Vertical Vegetable Gardening in Small Spaces


During the summer, many city people may be seen shopping at local farmer’s markets. They look forward to the crisp flavor of sun-kissed vegetables that can only come from the source itself: the vine. They daydream of having enough room in their own backyard to cultivate a few plants.

Regrettably, a great number of people are unaware that it may not be all that challenging to begin cultivating their very own vegetable garden at home. People who have a limited amount of ground area but are blessed with an abundance of the sun can find great success with a vertical vegetable garden, which is also known as a hanging or elevated vegetable garden.

It is difficult to find acres of free land in this day and age, when the globe is rapidly running out of room, and to use that area just for the purpose of producing plants. Because of the alarming pace at which the population is expanding, it is becoming more difficult to provide for their nutritional needs in the same manner as in the past.

The solution to this problem is vertical planting with vegetables. People may cultivate vegetables using this ingenious method even if they have a very little area available to do so.

What is vertical gardening?

The idea behind growing vegetables in vertical rows is a straightforward one. By affixing the plants to a framework that compels their development in a vertical direction, this method makes it possible for vegetables to develop in a vertical orientation. Vertical gardening allows individuals who no longer have houses with land and gardens to make use of their patios, fences, and roofs to cultivate vegetables. This is because many people no longer own such homes.

Is starting a vertical vegetable garden difficult?

Getting a vegetable garden up and running requires very little labor. It requires relatively little labor on your part, in contrast to the construction of a real vegetable garden. It won’t take you very long at all to construct a vertical garden, particularly if you use containers as the building blocks for it.

How to make a vertical vegetable garden?

When confronted with this subject, one of the most common questions that arise in one’s head is, “How to make a vertical vegetable garden?” (The video that follows will show you how to construct a modest vertical garden for around $15.) Surprisingly, it is not nearly as challenging to complete as the name would lead one to believe it would be.

  • Choose a location

If you are thinking about installing a vertical vegetable garden, the first thing you need to do is evaluate the available area. If you have a balcony or a tiny piece of grass someplace, you should pay attention to the amount of sun that the area gets at different times of the day. The sunlight that is essential for the growth of many plants may be obstructed by things like buildings and trees.

On the other hand, this does not imply that you are unable to cultivate vegetables that perform well in shadows, such as cabbage, lettuce, and other types of greens.

  • Choose the plants

You are able to choose the plants that will thrive in your environment the best if you take into account the amount of sunshine that your location receives.

  • Plan the location of the containers

After that, you will need to locate containers that have a vertical orientation and then fill those pots with an appropriate potting mixture that may or may not include composted manure. Your plants will be able to develop in a healthy manner as a result of this.

  • Build a vertical framework

Then all you need to do is build a framework that can sustain your veggies as they develop in a vertical orientation.

The layout of your vegetable garden is a notion that has to be given a great deal of consideration. Before you begin the process of actually building the garden, you need to be certain that the veggies you have selected will, in fact, fit inside the area that has been allocated for them. You can’t simply think about the seeds; you also need to consider how big the plants will become as they mature.

Tomatoes are a great example of this. The vast majority of tomato plants will continue to vine out and cover a significant area by the time summer is done. Take into consideration the amount of area you have available for such climbing plants.

Vertical tomato gardening

Trying your hand at tomato gardening is a great way to see whether you have a green thumb, and if you are one of the more fortunate people who is blessed with ample sunlight, you should give it some thought. Tomato plants need water and sunshine in order to develop, and they require very little care as long as they are supported vertically so that they do not topple over when the weight of the fruit causes it to be heavier than usual.

Other plants that may climb include beans, peas, and peppers; these are all vegetables that would thrive in a vertical vegetable garden.

Benefits of a vertical vegetable garden

Vertical vegetable growing also opens up a new door for gardening enthusiasts, providing them with the opportunity to cultivate their very own little vegetable garden even if they do not have access to any land. This idea first seemed to be too wonderful to be true, almost surreal, and like something that would quickly fall out of favor owing to its inability to be used in real-world situations. Having said that, some time has passed, and now vertical vegetable farming is here to stay.

One of the greatest benefits of these gardens, which are often referred to as “kitchen gardens,” is that they make it possible for single-family homes to become self-sufficient. Even if they are in terrible condition, they do not have to go to bed starving even if they are unable to function at all. Even O’Hare International Airport has a garden where they produce vegetables to supply the nearby eateries.

O’Hare Urban Gardens

I recently had some downtime while flying through Chicago’s O’Hare airport. Actually, it took around 4 hours. I got up to look around because I didn’t want to sit in the terminal after spending so much time on the plane.

In fact, wandering in an airport seems really weird. The majority of the time, you feel pressed for time as you race past thousands of other passengers to get to your next gate, reading signs quickly. The lack of additional collisions between humans or between people and motorized carts is actually rather amazing.

But when I took a leisurely stroll through the area to explore, I stumbled onto something really intriguing: an indoor urban garden. I would probably never come across it because I would be rushing between gates. But with more time to wander now, I found this lush haven located on the Rotunda Building’s second story as I made my way to concourse G. (For some reason, I forgot to take any photos while I was there, so I begged my brother, a commercial pilot who frequently travels through O’Hare, to snap a few images on his next trip through-thanks, Mike!)

Actually, this urban garden is an aeroponics system. Most of you have probably heard of hydroponics (using nutrient-rich water in the production of plants in a soil-less environment). However, aeroponics sprays a nutrient-rich water mist over the roots on a regular basis. The entire system is automated, with timers and pumps controlling every aspect.

Wolfgang Puck, Tortas Frontera, Wicker Park Sushi, and Tuscany are just a few of the restaurants in the airport that use the food from this garden: it is also grown for a few other nearby eateries. On the CDA website, a variety of plants, including lettuce, chard, basil, chives, and edible flowers, are listed as being grown locally.

Even some inviting chairs may be found strewn about the “garden” area. However, a transparent glass fence prevents visitors from ambling around the garden to sample the produce. On a day with a lot of clouds, it’s nice to come inside and bask in the intense grow lights.

When you next pass through O’Hare Airport, if you find yourself with some time to kill in between flights, be sure to stop by the cool urban garden spot that can be found on the approach to the G concourse. On a cold winter day, I can imagine that it is very inviting. You can view some additional photographs of these gardens on the Urban Gardens Web website.

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