Vertical growing ideas for small gardens

by | Feb 20, 2016 | Backyard farm, Permaculture, Permaculture garden | 3 comments

To the extent that urban apartments are getting smaller, houses are getting bigger, and garden spaces are shrinking. This brings exciting challenges if you want to create an edible garden.

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 making 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?
Pumpkins trained up a bamboo pole

Pumpkins trained up a bamboo pole

Once you understand more of the challenges you face, you can start researching the needs of plants. You can get high productivity in a small area with some creative pruning, using ropes and wires to direct plant growth. Fences can cultivate vines. Try planting Malabar spinach, Choko, climbing beans, cucumber, gourds, grapes, kiwi, loofah, melons, nasturtium, peas, pumpkin, squash and tomatoes.

Tripods and trellis

Tripods can support 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, all garden structures must be created to improve the specific growing conditions. For example, if the structure makes dark areas in the garden, find objects that reflect light, such as a mirror.

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; instead, it will enable the plant to sprout new side branches or side shoots along the main stem and allow the ripening of fruits already placed.

Growing up a bamboo trellis

Bamboo trellis

High Walls and fences

If a high wall or fence encloses your garden, this may be an opportunity to extend your outdoor space. However, the shadow is inevitable when a high wall or fence is used only to separate the neighbouring land. Highlight the wall with vines, plants, and colourful decorative objects to transform the wall into a beautiful vertical garden.

Walls can be used to grow plants and vines that resist wind. Plant seedlings that enjoy the warmth of a wall. Simple gardens can be created by simply hanging gardens onto the wall structure. Mix flowers with herbs to attract beneficial insects.


Pergolas can provide shade and privacy, extending living areas and maximising the benefits of 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 watch the garden grow. The grid of the arbour 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 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.

Patrick Blanc green wall

Patrick Blanc green wall – Avignon France

Author: Laila Helena

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  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

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