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Vertical gardening?

 
MJ Solaro
Posts: 131
Location: Bellevue, WA
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Having only a *very* small urban garden to work with, it hit me the other day that perhaps I should be using my vertical space more effectively.

What does permaculture say about vertical gardening?

Do any of you have experience, or practical application in maximizing one's vertical space?

What plants work best for vertical gardening in Seattle? What structures? I was thinking strawberries might be a good choice...
 
paul wheaton
master steward
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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I once built something for strawberries.  About five feet tall with about ten rows.  It was not the sunniest spot and the strawberries were just so/so.
 
Kelda Miller
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This is a great topic to hit up Seattle Tilth about, I think they may even have a whole class devoted to vertical gardening!! They had this awesome setup in their demo garden one year. A trellis not straight up but leaning towards the south. I think cukes were on the trellis (?) and then under it, facing south in the 'suntrap' it created, there were more veggies (basil?).

Obviously I'm only a halfway good resource!! Hit them up at the natural lawn and garden hotline. There are operators that are paid their time to answer wonderful random questions!! and they LOVE it when they get any questions more interesting than lawn upkeep. ha!!
 
MJ Solaro
Posts: 131
Location: Bellevue, WA
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Awesome! Kelda, you always have the most fantastic advice. Thanks!
 
Kelda Miller
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Pictures from the Tilth gardens in Wallingford
vertical 1.jpg
[Thumbnail for vertical 1.jpg]
vertical 2.jpg
[Thumbnail for vertical 2.jpg]
 
                    
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Terraced planting has a long and successful history. There is also a "retaining wall" planting technique that combines the concept of vertical planting with tiny terraced niches in stone retaining walls, the stone creating niches, terraces and bowls to plant in. Some plants take to it well, others draw too deeply from the soil to successfully draw nutrients up -  either because soil depth is limited by the size of the niche location or because the pull of gravity on a top heavy plants reduces their nutrient absorption efficiency. It is difficult to keep vertical soil arrangements adequately rich enough for all but very hardy plant varieties to thrive. Wash off from watering, limited soil "enriching" by creatures like worms and moles that prefer horizontal burrowing to vertical, natural depletion of nutrients and minerals over time and loss and weathering of niches or terraces so that shape disintegrates and nutrients escape the terraces, "bowls" or niches are all problems to consider. On the wall display pictured (w/lettuce) the plants at the top  f the wall have a lot more difficulty than the plants at the bottom of the wall. The nutrients for plants at the top tends to migrate downward due to gravity and natural plant interaction with the soil.
 
                        
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Have you looked into a three sisters garden.  Create a few 10" across mounds a couple of feet apart - plant some corn, a week later some pole beans at the base of the corn and some squash/melon in between the mounds.  The corn creates a vertical trellis for the beans to climb, the beans supply the nitrogen, and the squash/melons provide a living mulch.  You can stagger planting times by a couple of weeks for a longer harvest.
 
Sergio Santoro
Posts: 256
Location: Nicoya, Costa Rica
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I just love the squash trellis and the use of space. In fact, I just finished mine this morning. I'll have ayote climb on it, the local squash here in Costa Rica.
However, I read that squash has shallow roots and I wonder if all the growth that happens in the air will have enough water to draw from the roots that are in the soil; actually a banana trunk hugelkultur.
In one month the rainy season will be in full swing. My idea was to have as much of the squash vine off the soil, to protect it from fungi (that decimated it last year). However, it only rains after noon until August (then it can rain any time or all the time ) and when it's not raining the sun can be quite hot, so the hanging part of the vine was supposed to shed the rooted part. Ok now I'm just rambling, but I don't know what to expect. Would the top part shrivel every day at noon although free of fungi? Or will the shaded part of the vine cause the top part to also thrive? Or will the rooted part just spread the fungus all over anyway?
I guess I'll keep you guys posted.
I did look into more tropical sites and forums, but this remains the best and most active, what can I say?

Sd
 
Mekka Pakanohida
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
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MJ Solaro wrote:


What does permaculture say about vertical gardening? ...



It says, "Why aren't you using it already

The thing about permaculture is that it is site dependent for every situation.  What works for the Bullock Brothers Homestead (which is near you) might not work at your home site.

This exploration into what foods you want, and how you wish to grow them is part of the research everyone does.  We can give advice, but without knowing more we can't help too much.  For example, at my property I am growing hops with raspberries, but I also want to know what SHOULD grow here that is edible ((Such as edible cammas)), what natives can be grown here for medicine as well.

Welcome to your new adventure.




Oh- and don't forget about the 'time factor' on your property as you grow things!!!
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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i believe that things that vine should be tried to grow upwards as much as possible..so I do use a lot of lattice fences and trellises on our property..grapes esp are give good sturdy tall trellises so that they have lots of room to grow in the sun..

have tons of vining crops or things that grow upward like roses and raspberries
 
                                        
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Mekka Pakanohida wrote:
For example, at my property I am growing hops with raspberries


Mekka, how is the "hops with raspberries" working for you? I am considering this as well... what are your thoughts on how the plants complement each other? are there problems with thorns when pruning the hops? recommended techniques/trellis system?

if nothing else, just a few pictures of this idea would be helpful! thanks. brilliant idea~!
 
Mekka Pakanohida
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
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simplyabide wrote:
Mekka, how is the "hops with raspberries" working for you? I am considering this as well... what are your thoughts on how the plants complement each other? are there problems with thorns when pruning the hops? recommended techniques/trellis system?

if nothing else, just a few pictures of this idea would be helpful! thanks. brilliant idea~!


So far, so good.  I can't show photos of that area till later in the season.  Most things are still waking here, and that bed area is part of an experimental bed for PRI forums.

The hops was placed for insectiary reasons, while the raspberry in that area was planted as a test against the taters.  Raspberries are supposed to encourage early blight in potatoes.
 
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