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Vertical Spaces for Growing

Not everyone has a lot of space to grow food. Especially in cities, space comes at a premium and in most cases is a luxury. Given that, urban dwellers in crowded contexts can grow a lot if they think about using vertical spaces.

In a former post I showed our barrel gardens. These work well for south facing balconies or tiny yards. Other vertical designs include: trellises, stacked pots, and existing structure alteration. For example we turned our pergola into a fergola or food pergola.

We utilize our "fergola" to grow food at three levels: barrels in which the posts are anchored, hanging pots at half height and finally, large pots near the top of the structure. We grow herbs, edible and pollinating flowers, and this year, cucumbers.


Below is a closer look at the barrels that anchor the posts. Half the barrels are filled with gravel. Then landscaping fabric was laid on top of the gravel. Finally, a soil mix was added for the plants.

Barrel Part of Fergola

This next photo shows all three levels at work.

3 Vertical Grow Levels of Fergola

It is so much fun watching food grow from beautiful plants that decorate the fergola.

A Young Cucumber

It doesn't take long for cucs to grow to harvesting size. We can these pickling cucs.

Mature Cucumber

A friend reaches up high to pick a cucumber.

A Friend Harvests a Cuc

A side view of our property shows a trellis that forms a 1 meter high pea fence. By growing tall we can plant other plants like collard greens and lettuces in spaces where only peas would grow without trellises.

Pea Trellis

This photo shows the pea trellis up close. Grow tall so you can grow more.

Pea Trellis up Close

In the greenhouse we grow more vertically by supporting plants with strings on hangers.

Sweet Peppers in Early Stages

These are the same peppers more matured. This plant is growing 13 large peppers. This would not have been possible without the hangers above supporting the plant with strong strings or without some other type of support like a tall stake.

Matured Peppers

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