Up and Down
Gardening Gathering Steam
By Alia Babapulle.
Of course, I mean vertical gardens. Definitions: A green wall is a wall partially or completely covered with greenery that includes a growing medium, such as soil, water or substrate. Most green walls include an integrated water delivery system. These green walls are also known as living walls or vertical gardens. It is also a convenient way for people who have limited space to enjoy the benefits of having plants somewhere in their homes. Don’t forget that this vertical wall is a great air purifier and you can change the plants all year round to suit yourself. There are dozens of ideas to use both inside and outside as to what and where you can use verti-cal planting.
Make a complete herb garden with all your herbs growing in the same kind of pot, for unity, for example. Use pallets and these are twofold eco-friendly. 1. You will use something which would otherwise be thrown away, and 2. You will have so many ways to use them. They are incredibly versatile. Paint the pallets in different colours and then hang your plants or var-nish the pallet to protect the wood, and keep it simple and let the flowers or plants give colour. A vertical pallet planter is easy to make. Also, you could use trellises: tie them firmly together or use them separately fixed to a wall, and make a stacked pot planter. Get five terracotta pots, decreasing in size, and a stout pole which will fit through the middle hole of each. Use the largest one first, fill with potting soil, fix the pole in it, put the next pot size in, over the pole and fill with soil, etc., until you reach the smallest and top pot. Then pop in your plants and in a very small space you have something both practical and pretty.
You can break up the pallets, use the pieces of wood sanded down and fix them to a wall, and then fix the pots onto that. If you have a small patio, balcony or roof garden, make a hanging gutter garden. With a bit of work and some galvanised gutters, hooks and chains, they would be ready to fill and plant in an hour. Places selling bathroom furniture, like a staircase which leans against a wall, can be used perfectly well to stack smaller pots. There are specially designed trays where you can plant food thickly but, if you use this method, make sure that there is a strong wall behind it and the fasteners are strong enough to take the weight of the material.
I saw a bottle herb vertical garden and the plastic bot-tles, of which there are billions, had a piece cut out of them, with holes poked through at the bottom for drainage, and were suspended on chains. You cannot grow huge plants form this system but you could have a flourishing herb garden AND be doing the planet a lot of good.
If you prefer to make living walls and want an all-in-one system, then use Florafelt. These recycled nylon felt units come with easy-to-use pockets for root-wrapped plants. A built-in drip irrigation system runs along the top of the wall to water the pockets. Leftover water falls into a drain line at the bottom. PlantsOnWalls.com will take you right there.
The same way that you would first prepare the soil in a “normal” garden applies, of course, to vertical ones. Make sure there is good drainage and good earth, spray your herbs with a mixture of crushed garlic cloves steeped in water for three days, don’t forget to spray under the leaves, and when you need to use them just give them a good rinse and you are off and running. If you can, get an irrigation system going – there is plenty of DYI informa-tion on the internet. If not, use the trusty watering can. Aquaponic towers can pump a mineral solution up the tower and drip it all over the roots of the plants. A succulent wall is really easy to do: they are cool and low-maintenance, and can be hung in the inside of a house as an attractive feature. All you have to do is mist the board from time to time.
As you can see, there are dozens of ways to create your vertical wall. All of them good – it just depends on what you prefer. Have fun!
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