Are you planning to build a vertical garden? Then check out all the steps in this article and you'll know what to do to build your own vertical garden.
Are you ready to put together a vertical garden yet? Then go to our configurator and put together your own complete vertical garden today. Including plants, planters, watering systems and potting soil.
Step 1: Is a vertical garden right for you?
Congratulations, you've already taken the first step! You know what a vertical garden is and you are orienting yourself whether a vertical garden is right for you. Very good that you are doing some preparation. Vertical gardening can in some cases be easier than traditional gardening. Still, there are some things that come with it.
Pros & cons
There are pros and cons to vertical gardens. We have made a complete list of the pros and cons of vertical gardening. See below in brief the advantages and disadvantages of vertical gardens.
- It looks beautiful
- Accessible and easy to maintain
- Easy to water
- You can grow more plants within a small space
- Hides and gives privacy
- Plants stay healthy
- Can be a source for moisture and mold
- Plants block the sun
- Plants need more water
- Not all plants are suitable
- Bacteria can spread easily
Most of the disadvantages are easily remedied. See what you can do about them in our extensive article on the pros and cons of vertical gardens.
Sufficient space & good location
One thing a vertical garden is good at: lots of plants can grow there within little space. In short, you don't need much space for a vertical garden and often less than if you were to put so many plants in the ground normally.
However, you do need a suitable wall or fence for the vertical garden. Make sure you have a wall that is suitable for your vertical garden:
- Sufficient sun for the needs of your plants
- Possibility to mount vertical garden with screws or suspension system
- Space for an automatic watering system and supply of water nearby (optional)
- Visible place where you can enjoy your vertical garden
Step 2: Selection of planter system
There are many different ways to do vertical gardening. You can make your own system out of wood, for example, or buy ready-made planters or plant bags. Which is best for you depends entirely on how much time you want to put into it, what it should look like and what your budget is.
The more money you spend on it, the easier these systems often are and the less maintenance you have to spend on them. We list a few for you in the following categories:
- Planter to hang
- Hanging plant bag
- Wooden planter to put down
- Rack to hang planters
Step 3: Selection of plants
Which plants you can use for a vertical garden depends on its location and the function you want your vertical garden to perform.
Location of your vertical garden: outdoors or indoors?
You can choose indoor plants or herbaceous plants. Keep in mind the sunlight requirements of your plants. It can quickly happen indoors that plants do not get enough sunlight. You can then always choose to create extra light in the environment with a grow light, for example. See all indoor plants in our plant guide for vertical gardens.
When you place your vertical garden outside you have to deal with all the weather conditions you have to deal with in your country or region. In the Netherlands & Belgium it can freeze and plants can die from that if they are outside in the winter. Because of this, you have two options by which your plants can survive the winter: put them inside or choose hardy plants. The hardiness of plants is referred to as "Hardiness Zones" (see also: Wikipedia). In our plant guide for vertical gardens, we also indicate winter hardiness.
Function of your vertical garden: aesthetics or of food?
A vertical garden is a unique way to display your plants. Because they are placed vertically one above the other and can hang, you get to see the plants from a beautiful perspective. In addition, you can use it to decorate a wall. Do you opt for an aesthetic vertical garden? Then choose mainly plants that you like. Go for flowers, greens or grasses, for example, according to your taste.
Eat from your vertical vegetable garden
You can also use your vertical garden as a vegetable garden. You can place vegetables, fruit or even herb plants in it. With this you can still get a fairly large harvest in a small space. Not all plants that you normally use in a vegetable garden are suitable for a vertical garden. For example, you cannot place a pear tree in the planters, but strawberries grow very well. In our plant guide, we provide a comprehensive list of edible plants for a vertical garden.
Step 4: Selecting a watering system
As also explained in the pros and cons of a vertical garden, watering your vertical garden is very important. It is often easy to water your vertical garden because most vertical garden systems include a watering system. However, it is possible that a vertical garden system sometimes needs more frequent watering and you have to be a little busier with this.
