08 April 2020
Vertical gardens are a beautiful, space-saving and sustainable addition to our lives. If you’ve ever been tempted to create one yourself, it’s now time to show off your green fingers capabilities!
With these simple steps and ideas from the talented gardening team at Hotel de Russie, you can set up a plant wall that will bring your space to life in a big way without too much angst on your part.
1 - Decide on the setting for your garden
There are many different varieties of vertical gardens to choose from. An easy option is a pocket garden, featuring plants tucked into pockets crafted from felt or canvas. Alternatively, set up your vertical garden in an upcycled wooden shipping pallet by stapling landscape fabric to the back, bottom and sides. The inside can then be completely filled with soil, and plants can grow through the slat openings.
2 - Check the sun exposure
Let the type of sun exposure the plants will need determine where you place your garden. For example, if you’re planning on including succulent plants like cacti, our expert team suggests choosing a space that is half exposed, as opposed to fully in the shade or exposed to full sunlight.
3 - Choose your plants
In addition to succulents, you can choose to grow herbs, vegetables, herbaceous plans such as flowers and ferns, or even trailing plants like philodendron, whose soft green stems drop down for a waterfall effect. It is important to be aware of the ‘flexibility’ of your chosen plants as you’ll be growing them vertically.
4 - Mix plants with the same needs
Generally, it’s best to select all-sun or all-shade plants and where possible, to use plants which have roughly the same rate of growth.
5 - Start with planting basics
The key is to use potting soil. Vertical gardens dry out quickly, just like pots do. Potting soil helps retain the water and hold in the moisture.
Another important factor to take into account is gravity, which pulls the water down. Plants that don’t need as much water are recommended for the upper section of the garden, since that area dries quickest. Place the plants more suited for wetter conditions at the bottom of the system.
6 - Important to know beforehand
If you’re using a wooden pallet or container with panels, let your plants grow horizontally for a few weeks to allow their roots establish to themselves and help hold the soil in place. If you try to plant vertically first when the roots are new, gravity will take its course on your soil.
You can also slowly elevate the container or the wooden pallet to a vertical position over the course of a few weeks as the garden adapts.
7 - Consider a drip irrigation system
The vertical garden may require more frequent watering than a normal garden. We would recommend incorporating drip irrigation. Drip systems range from the sophisticated, with hoses and timers, to more basic options, in which holes in the bottom of planters or pockets allow for water to drip down. You may also use a watering can as you would with standard container gardens, but be sure that water is being well distributed.
8 - Keep some extras on hand
It’s possible that you may lose a couple of plants in the process of setting up and establishing your vertical garden. Keep a few extra seedlings on the side in case this happens, so that you’re not left with unsightly holes. This is easiest if you have a container-style garden where the plants are spaced out.