10 Helpful Tips to Starting and Loving a Vertical Garden

Oct 04, 2011

Photography by Suthi Picotte

Let’s start with the basics – What is a vertical garden?

A vertical garden—sometimes called a living wall—is an organized system of plants that grow vertically up a wall, fence, or other vertical surface. Vertical gardens are beautiful ways to show off plants, cover an unsightly wall, or create privacy in a courtyard. Because they are hung vertically, they hardly take up any space. The Woolly Pocket vertical gardening system is unique because it’s easy to install, completely modular, and very easy to maintain. We invented our vertical system because there was no other solution on the market that suited our needs.

It’s true. If you live in the city it is probably a good chance that you are going to run out of space for gardens. I am speaking strictly in places where economic development is moving faster than we realize. When buildings start invading the spaces our plants call home… it’s time to move in the vertical garden.

Of course, we are huge advocates of the vertical garden at Woolly Pocket. It is as important to be plantastic on the ground as on the wall!

Photography by Jonathan Krisel

You must start a vertical garden. It is key to happiness and success in life. In order to help in this process, we want to give you a few pointers in starting and maintaining a vertical garden.

1. You Need a Strong Frame (or Wall) – The frame is your support for the vertical garden. Any concrete wall will do, however, it is important that you create your vertical garden (using Woolly Pockets of course) on a
frame that will last. This could be a wall inside or outside. It is extremely easy to hang our Wally on the wall using screws and fasteners.

2. Block the Plants on the Wall – Our product is totally modular. Just line up the pockets and overlap their grommets to create a wall of lush plants. When you hang them vertically you can space them 13 inches up and down. We can also provide you with 3 different lengths of Wallys. Going vertical and overlapping Wallys allow for a wall of pristine beauty.

3. Decide What To Plant – Before setting up a Wally vertical garden it is very important that you decide before hand what kind of plants you want to watch grow up. This will make planning your Wally garden easy and you can easily arrange the plants in any order. We believe that any Wally garden can be plantastic since there are plenty of different plants suited for a Wally wall. Any container plant can grow in a Wally . Pick plants that are the right size for their new Pocket home.

4. The Best Soil – A suitable growing medium for your plants is the key to your vertical garden success. The important thing to remember when choosing potting soil is that it should provide water retention, drainage, and nutrition. Most premium brands of all-purpose potting soil provide all of these things. Our favorite brand of soil is called ProMix BX.

5. The Right Use of Soil – For your Wally vertical garden it is important to use at least .45 cubic feet per individual pocket.

6. Use Drip Irrigation – Our favorite way to water larger vertical gardens is by drip irrigation because using a regular, timed watering helps insure a healthy vertical garden. Any store bought drip irrigation system will work. We suggest using individually adjustable drip irrigation heads so that each plant gets its own adjustable water source.

7. Vertical Gardening Covers Sins – Vertical gardening also covers a multitude of sins. Frank Lloyd Wright said, “A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.” – from Jo Ellen Myers Sharp

8. Always Be Patient – According to the Magnolia Tree Earth Center, “Always remember that gardening in general is a game of patience. If you are patient and persevere, you will soon be amazed at your very own vertical garden. Vertical vegetable gardening focuses on maximizing production potential from very small and constricted spaces. If you live in a city high rise, vertical vegetable gardening may be just the innovation you need to grow your own plants at home.”

9. Check the Shade Factor – This is brought to us by The Micro Gardener, “Depending on where you position your plants, as they grow upwards they may block sunlight from reaching plants behind or below them. Place vertical structures such as tepees and arbors where you need to shade understorey plants otherwise if they don’t get enough sun, they may suffer. Some plants love shade or can tolerate semi-shade so take advantage of these spaces by planting vegetables like spinach or lettuce especially in the warmer months.”

10. Your Plants Need Maintenance Not the Pocket – Pockets don’t need maintenance. They just hang out looking cool. Plants, on the other hand, need love. Water, sunlight and maybe just a little extra fertilizer sometimes, for sure. But they also need a friendly hand to pluck away dead leaves and flowers, a sharp blade to trim unwanted stems and branches, and they also enjoy music and poetry. How about some Walt Whitman?

There you go! Hopefully the tips will help you get started on your quest for a wonderful and brilliant vertical garden!

Photography by Suthi Picotte

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