We therefore recommend the following:
Choose a vertical garden planter with a water reservoir
To avoid having to water too often, you can use a vertical garden planter with a water reservoir. This helps with continuous moisture absorption from the planter to the plant. If you do not have a planter but a plant bag, then you will have to water the plant bag every day and several times a day. Otherwise, the soil in the plant bag may dry out too quickly.
Make sure excess water can drain away easily
When your plants receive water from above, it is important that excess water can drain away. For example, when it rains heavily, you often have no control over how much water gets into your vertical garden. Then it is important that excess water can drain away. If this does not happen, the roots of your plants may get too wet and thus suffocate or rot. It helps then if you have a vertical garden planter with one or more drainage holes.
Choose an automatic irrigation system with your vertical garden
A vertical garden may sometimes need water more often than, say, the plants in your soil. This is because a vertical garden does not always have access to rainwater or groundwater. Also, plants are often more exposed to sun and wind, which can cause water to evaporate more quickly. To meet the need for more professional irrigation, we recommend an automatic irrigation system. For example, you can use a solar-powered irrigation system. These are easy to install and for this you do not need a tap or an electrical outlet.
Step 5: Checklist and ordering
Now that you know what kind of vertical garden you want to create, you can move on to ordering. It is important in this how much you want to make yourself and how much you want to buy ready-made. Make a list of all the elements you want to start ordering, consider the following:
- Planters or plant bags in which you can start hanging the plants.
- Do they have a water reservoir and drainage hole?
- How much do you need for your vertical garden?
- How many plants can you put in them (important when buying your plants and watering system)?
- Draw up a list of plants
- What kind of plants do you want? Ornamental, herbs, fruits, vegetables?
- Are the plants suitable for indoors or outdoors?
- What are the plants' needs in terms of water, sun and soil?
- Will the plants stay green in the winter?
- Are the plants hardy, or do you need to buy new ones after a season?
- How many do you need in total to fill your vertical garden?
- Assembly of the vertical garden
- How can the planters or plant bags be mounted?
- Can the wall support it or is additional reinforcement needed?
- Do I need additional materials to assemble the vertical garden? Think about hanging mechanisms, screws and plugs.
- Is the back wall moisture-resistant or does it still need a protective layer in between?
- Watering & potting soil
- Do I have a tap or water point nearby for watering?
- Do I need an automatic watering system?
- Will the plants be watered from rainfall?
- Do I need extra potting soil and should I make a potting soil mix for special plants?
Add up all the costs and supplies, and see how much you'll spend to design your vertical garden to your liking!
Step 6: Preparation and installation
Go through the following steps to prepare and install your vertical garden:
- Make sure you have all your materials to install your vertical garden
- Clean up and clean the area where you want to install your vertical garden
- Check if the back wall is moisture proof or make it moisture proof
- Prepare your vertical garden for installation by installing all the mounting elements. Think plugs, hanging racks and screws
- Mount planters/plant bags
- Install any watering system and test it properly. You can also choose to test it for a few days first without putting the plants in.
- Fill your vertical garden with plants, possibly move plants around if you think it looks nicer.
Step 7: Maintenance
Your vertical garden definitely needs maintenance. Sometimes less than a normal garden, sometimes more. It depends on which system you have chosen, whether you have an automatic watering system and what kind of plants you have chosen. When it comes to maintenance, remember the following:
- Water sufficiently and often enough so that your plants do not dry out. Regularly check the soil your plants are in.
- Give plant food or fertilizer regularly. After a few months, the nutrients in the potting soil of your plants may be depleted. You can then give extra plant food to your plants. You can do this by adding it to your watering.
- Prune or trim your plants if they get too big, this way you ensure that all plants can continue to grow well and get sunlight.
- Prepare your vertical garden for winter. Protect plants that can't handle frost or cold with this or possibly bring some plants inside. Reduce watering or turn it off completely so your plants don't get too much water.
Step 8: Enjoying
The last and most important step in creating your own vertical garden is to enjoy it. Enjoy the beauty you have created yourself. Take pictures of it. Share them with your friends, family and with us.