Vertical herb gardens are a type of herb garden that’s commonly preferred by people who have limited space at home. It’s a method where plants are grown in a vertical space so people can savour diversity in the garden and a well-decorated wall/roof as per different styles.
Vertical herb gardens have lately been immensely popular for their convenience, reduced investment, and space-saving.
Not only that, but the gardens are also accessible, which means you wouldn’t have to reach down to the ground to maintain or pluck herbs from the same. This works wonders for those who suffer from disabilities or pain-related diseases.
So, can herbs be grown vertically? Yes, they can! Here’s more about vertical gardens and why you shouldn’t miss it out for your home:
Benefits of Vertical Herb Gardens
The freestanding vertical garden offers benefits as follows:
Vertical herb garden works as a godsend for gardeners who seem to love the activity but can’t do it due to lack of space. This is especially true for those who live in urban areas as such spaces are enclosed with apartments and homes with limited space. Even if they somehow create the space, it’s certainly not enough to fulfill their gardening preferences.
Vertical herb gardens resolve such problems seamlessly. As these gardens are arranged in an upright order, there isn’t any concern with its coverage. It can be easily arranged in the walls to add aesthetics and create the perfect garden in a confined space. If not walls, vertical gardens can be laid out in fences, balconies, and other surfaces.
Vertical herb gardens also resolve the problem for those who like immediate access to their favorite herbs. As it’s just within arm’s reach, anyone can pluck herbs and add them fresh to their food (after washing, of course!).
Also, as stated earlier, it works perfectly for those who suffer from pain or back issues. The vertical garden prevents the need for bending down or reaching far to access the plants.
Besides plants/herbs accessibility, it keeps the floor spacious so there could be better ease of movement. You can say that it prevents clutter in the house and makes things more feasible for the owners.
One of the major benefits of a vertical herb garden is the incredible aesthetic appeal that it offers. The arrangement adds an attractive and serene look to the home, creating an interior that can surely be a head-turner.
Not only does it improve the air quality of the home, but it also gives height to the garden, contributing further to its beauty.
Vertical gardens can be arranged in several ways, starting from hanging planters to ladder shelving and Vertical garden stands.
You can simply create the herb garden by creating a frame, attaching plastic sheets/fabrics, irrigation systems, and plant pots. The simplistic design is enough to make your home look flawless.
Choosing the Right Herbs – Which Herbs Are Best for a Vertical Garden
What herbs can I grow in a vertical garden, or which herbs are best for a vertical garden, you may ask? To diversify your vertical herb garden, you can choose from the below varieties:
Basil can be easily grown indoors due to its minimal maintenance. All you have to do is keep it near the south-facing side window with sun and adequate water, and the plant will flourish in your vertical garden. Basils have incredible aromas, plus they make an outstanding topping for your pizzas, pasta, and pestos.
Mint is known for producing new foliage all year. You just need to grow them indoors for their potential to invade the garden, and you are good to go! Make sure that your mint plant is provided with enough moisture and sunlight so it can thrive better in your vertical garden. Fresh mints make a great addition to sodas, mojitos, and drinks. You can also add it in salads or as a garnish.
One of the main reasons for adding thyme to your vertical garden is its potential to withstand indirect sunlight. It’s a culinary and aromatic herb that just requires enough sunlight and well-drained soil to grow.
As for its use in the kitchen, thyme, with its deliciousness, can be added to soups, stews, sauces, vegetables, and meat/fish. It’s a staple in French cuisine and works as a vibrant garnishing.
If you love steaks and meats, rosemary should be there in your vertical herb garden. Rosemary can be easily grown indoors with the right potting mix, good drainage, watering, and plenty of light. The herb is popular for its woodsy aroma, and you can infuse it as a seasoning in soups, stews, casseroles, and more.
Parsley is well-known for its forgiving nature and germinates well in the indoor temperature. It’s easy to grow, provided you back it up with essential growing conditions like direct sunlight and good drainage.
From grain dishes like quinoa to grilled vegetables, parsley can be topped off on anything. You can also chop it up and add it in butter to create glaze on the meat.
You can also grow herbs like:
Designing Your Vertical Herb Garden
Now that you know about the herbs that can be planted in the vertical garden, let’s understand how you can design the garden for your home:
1. Selecting Containers and Structures
To create your vertical herb garden, you must have the perfect container where you can plant the herbs. Fortunately, there are several options that you can choose from like:
Pockets: Pockets make a great container for growing herbs in the vertical garden for its confined space and feasibility. It’s made of fabric and can be hung vertically with the potting mix and seeds of the desired plant. Make sure to choose a pocket/pouch of sturdy material to get the best benefits from the same.
