Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Short on Space? Try Growing Up

I am a very fortunate person when it comes to my vegetable gardening space. I have plenty to grow what I know my family will consume leaving plenty left over for friends, family and donations to our church and local food pantry. However, many people have emailed me with their concerns of limited space.

They would like to grow vining plants such as cantaloupes, cucumbers and pole beans, but lack the space they need to simply let them “fan” out if you will. If you find yourself in this category, you are luck. You can grow these items, and many more like them, vertically.

With vertical home vegetable gardening, the sky really is the limit. All you need to do is create a structure of sorts to give your plants something to hold on to. For heavier items, such as cantaloupes, you will also need to be a bit creative as to have something to hold up the fruit.

In his book Vertical Gardening: Grow up, Not Out, for More Vegetables and Flowers in Much Less Space, Derek Fell, shows you how to creatively use a Trellis, tower of pots and garden netting, for what he says allows you to enjoy the, “benefits of easier maintenance, healthier plants, and higher yields.”

An obvious solution for use of space that many people overlook is the back or front porch steps. Depending on which gets the most sun, porch steps make for a great area to use deep pots to grow many items, taking advantage of space that is otherwise not used.

Along with the plentiful yields of great tasting fruit, veggies and herbs, vertical gardening makes garden maintenance much easier as all of the vines are off the ground, yielding a clear path to those pesky weeds that want to steal your plants valuable soil nutrients.

Vertically gardening, as well as use of space, is only limited by your creative thinking. I have seen many gardeners use their existing fences for supports, pergolas, the roof tops of sheds, fire escapes (although I don’t think the fire department appreciates that one) and so much more. What empty space do you see in your area that could otherwise be used to grow great fruits and veggies?

On a final note, herbs are a great to grow on indoor window sills. Just make sure you pick a window that receives sunlight first thing in the morning.

About the Author
Mike Podlesny is the owner of Mike the Gardener Enterprises, LLC, the exclusive home for the Seeds of the Month Club, which has appeared on NBC, ABC and MSN Money as a great way for consumers to save money.

Watch the video below to learn more about the Seeds of the Month Club:

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