How vertical gardening helps you grow more food

Here’s an unfortunate thought that most people who want to grow food for themselves live with: they think they don’t have the space to do it. In most cases, this is simply not true, but this mentality is widespread in society, and in the opinion of this writer it must be changed.

One way we can change it is to rethink the way we look at gardening. Let’s start by steering away from the horizontal position and leaning more towards the vertical position. So, what exactly is vertical gardening?

Vertical gardening is simply training your plants in your garden to grow vertically rather than spread out over the ground, a blessing that many people go unnoticed. We want to grow more food but think we don’t have space because our squash plants are feeding off and suffocating everything they come in contact with. Our kidney beans occupy the entirety of that raised bed in the back corner, and don’t get us started with the beef patty! This is where the vertically growing stuff really shines.

How to build a network system

Many vegetables do not necessarily need to grow across the surface of our gardens and can be trained to grow vertically. In these situations, a good trellis (which I will teach, can be close to anything the vineyard can wrap around) is absolutely key. You likely already have a temporary trellis roving around in the first place, and you haven’t realized that yet. The chain link fence that surrounds your yard is a compelling trellis. A deck with handrails with spaces between each bar? Also trellis.

Now that you know the “what” and “why,” let’s take a look at the “how.” As I mentioned earlier, a trellis is essential to making this work a success. You can build one yourself from garden netting, chicken wire, fencing, and netting, the list is pretty much limited what you can think of. If you’d rather forgo the construction process, there are plenty of options at most garden centers as well, although they can be somewhat pricey.

It is important to remember that your trellis system for vertical gardening must be strong enough to support what you plan to train it with. In the case of things like beans, cucumbers, and peas, I often use bird nets or some other type of cheap plastic netting. These plants don’t produce huge, heavy crops, so I can go easy on them.

When we start getting into plants like pumpkins, watermelons, and squash, that’s a whole other ball game. In this case, poultry fencing, chain fencing or standard livestock fencing with a solid wood frame will be your best friend. I’ve found that supporting the trellis on multiple sides will often stop heavy fruiting plants like these from putting too much weight on it.

In fact, a cattle fence, although expensive, may be your best bet. While the plants can freely feed up and across, the space between the wire allows the melon or zucchini to hang as they reach maturity and are ready to harvest. With that kind of access, you don’t have to dig through oversized foliage and thorny vines to find your reward, and I consider that a win.

vertical garden layout

Once you know what to use as a trellis, it’s time to really start saving the space in smart ways. Placing a trellis at the edge of a garden bed, whether it’s a raised bed or a ground-level garden, will allow vine vegetables to grow without taking up more space than the plant stem requires, leaving more room in your home. A garden for the plants you need.

Additionally, when placing the trellis, you can do so in a way that creates some afternoon shade for plants that might benefit from it. In fact, if you build a trellis that leans on the top of your garden bed, and train plants like melons, cucumbers, or squash to feed on top of it, the leaves will keep the bed shaded enough for plants like lettuce. It does not enjoy the heat in the middle of summer, and the cold temperatures grow constantly throughout the hot summer days.

Plant vertically for fewer pests and more success

For the sake of argument, I’ll dive into plants that grow well vertically. We already know that tomatoes do well when grown vertically because most of us already use tomato cages (disguised trellis too) to keep our plants off the ground. But did you know that squash, watermelon, winter squash, beans, peas, cucumbers, and even eggplant all thrive when they are allowed to grow vertically?

In fact, plants like cucumbers do best when they are allowed to grow vertically because the snails are not as susceptible to pests as snails and slugs, and in our case, the curious Bluetick Coon Hounds that have an appetite for pickling cucumbers. Slugs and snails are generally lazy and don’t want to work too hard in order to find food. This includes having to climb three feet off the ground to feast on tangled vegetables

Some of the best perks about growing vegetables vertically are the little ones we don’t really think about. For example, I have already touched on the fact that no matter how you cut it, a tomato cage is actually a trellis. Having said that, no one looks at a full-grown tomato plant as a potential trellis, and if someone were to plant six seeds of snap peas at the base of a tomato plant, (or better yet, a tall corn stalk) that person would be pretty cunning, and they would have saved Much more space for other plants.

Vertical gardening also has wins when it comes to saving vegetables from rotting due to moisture. We used to lose a lot of food because of this. We’ll be away for a few days, it’ll be raining in the house nonstop, and by the time we get back, this squash or this cucumber plant will be a haven for rotting food and a fruit fly paradise. It sucked, and it turns out that getting these types of plants out of the ground where good air circulation allows vegetables to dry out faster after a good rain is key to not losing too much.

Cultivation of the Caliphate

Adorable planting also allows me to grow things like peas in a better way in succession farming. For example, let’s say I have a 6″ x 6″ raised bed that I’m making specifically for growing peas perpendicular to the netting. I have four rows of nets running east to west, with enough space between each row to allow me to fit between them to harvest when the time is right.

Planting the first succession of seeds under the north side of the north grid, I will then plant a new row every two weeks, allowing the newest seedlings to get access to sunlight without competing with the older pea plants.

Between each row, I’ll probably plant some lettuce, but spaced out enough to be able to skip each plant when picking the peas later. If I didn’t trellis the peas and let them grow across the ground, they would outgrow the new plants and I would probably get a minimal harvest due to my lack of effort.

Vertical gardening is one of the few great ways you can maximize your harvest while saving the overall surface area of ​​your garden. We all wish we could grow more food, and more often we can. We just need to rethink how to do that with the space we already have.

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