Thursday, February 19, 2009

February 15 - vertical gardening

I've only just become aware of the idea that vegetable gardens can be planted vertically as well as horizontally. I did know about trellises for plants like beans but somehow it hadn't sunk in that you can plant a variety of vegetables and herbs in a vertical structure that can be on a balcony or even in the house.

I remember recently seeing a vertical garden that was designed and built for a shopping centre. The huge wall of greenery was stunning and did well because of the glass roof above it. The designer explained that he chose plants that, in their natural environments, were used to clinging to the sides of cliff faces, or on tree trunks.

On gardening Australia last week one of the stories was about an italian immigrant who'd created a market garden in his small suburban yard. It was a series of trellises with narrow walkways between them. I wondered whether he had a problem with some of the trellises shading others and then realised that all you have to do is build them with an east-west orientation and you wouldn't get shading from one to the other.

A couple of years ago I had a vegetable garden put in at home. It worked well, to a point, and I had a bumper crop of tomatoes (which ripened when we were away on holiday). It's been lying fallow for some time because I hadn't worked out how to do it properly. I now understand that I just need to do it vertically as well as horizontally (for the potatoes).

It would be good to do something about the garden over winter this year. Let's see if I have the time, or can make the time, to do it.

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