Garden and Yard Care sack gardening

Published on January 10th, 2012 | by Vivian Nelson Melle


Save Space and Water with Vertical Gardening

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There’s still a winter chill in the air, and possibly snow on the ground, but many green thumbs are aching for the soil beneath their fingers and under their nails. Now is the perfect time for garden planning and this year why not save space and water consumption by giving vertical gardening a try.

Here are just a few examples of simple and space-saving vertical gardening solutions for patios, small homes and even indoors.

sack gardening

Sack vertical garden

Sack Gardening

This idea used with programs helping indigenous people grow enough food they need to live on. The sack has strategically placed holes where seedlings are planted in traditional soil. The sack is watered as needed with little water waste. Chicken wiring may be added for extra support and also allows climbing veggies braces on which to adhere. As the vegetables or herbs grow they are cultivated and can be replaced with new seedlings. This is a great solution for greens, herbs and other popular vegetables. Not only does it save on valuable space, but leaves a minor carbon footprint since everything eventually decomposes into the earth.

{cc photo courtesy of margoc on Flickr}

window garden

Window garden

Hydroponic Window Gardens

Hydroponic window gardens are quite the urban farming rage because of pure simplicity and space saving features. While winter winds are still sweeping across the country many don’t have to wait for warm spring temperatures to give this gardening a try. The basic system uses stacked water bottles with strategic holes that allow nutrient-rich water to seep down each level. The system can either use a pump for automation or manual watering for a more green solution. The system not only performs well in windows, it creates quite stunning living art in any window space.

{cc photo courtesy of Ars Electronica on Flickr}


Outdoor garden

Vertical Backyard Solutions

Even a spacious backyards can benefit from vertical gardening. Valuable real estate becomes home to children’s outdoor toys, backyard sports or simply living space. Patio furniture make use of areas where gardens once grew. Utilizing tradition clay pots or making use of recycled bottles is the method for finding creative ways to hang plants vertically on fences and trellises instead of in or on the ground. Adding multiple pots beneath one another allows water to flow throughout the system with little waste much like the similar hydroponic system.

{cc photo courtesy of basswulf  Flickr}


lovely vertical garden

Wall Gardening

With mesh and wiring, wall gardens are another striking solutions perfect for minimal space like patios and tiny backyards. The living walls offers salad fixings along with creative, eye-catching conversations pieces. Again, the system makes use of water by using a steady stream utilized by the entire system leaving little water trickling away. It is also a great idea for elderly gardeners or those with physical limitations where bending over and kneeling is virtually impossible. This system puts little to no stress on the back and knees and is simple enough for children to water and mist.

{cc photo courtesy of Ivan Lian  Flickr}

 Have you tried vertical gardening? What ideas have you found useful and what materials have you used?

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About the Author

Vivian Nelson Melle is a former educator and community counselor who decided to follow her dream of writing. She balances work to home school her daughter and enjoy crafting, photography, gardening, natural healing, cooking and anything that helps heal the earth and its inhabitants. She also writes for Green Living Ideas, Ecolocalizer, Mamita’s Creations and Phoenix Neighborhood Blogger. She is a writer for hire with a soft spot in her heart for non-profits and indie businesses.

  • dave

    Great Article Vivian, Always looking for better ideas for people to garden in in small spaces. I will tweet this to my followers as well.


    Some really great ideas, especially for those who don’t have big gardens. Like the idea of the living fence as well. I’ve seen people make a living wall for the inside of their home, these do take a bit of looking after but the results are stunning.

    Nice read, thanks.

  • Christi

    I really like the idea of going vertical with plants. We just recently bought the house we are working on and while we are not short of space, we do have an amazingly ugly privacy fense around part of the yard. The idea you showed for a living wall looks like a great way to hide some or all of it. Do you know what kinds of plants they used for it?

    • Vivian Nelson Melle

      I think they look like greens, maybe types of lettuce? Probably herbs would be a good choice as well. The wall gardens also work well with succulents. I have a frame garden with succulents and it’s doing great.

  • Julia

    I’ve been wanting to do the plastic bottle window garden for a while now! Maybe I’ll be able to make it work in my next apartment.

  • Lynn Radford

    Blown away by the window garden . . . gotta give it a try. Thanks!

    • Vivian Nelson Melle

      It’s gorgeous isn’t it? Sigh.

  • Cathleen

    Hi. I love the idea of a vertical garden. I would like to find instructions on how to make one and also on the window with bottles.
    Thank you for your help.

  • Cindy Clark

    Do you have directions/supply list for making the vertical garden wall? It would be perfect around my patio. Double Duty – privacy and food.

    • Andrea Bertoli

      Hi Cindy- Unfortunately we don’t! This post was written years before I became Editor; I wish I knew how too!

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