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Grow a living wall

No horizontal space for a garden? Try vertical

I learned about vertical gardening several years ago when someone posted a picture on Facebook of plants growing out of rain gutters. The gutters were attached to the side of a house and lettuce was growing out of them.

Shawna Coronado has written a book called “Grow a Living Wall”, and says a garden can thrive on nearly anything vertical. Fences are popular because there is plenty of space for plants, and they hide the ugly fence. You could build your own planting system, but there are several you could purchase including what look like window boxes.

"It’s either plastic or made from wood, and they have an area where you can drill through the unit and attach it to the wall," says Coronado. "The conceptual idea of planting something that looks like a window box on top of one another, you know stacked in a row along a wall is perfect for someone who’s concerned about how much space they have to grow in."

Coronado says the best plants in a vertical garden are leafy greens and herbs. But you could also grow strawberries, cucumbers, peppers, beans, and many varieties of foliage plants and flowers.

She likes to create a potting mix made of one-third traditional potting soil, one-third compost, and one-third rotted manure. It’s a heavier mix that holds water longer. Basically, there are two choices for watering a vertical garden.

"You can hand water it, and I use the watering wand. That’s the easiest way because a hose with no tip of any kind on the end of the hose is kind of powerful," says Coronado. "The other way you can water is to have a self-watering system. Almost all of the systems that are out on the market have a self-watering option, and that makes it easy too."

The best part of a living wall is that there’s no weeding.

Learn more:

Tips for vertical gardening

This would make it very easy to install plants on your walls

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