When gardening in small spaces, real estate is valuable. That is why its great to use every surface available for planting, including the walls. By using vertical gardens you can keep floor space clear for seating or walkways.
Vertical gardens can be used for ornamental planting but, are also useful for growing productive plants in urban environments. They can offer thermal benefits by shielding walls from the sun, assist with acoustics by dampening noise and, when used indoors create living art in your home as well as purifying the air.
STYLES OF VERTICAL GARDENS
Image via woollypocket.com
Image via Pinterest
There are a many green wall products available, such as individual pots that are fixed directly to the wall or, complete kits where multiple small pots are hooked onto a backing board which is then fixed to your wall. The main advantage of using a kit with a backing board is that you limit the number of anchor points you need in your wall. There are also other products using sheets of thick felt with built in pockets where plant roots are placed with a minimal amount of growing medium, the roots then grow into the felt.
If you are looking for something a little more individual there’s also the option of using recycled materials like small pots and reinforcing mesh, timber pallets, pvc pipe or guttering, PET bottles, the options are endless.
Vertical gardens can also be combined with an aquaponics system, where water from a fish pond is circulated through the pots taking full advantage of the nutrient rich fish waste. This is a completely organic way of growing plants.
When designing the planting in your vertical gardens you can create interesting effects by mass planting using contrasting coloured foliage in different patterns, diagonal waves work well. Or, more subtly combining a variety of leaf shapes, for example a thin strappy leaf with large open leaves. Succulents also do well in vertical gardens because of their hardy nature and they are available in a variety of sizes, shapes and colours.
Consider the location of your vertical garden. Get an idea of the amount of sunlight it will receive each day and choose plants accordingly. Because of their elevated position outdoor vertical gardens can be subjected to high winds. If this is the case, choose hardier plants that are suited to coastal locations as they are built tough.
Images via Pinterest
The key to a successful vertical garden is water. Because pot sizes are generally quite small they can dry out quickly. The best solution for this is to install a simple automated irrigation system that will keep your plants hydrated. Pots are often fitted with a small reservoir in the base that can hold some additional water that the plant roots can draw on during a scorching day and an overflow point so plant roots aren’t left siting in soggy soil for long periods of time. Like pot plants, vertical gardens will need regular applications of liquid fertiliser to keep them thriving.
Boots&Barrow stock VersiWall Vertical Garden Kits (pictured below), click the link to download an information sheet or send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire or purchase.
It was a walk down the street this morning and whiff of something a bit farmyard that inspired this post. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s copped a noseful of fertiliser lately. When the warmer spring weather hits, plants start growing once again and to help them with this, a good dose of fertiliser is just what they need.
In the plant food aisle, one can be spoilt for choice or just plain confused. The information below, should help you narrow down the options.
I’ll try not to get too nerdy scientist on you, but this will help you decipher the numbers on the back of the pack. Fertilisers have a breakdown of the top 3 nutrients required by plants, Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K). As a rule of thumb Nitrogen assists with leaf growth, Phosphorus is overall plant growth and Potassium helps with flowering. So for example a plant food for Citrus would have higher amounts of Phosphorus and Potassium and small amounts of Nitrogen so the plants energy is not put into the leaf growth but instead focuses on juicy fruit.
A BIT OF EXTRA LOVE AND ATTENTION
There are some amazing benefits from growing plants indoor:
In saying that, it doesn’t give you much of a warm fuzzy feeling, when your little green friend turns up its toes and dies. This survival guide has some tips that should help with your nurturing, so your plants can stick around for the long term, letting you reap all the benefits.
As a general rule, plants need light that is bright enough to read a book by. Take note of how the light in the room changes between Winter and Summer, plants may need a holiday to another spot at varying times. Be aware that a bright North facing windowsill may get very hot, especially in Summer, and your plant leaves could burn.
Most often we kill our poor plants with kindness. We want so much for them to grow well we water them at every opportunity, making the soil at the bottom of the pot a soggy mess, then the roots begin to rot.
To find out if your plant needs a drink, stick your index finger into the soil up to the first knuckle, if it feels damp - no need to water, check in again another day soon. Water the soil as opposed to the foliage and be sure your pot has drainage holes, so any excess water can drain away.
SPECIAL NOTE: Ferns love moisture on their leaves, so feel free to give them a mist of water on their foliage every few days. This can be particularly beneficial in winter when heaters can dry out the air.
You can water with a liquid fertiliser about once a month from mid-spring to early autumn. This will give your plants the goodness they need to grow during these months. Don’t fertilise over winter, as plants go into semi hibernation and don’t need to be fertilised at this time.
Plants convert light into energy using the green pigment in their leaves, they also have pores in their leaves that help them breathe. By keeping the leaves as dust free as possible, your plant will be free to flourish. Give them a wipe with a clean damp cloth.
SYMPTOMS AND REMEDIES
As you’ve probably noticed, it’s not an exact science. If you keep an eye on your green babies and they start to show any of the symptoms above, try out the remedies and you should find them starting to improve in a week or two.
"There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments"
— Janet Kilburn Phillips