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.

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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.

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