Vertical growing ideas for small gardens

by | Feb 20, 2016 | Permaculture | 3 comments

DSCN0055To the extent that urban apartments are getting smaller, houses are getting bigger and the garden spaces are shrinking. This brings interesting challenges if you want to create an edible garden. You don’t need a big space if you want to grow larger plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers and peas. Vertical gardens are perfect for patios and balconies, no matter the size.

The possibilities of using edible plants to create privacy and protection in the garden perimeter are limitless. Before creating a vertical garden, ask yourself some questions:

  • How much natural light do I have?
  • What vegetables, herbs or flowers grow with this amount of light?

Once you understand more of the challenges you face, you can start researching the needs of plants. With a little creative pruning and using ropes and wires to direct plant growth, plants can be targeted to achieve shapes and magnificent features. You can get high productivity in a small area, using fences to cultivate vines and by creating guilds of companion plants. Try planting malabar spinach, choko, climbing beans, cucumber, gourds, grapes, kiwi, loofah, melons, nasturtium, peas, pumpkin, squash and tomatoes.

Tripods and trellis

Tripods can be used for plants that like stretching to the sky and at the same time, serve as a protection for other elements such as a small worm farm. Remember that all garden structures must be created to improve the species growing conditions. If the structure is creating dark areas in the garden for other plants include objects that reflect light.

A metre and a half is the ideal height for a vertical frame in a garden space. Higher than this may cause instability of the structure. To encourage lateral growth, it is necessary to prune the top of the plant. This will not damage the plant, rather it will encourage the plant to sprout new side branches or side shoots along the main stem and will allow the ripening of fruits already placed.

High Walls

If your garden is enclosed by a high wall or fence, think that this may be an opportunity to extend your outdoor space. When a high wall or fence is used only to separate the neighbouring land, the shadow is an inevitable result. Highlight the fence with vines, plants and colourful decorative objects in order to transform the wall in a beautiful vertical garden.

Walls can be used to grow plants and vines that resist wind. In cold climates it may be possible to use the sun next to plants that prefer the heat. Simple gardens can be created by simply hanging gardens onto the wall structure.  Mix flowers with herbs to attract beneficial insects.


30-12-2003 Pergolas can be added to provide shade and privacy, extending living areas and maximising the benefits cooling the house. A pergola can also be used as a small nursery to plant seedlings and of course, to grow food.

My pergola brings a little charm to the house, creating a relaxing place to meditate, read or just watch the garden grow. The grid of the pergola allows room for vertical growth in areas that can function as shaded natural corridors. They can be covered with grapes, kiwi, passion fruit, melons, cucumbers, pumpkins, beans or even just roses.

Hot Buzz: Patrick Blanc is the master of green walls. His walls are not edible but they give you great ideas for creating beautiful edible gardens. Read more from the master of green walls

Author: Laila Helena

Enjoyed the article? Like, share and let’s spread the word 🙂



  1. BushflowHerbals

    What a great post 🙂 Thank you for sharing such amazing ideas. I feel very inspired to get into the garden and have a play XXX

  2. Jack

    It is perfect time to make some plans for the longer term and
    it’s time to be happy. I have learn this post and if I may just
    I want to counsel you some fascinating things or suggestions.
    Perhaps you could write subsequent articles relating to this article.
    I desire to read more things approximately it! It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it’s
    time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I
    could I wish to suggest you few interesting things or suggestions.
    Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article.
    I wish to read more things about it! Hi there! This post could not
    be written any better! Reading through this article reminds me
    of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking
    about this. I most certainly will send this information to him.
    Fairly certain he’s going to have a good read.

    I appreciate you for sharing!


    This piece of writing offers clear idea designed for the new viewers of blogging,
    that actually how to do blogging.



  1. 10 Vegetables Easy to Grow – White Rabbit Gardens - […] space, so it may start to grow on top of other plants. Train the shoots to grow up a…
  2. Garden success – lessons learnt in my permaculture garden – White Rabbit Gardens - […] my vertical garden gave me even more space to grow sprawling vegetables. I recycled bicycle wheels and bed posts…
  3. Create an edible balcony with a container garden – White Rabbit Gardens - […] Position plants for maximum sun and think vertical gardening! […]
  4. Free resources for permaculture living and Homeschooling during these challenging times – Planet Schooling - […] Vertical growing ideas for small gardens […]

Leave a Reply

Latest Articles

Permaculture skills, stories, how-to guides & inspiration – for living like it matters.

It’s finally happening, Planet Schooling – the book

It’s finally happening, Planet Schooling – the book

We at Planet Schooling, are immensely grateful to announce that the Kickstarter campaign was a great success. The book - Planet Schooling will be available to pre-order once again in November. Watch this space for new updates. We are super excited to present Planet...

Planet Schooling

Upcoming book!

Learn how to create a permaculture living laboratory in your backyard. With over 150 natured based learning activities.

Become More Resilient

Permaculture, Homesteading, Natural Construction & More
%d bloggers like this: