Vertical Gardening - Using a trellis to grow food vertically!
Hey DirtMagicians, Thanks for stopping by to read the post on Vertical Gardening- primarily using trellises to grow food. More vegetables than you can imagine using a trellis system- this helps maximize a small growing space into a productive space for growing vegetables and fruit.
In this blog post, we cover what vertical gardening is, the benefits of trellising your plants and describe a very common trellis- a teepee trellis.
Click below to download our Freebie: “List of Vegetables That Can be Trellised and What They Need”. We list some common and uncommon vegetables that can be trellised. Each trellis is an easy and cost-effective way and will help maximize your production even in a small growing space.
What is vertical gardening?
Most gardeners growing food in urban spaces don’t have the luxury of large expansive yards and raised beds. Vertical gardening, using a trellis or trellising structure to train your vegetables and fruit to grow upward and off the ground rather than spreading out on your garden bed. This is a powerful way to help gardeners make the most of their small spaces!
Trellising has been in practice since ancient times – one of the first known pieces of evidence was the Hanging Gardens of Babylon in 600 BC (one of the Seven Wonders of the World).
How does vertical gardening work?
You train your plants to grow vertically by attaching them to something such as a fence or wall, arch or arbor. You can also use special supports explicitly designed for this purpose, such as poles or stakes (which you may have seen in your local nursery). These supports typically have holes in them so that you can easily secure your plant with string or wire. How exactly you choose to do this will depend on what type of plant you're growing and what kind of support system you have available to you.
Benefits of vertical gardening or trellising your plants
Reduces water consumption and allows for better drainage – A vertical garden has the added benefit of being a more sustainable way of gardening. Vertical gardens require less water than traditional gardens because you can water deep at the base of the plant instead of the entire sprawling plant, which means a lower hydro bill! They also allow for better drainage as the plants are not crowded and are spaced very well. This also prevents overwatering which leads to root rot and diseases.
Increases biodiversity – There has been a severe loss of biodiversity due to urbanization and other factors. According to United Nations, more than 1 million plants and animals are threatened with extinction. Vertical gardening can help in saving biodiversity by giving you a chance to plant more in your gardens. Trellising plants helps you maximize your space, grow vegetables vertically and you utilize additional space for planting pollinator-friendly flowers to attract beneficial predatory insects. These beneficial insects also act as pollinators for your fruit and vegetables! Every step will compound and have an impact.
Reduces the occurrence of diseases – When plants are grown vertically, you can increase airflow and create an environment where there is no moisture in the leaves (as compared to when they trail along a garden bed). Excessive moisture creates conditions for many fungal and bacterial diseases to thrive. The air circulation in a vertically grown plant, also allows for the foliage to dry quickly leading to less moisture retention and to being less disease prone as a result.
Higher quality of food and better yield in a compact space – The quality of the food produced by vertical gardens is also very good because the plants are better exposed to sunlight, increased photosynthesis and better heat absorption. This further leads to more production of glucose and fructose and eventually better quality and yield by the plant. Additionally, as stated above, having vertically growing veggies means fewer chances of diseases and fruit damage; again leading to higher yields.
Easier monitoring and harvesting – Trellising makes it easier for you to monitor your plants' health as well as any changes in their development over time as the plants can be better spaced. Less crowding of plants makes it easy for you to catch disease and pests early and intervene early as well.
Harvesting trellised plants is a lot easier as you do not have to bend that ol back and creaking knees a whole lot to harvest your food! ;) For instance cucumbers and zucchini can produce prolifically and hide in the plant. In a vertically grown plant- your veggies can be spotted easily!
Saves space – Vertical gardens take up less space than traditional gardens because they are not spread and sprawl all over your limited garden space. This also provides you with additional space to grow more food or those beautiful pollinator-friendly flowers.
What is a teepee trellis?
At DirtMagicians - we love our teepee trellis!
A teepee trellis is a cost-effective DIY way of trellising a variety of vegetables Usually a teepee trellis is a stand-alone structure made of long, thin poles such as bamboo. Teepees are especially handy for growing vining plants like pole beans, garden peas, sweet peas (flowers), climbing nasturtiums, black-eyed Susan vines AND even cucumbers. In our free resource, we share how you can build an easy teepee trellis at home.
DirtMagicians - don't forget we have a free resource for you to download “List of vegetables that can be trellised and what they need” We list some common and uncommon vegetables that can be trellised. Each trellis is an easy and cost-effective way and will help maximize your production even in a small growing space
Click below to download our free resource
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