DIY Vertical Gardening Ideas for Limited Spaces

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Gardening can be a delightful and gratifying activity. That said, it may get untidy when soil comes into play. In lieu of soil, you can grow a range of food items right at your home with minimal effort. This can be achieved with modern options such as an indoor vertical gardening system and many other innovative solutions out in the market.

Let’s discover three fascinating ways to grow fresh food indoors vertically, from fruits and herbs to veggies. From DIY vertical garden ideas to advanced hydroponics, this article is your go-to resource for maximizing green potential in small spaces.

Vertical Gardening: What is It?

Before you can discover the three fascinating vertical garden design ideas and ways to grow food vertically, it is important to deeply understand what vertical gardening means.

Vertical gardening is an innovative way of growing plants and crops by staking them vertically on multi-level racks inside your house or a controlled-environment building. Every rack has enough space above it that allows crops and plants to grow upwards. Vertical gardening ideas help reduce the space required to grow healthy food, herbs, and attractive flowers.

That is why you can install your vertical gardens in your house. Vertical indoor gardens can even thrive in those tight corners of your kitchen or living room. The ability to utilize vertical gardening ideas in urban areas significantly reduces transportation costs, handling of fresh food, and storage. Smart growth vertical systems and LED lighting provide the plants with all the required nutrients no matter the time of the year. That means you can grow fresh food indoors all year round.

Also, the crops and food produced in a vertical indoor garden are chemical-free since the garden is completely enclosed. There is no risk of diseases and pests affecting the crops. That is the main reason why the foods produced by vertical gardens are usually 99.99% organic and don’t contain herbicides or pesticides.

Hydroponics Vertical Gardening (With Growing Medium)

Image Source: countryliving.com

Vertical hydroponics gardening is the most optimal farming system thanks to its versatility and market efficiency. Your vertical hydroponics garden can pay off in less than four years and can be used in both retail and industrial settings. 

Vertical hydroponic systems often involve stacking planters or towers, providing an efficient and controlled environment for plant growth. This is a perfect solution for those who want to grow herbs or vegetables indoors without the need for traditional soil.

A wide variety of crops can be cultivated in a vertical hydroponics garden, and the initial expenses are lower compared to aeroponic gardening.

Hydroponics doesn’t use soil at all. It involves growing plants by providing nutrients to the roots using water. A growing medium replaces soil as it’s used to support the crops and allow their roots to access water and nutrients. Different types of growing medium are available to pick from. Depending on your system’s requirements, you can use:

  • Gelatin
  • Wallpaper paste
  • Fabric
  • Perlite
  • Fine gravel
  • Sand and more.

Using hydroponics to raise fresh food is easier, thanks to readymade indoor hydroponics vertical gardening systems that utilize the latest technology. These systems come complete with everything, from seeds and pumps to timers and even mobile applications.

Aeroponics Vertical Gardening (Without Growing Medium)

Image Source: modernfarmer.com

Aeroponics involves suspending crops in a semi-closed or closed environment and supplying nutrients and water to their roots. The process of supplying the nutrients and water can be atomized or sprayed. In vertical aeroponic gardening, the upper part of the plants, including leaves and the crown, popularly known as the canopy, spreads above the system.

In order to reduce expenses and labor, closed-cell foam is, in most cases, compressed around the plants' lower parts and placed into the aeroponic chamber. If the plants are large, trellising is used to provide enough support to the vegetation or fruits' weight. The main idea is to maintain a surrounding free from diseases and pests, enabling plants to grow and thrive than those raised in a growing medium.

The versatility of aeroponics for indoor gardening enables gardeners to cultivate a wide range of plants, from leafy greenery to flowering herbs, without the constraints of soil. This method is particularly advantageous for those seeking a clean and low-maintenance approach to vertical growing, ideal for both indoor and outdoor spaces.

Vertical Gardening Using Potting Mix as a Soil Alternative

Image Source: horticulture.co.uk

Sometimes known as potting soil, a potting mix is a blend of materials that helps anchor the roots of plants in a vertical garden. Potting mix is a lightweight and well-draining medium, making it suitable for vertical planter boxes and DIY hanging containers. Vertical gardening using potting mix is a versatile option, suitable for a wide range of plants, from herbs and a succulent garden to flowering annuals.

The blend of materials provides enough support for the plants to grow while supplying nutrients and water. These materials don’t contain soil. They’re usually a mixture of sand, compost, shredded bark, dry peat moss, and other recommended materials. A potting mix vertical gardening technique is the way to go if you're after a close alternative to soil.

Vertical gardening with potting mix allows for a more familiar gardening experience, with the added benefit of maximizing space. Various vertical hanging planters, including garden wall or fence containers and tiered hanging baskets, can be filled with potting mix to make a vertical garden. This method is particularly popular for cultivating herbs, flowers, and even small vegetables in a space-efficient manner.

The key to create a vertical garden with a potting mix lies in proper drainage and irrigation. Ensuring that your chosen containers have adequate drainage holes and employing efficient irrigation systems will help prevent issues like waterlogged soil and root rot, allowing your vertical garden to thrive.

How Can Gardyn Help With Growing Fresh Food Indoors?

Image Source: mygardyn.com

Gardyn offers a range of creative vertical gardening options to grow fresh food indoors without using soil. Aeroponic and hydroponic are the most popular Gardyn’s vertical smart gardening solutions.

Gardyn comes equipped with various pre-seeded plant pods, allowing users to effortlessly create a vertical herb garden, living wall garden, and vegetable garden for their DIY project. The system is connected to a mobile app that provides real-time data on your plants' progress, making it easy to monitor and adjust growing conditions. 

With Gardyn’s aeroponic or hydroponic tower system, you can enjoy up to 10 times the yield of other gardening methods. These systems come with an automated water and light schedule, 30 free plants included, and grow lights. You only need to add water and watch your plants grow fresh from seeds and seedlings to harvest within the shortest possible time.

Conclusion

Vertical gardening stands out as a creative and space-efficient solution for cultivating a green wall. From hydroponics and aeroponics to traditional potting mix methods, the possibilities are vast and adaptable to any space. Whether you have a small apartment balcony or a spacious backyard garden, the vertical gardening ideas explored in this guide offer inspiration for transforming any vertical surface into a thriving oasis of green life.

In the pursuit of sustainable and space-conscious gardening, incorporating vertical structures such as trellises, a pallet garden, and hanging baskets becomes essential. As you embark on your vertical gardening journey, remember that the key lies in creativity, adaptability, and a genuine love for cultivating life in all its green splendor. Whether you choose to build a DIY hanging wall planter or invest in advanced systems like Gardyn, the vertical gardening realm is yours to explore and cultivate.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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