Tight On Space? How To Use Vertical Gardening In Small Spaces


Do you have an existing chain-link fence or an arbor in your yard that could use a face lift? Adding foliage to structures is a simple way transform your yard, while boosting shade, beauty, and privacy.

Encouraging vertical growth is especially helpful in small yards or even balconies, because it provides solutions to space limitations while encouraging air movement to limit foliage disease; it also minimizes the need to bend over while gardening, which your back will appreciate.

Here are several vertical gardening solutions to consider is your humble abode is space challenged.


Image courtesy of Jimmy Flink.

Trellises, arbors, teepees, and fences can provide the support needed for flowering vines, peas, grapes, cucumbers, tomatoes, and gourds to thrive. This also provides an opportunity to get creative. Carports can be covered in vines or wood pallets repurposed for maximizing the utility of small spaces with vertical gardening. Whenever possible, place support structures on the north side of garden beds to reduce shading.

The following perennials need lots of support and room for vertical growth gardening.

Grapes: This juicy fruit is one of the most widely cultivated in the world. Although it may take a few years to establish your vine, grapes can produce large amounts of food, making good use of vertical space. First, decide if you want table or wine grapes, and select an appropriate variety for your location, considering cold-hardiness, ripeness date, and pest tolerance.

Hardy kiwi: Unlike its commercially available cousin, the kiwi, the hardy kiwi grows further north and tolerates colder temperatures. The fruits are the size of a large grape and isn’t by fuzz, allowing it to be eaten without peeling. The taste varies significantly by the variety.


Hops. Image courtesy of Paul Miller.

Hops: The female flower of this plant has been used for centuries to give beer its aroma and flavor. For the largest hop cones, plant with a southern exposure. Also, the plant will need lots of room for vertical growth, and some work is needed each year to contain the plant so it does not take over your yard.

If you’re in need of a few more tips on when to plant all these vegetables check out the infographic below from Anglian Home.

This vegetable growing cheat sheet is amazing! Just what I needed to kick off my spring planting.

Feature image courtesy of Stephanie Booth

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Sarah Lozanova

Sarah Lozanova is a renewable energy and sustainability journalist and communications professional with an MBA in sustainable management. She is a regular contributor to environmental and energy publications and websites, including Mother Earth Living, Earth911, Home Power, Triple Pundit, CleanTechnica, The Ecologist, GreenBiz, Renewable Energy World and Windpower Engineering. Lozanova also works with several corporate clients as a public relations writer to gain visibility for renewable energy and sustainability achievements.
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