The In’s and Out’s of Up and Down Gardening
Some of my earliest childhood memories stem from summers spent with my great grandparents, and the hours I spent helping them tend to their garden; black eyed peas, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and tons of other vegetables. We would spend the mornings in the garden and our evenings would end with the family gathered around the sturdy oak dining table, eating all of our days’ work. The food could not have been tastier. As I grew up, the time spent in those gardens became progressively shorter until eventually, I had all but forgotten those summers. I have spent much of my adult life in apartment buildings with nothing but a patio or balcony to call my own. Until a few years ago, I never thought that growing my own produce was even an option, having less than 100 square feet of usable space to work with. As the cost of produce skyrocketed, I decided that it was time put my foot down. I began researching small space gardening, and I was amazed that I could grow almost every bit of produce I could possibly want regardless of the amount of space that I had available.
The simple answer was to look up! Traditional gardening dictates that a garden must be grown on large expanses of flat land, however this is simply not the case, there is infinitely more space when you literally turn that notion on its head. Vertical gardening is the only logical step in this ever expanding urban environment that we live in. While our forefathers and mothers were able to purchase houses and live off the land, this unfortunately does not hold true today.
Even if you don’t live in an urban area, you may simply live in a place where the soil and weather simply do not allow for a traditional garden, or you may not have the time it takes to get your existing soil to become a suitable habitat for your plants. As our crop lands shrink more and more, vertical garden may well become the only choice for someone who wishes to flex their green thumb.
Simply speaking, vertical gardening is making the most of your usable gardening space by utilizing climbing plants and vegetables, or by training non-climbing varieties to grow in small pockets of soil that are lifted away from the ground.
This type of gardening has many advantages over traditional gardening, and once you discover how easy it is to move away from a traditional horizontally planted garden to a vertical one, you’ll be rewarded with a cornucopia of benefits.
Your new vertical garden involves less work and places less strain on your mind as well as your back. Even avid gardeners with plenty of space for a traditional garden are slowly moving towards vertical gardening. A traditional garden can lead to tragically disappointing results, as the more growing space you have, the more likely you are to get discouraged by near constant weeding, pest infestations and diseases, not to mention that many find watering such a large area is a never-ending obligation. All of these combined create a daunting task for even the most expert gardener. After years of research, I’m anxious to spread the word about vertical gardening; I want to live in a world where everyone can GROW UP regardless of how much land they have to work with.