FUN IDEAS FOR SMALL-SPACE GARDENING
With vertical gardening, you can make the most of your land and have the satisfaction of cultivating your own crops.
As lovely as it might be to have a large swath of land that can be tilled for edibles and ornamentals, not every piece of property is appropriate for widespread gardening. That can be particularly true with log homes, since many are built on terrain that isn’t suited to expansive gardens. You might be on a mountainside or tucked into a forest with plenty of grand views, but flat space and ample sunshine are at a premium.
Happily, there’s no need to ditch your gardening dreams. Just think up instead of out.
The vertical gardening concept allows you to use smaller slices of land, while still putting plenty of plants in place. With some savvy strategies, you can grow a full garden’s worth of vegetables on the rise — and they’re easier to harvest, too. Try these tips:
Fine on the Vine
When you’re using trellises or columns, vining plants do especially well because you can “train” them to expand upward. Peas, grapes, cucumbers, zucchini or even hardy kiwi are great options.
If you’ve ever wanted to dabble in brewing your own beer, hops are an excellent addition to a vertical garden space. They can be lush enough to provide shade for a seating area, but still produce a sizeable yield for home-brew efforts.
Stack It Up
Vining plants aren’t the only varieties that lend themselves to vertical gardening. Help our climbing-challenged friends along by placing containers into lattice, a potting wall or other existing structure in an area that
gets a proper amount of sun for the species.
For example, you might create a wall of herbs by affixing several hearty beams alongside an outbuilding, or even on the house itself. Pots can be arranged on these, but be sure to secure them so they’re safe during storms.
Another idea is to install three to four poles in an open space, such as one end of a porch, and then hang plants on them. This gives you the option of being able to move them around easily, especially if you have to bring some of the herbs in for the winter.
Try building your own terraced wall by stacking antique crates or boxes in an offset pattern, like building with blocks. Just be sure to provide some reinforcement so that they don’t come tumbling down.
You can even convert an old dresser into a vertical garden by staggering the open drawers. Just place it in a sunny spot, add soil, fertilizer and plants and voila! Instant garden – just add water.
Because these strategies rely on just a few new materials or on existing structures, a vertical garden can be done affordably and save you money on your weekly produce bill, letting you watch your bank balance grow right along with your plants.
LEFT: Convert an old dresser into a vertical garden by staggering the open drawers and filling with succulents, herbs or flowers.
ABOVE: Vining plants, such as beans, peas and zucchini are perfectly suited for vertical gardening.