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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Vertical Gardening 2013 Update

The long term experiment with  Grow Bags for vertical planting continues. Last year was not very successful as we had a drought during the hot dry summer months and it was difficult to keep up with watering. Some of the Grow Bags deteriorated and had to be replaced. Two to three years is the most that can be expected from the planter bags but since they are easy to make and install they are easily changed when they wear out.
Soaker Hose Irrigation System
This spring I added soaker hoses as an easy as a low water use way to keep the plants from drying out.
The system works very well. As you can see from the photo I snaked the soaker hose around the grow bags so that every bag gets watered. I can turn the system on for 20 minutes in the morning and the bags will not dry out in the heat of the day.
Closeup of Soaker Hoses in Operation
The plants are thriving. I amended the soil with some well cured compost before planting and tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, chard and zucchini are all doing well. I will add some compost soon to give the plants a little boost but I believe the addition of the irrigation system made the grow bags function as I hoped they would.
Showing Vegetables Growing
I also came across another simple option for using some vertical space as shown in the photo below where milk crates are lined with heavy duty felt fabric and make excellent planters.
Milk Crate Planters
Vertical Planting has many proponents and there are many interesting techniques in use. It is a great way to grow things in limited space. Fences and other vertical structures now can serve more than one purpose. I'll keep you posted with my experiment and any other interesting developments I find.