Can Potted Plants Really Grow Up? Benefits of Vertical Gardening

Vertical container gardens are perfect to grow in a small space like a balcony or patio. Easy DIY vertical garden ideas that don’t cost a lot to start.

Those topsy turvy planters may have something hanging over those who do not have the space to grow a garden. I long to have my own planted garden in a yard someday. However, until then, I have to settle for a 10 by 4 ft balcony with potted plants.

I’d really like to know how to grow a “salad garden” with green peppers, lettuce, onion, carrots, radish, cucumbers, tomatoes and herbs in my limited space. With this idea of a vertical garden, I may be able to grow my garden up – literally.

Benefits of growing a vertical garden

Small is nice (and convenient). When space is limited, vertical container gardening or a small garden bed is just what will work.  You’ll only need pots as deep as the roots will grow since your plants will grow upwards and not outwards. Less is more. You will still need some support poles or a trellis to train the plants to go up. 

Vertical tower pots and containers are perfect for a balcony or patio. Stacking pots or tower pots are commercial containers help you grow plants that don’t have a vine like strawberries, lettuce, carrots, onions, etc. As a bonus, you can add a trellis or other supports in containers or put behind containers to create your vertical garden in a small space like a balcony or patio. You can also hang containers on a wall at different heights to create an visually appealing vertical garden.

Vertical tower pots get your plants to grow up in a small space.

Think outside the clay pot.Be creative about the containers for your vertical garden. Why buy new clay or plastic pots, when you probably have something out in your garage or shed that would work just fine. Extra gutter pieces or cinder blocks taking up some space in the corner? Even an old milk crate would work. Look at the photos below for some inspiration.

Use extra gutter pieces to create a vertical garden. Courtesy of FunDesignIdeas.com

More fruit in half the space.Since your garden is growing upward and using less soil, you’ll find that the fruits of your labor will reward you much more than traditional gardens. Use a support system behind and/or beside your plants and allow about 6 inches away from a wall or fence so plants can produce fruit on all sides.

Build your own support system for a vertical garden like this one above. Courtesy of Salt Lake Tribune.
Less energy and muscle strain to harvest. Remember your grandmother’s stories of how she had an aching back from bending over while picking tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables from the garden? With a vertical garden, you won’t have to suffer so much although you may have to reach above your head if your plants reach their maximum height. It will be much easier to see and harvest your fruit, herbs and vegetables when they are growing up rather than across the ground. 

You’ll find more information in the book Vertical Gardening,  by Derek Fell available through my AmazonStore.

Keep Your Body and Bathroom Clean and #Green Part 2

Tackle turning your house green one room at a time. The next room in this series is the bathroom. Besides using non toxic chemicals such as vinegar and peroxide to clean your bathroom, you’ll want to treat your body with toxic free scrubs and rubs.

I use coupons with just about every product I buy; however, I started using plain baking soda as my facial scrub with surprisingly success and now I don’t pay exorbitant prices on brand name facial scrubs and soaps. You can make your own body soaps, scrubs and lotions that are good for your skin and the environment.

 

Use handpicked herbs to create your own green and chemical free homemade body soaps.

Milk and Honey Soap

Rosemary and Lavender Homemade Soap

Moisturizing Hand Balm

Sugar Body Scrub

Brown Sugar and Honey Body Scrub

Brown sugar is a natural exfoliate while honey and almond oil are natural moisturizers that your body will love.

What you will need

3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sweet almond oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
2 tablespoons oat bran

Instructions

Place the ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Spoon into a storage container. To use, apply to damp skin on your face or body and gently exfoliate. Wash off with warm water, then moisturize.

Storage

Store leftovers in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Create your body lotions and lip balms with easy to follow recipes from The Urban Farm Handbook available on Amazon.com.

What types of bath, body and beauty products have you made at home with success or learned from your failures? I’d love to hear your stories!