will do most of the work. However, you will need to occasionally add liquid nutrients through an injector. The timeline between fertilization will depend on the plants chosen. The best gauge, is to look for signs of poor health.
Often, people will want to spray a vertical garden wall, this isn’t necessary and doing so, can potentially damage the plants. If you absolutely must, keep it at a mist and only mist the wall for a matter of seconds.