Wall Planters/Vertical garden planters: Planters are flower pots or boxes where herbs/decorative plants can be cultivated. Usually, these planters are made with materials like terracotta without any ceramic glaze. At one glance, you will find it round yet tapered inside to hold the plants in place.
Pots: Pots are small and portable containers that are ideal for growing plants indoors. You just need to ensure that these structures have holes to provide good drainage. As herbs require some root space to thrive flawlessly, pots certainly make a great choice for their depth.
Repurposed items: You can also create plant containers by repurposing old household items. This includes:
- Broken china
- Old shoe racks
- Teapot and kettles
- Tin can
- Bicycle wheel
- Hanging baskets
You can further choose different structures for your vertical garden, like trellises and wooden or metal bars that are common for climbers.
Alternatively, you can go for vertical pallets with pots. If you want a simple garden, try creating a hanging system through fabrics for a spacious and aesthetically pleasing wall herb garden indoors.
2. Placement and Lighting
Besides the containers and plants, placements are also important for a beautiful garden. Make sure that your plants are placed in an area that receives adequate sunlight and air. If you live in an area with less light exposure, feel free to add artificial lighting through fluorescent tubes.
Here are some tips for your placements:
- If you have a plant that needs at least 6 hours of sunlight, place it near the south/southwest or west-facing window.
- Plants requiring indirect or medium indirect sunlight can be placed in the north-facing, east-facing, or west-facing window.
- Low-light plants may be kept in an area that’s not exposed to direct sunlight as they are tolerant.
Planting and Maintenance
How do you start a vertical herb garden? By following the below process:
Preparation and Planting:
To start with your vertical garden, you can follow the below step-by-step process:
Choose a container: Select a container that fits best as per your preferences. Both pots and pouches make a great container to create a vertical garden. To add extra aesthetics, you can try hangers and baskets as well.
Choosing the right soil: Just like any other garden, a vertical garden requires the right soil mix with ingredients like compost, peat moss, vermiculite, perlite, etc. It should also have a smooth and lightweight texture that’s not chunky.
Planting: Now, you can move forward to the planting, where you can add the seeds and cover them with the potting mix/soil. You can then spray water and keep it near a sunlight-prone area. For the ideal vertical garden, you must space the units by up to 4 inches for full plant coverage. There should also be space of 2 inches for vertical garden modules. You can further modify it for taller plants.
Watering and Fertilizing:
To water your vertical garden, you can do the following:
- Use drip irrigation or soaker hoses.
- Deeply water the roots
- Ensure drainage by adding holes to the containers.
- Water the roots of your plants besides the regular spraying.
As for herb fertilizing, you can use a variety of products like fish-based or sea-weed, compost, manure, and synthetic fertilizers. Make sure to offer other nutrients to the plants, like nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. You can also provide secondary macronutrients like sulfur, magnesium, or calcium as necessary.
Pruning and Harvesting:
Pruning is important to get rid of any diseased part of the herb. Not only does it ensure bushy growth, but it also prevents any spread in healthy branches. It further enhances the tree’s structure and encourages fruit/flower production.
You should always harvest herbs when they seem dry. For better herb harvesting, here are some tips to follow:
- Pinch the leaves of herbs like basil located at the stem tip.
- Get rid of any longer stems/leaves of oregano or thyme
- Cut the base stem of herbs like lavender, parsley, and cilantro
- Get rid of the blooms of the herb before they are fully in flower
- Check your plant every few days for any rapid growth rate.
Maintaining Healthy Vertical Herb Gardens
To keep your herb vertical garden healthy and lasting, you must follow the below maintenance tips:
- Ensure thorough pest control to keep the harmful toxins and pests at bay.
- Thoroughly check the plants for any damages due to bugs.
- Do not overwater your plant, as it may stimulate an environment for fungi growth and leafy spots. Similarly, do not underwater it, or the herb may dry out.
- Add mulch when needed to ensure enough moisture in the soil.
- Clean your gardening tools to prevent any bacteria or disease.
- Deadhead and prune the herbs as required.
Vertical herbs are easy-to-maintain gardens that ensure accessibility, aesthetic appeal, and space optimization. It can help gardeners to harvest the best plants/herbs regardless of the area where they reside.
If you want a garden for yourself with little space at home, feel free to try our vertical gardening. It will help you practice gardening while enhancing your culinary experiences and living spaces.