The vertical gardening and farming concept is pretty simple to achieve. Instead of spreading out horizontally, you spread up...vertically.

Vertical farming focuses on high-yield density. You can have 20 ft. of plants growing vertically in the horizontal space traditionally needed to grow 1 large plant.

Urban, terrace, and small backyard gardens benefit from the vertical gardening concept. 

Intense and high-producing gardens take up little valuable horizontal space. Gardens can be grown in spaces as small as side porches and walkwaus, balconies, and on terraces, patios, decks, and fences. And railings become bearers or supporters of flowers, ornamental vines, and food. 

Growing Up

Vertical gardens can also be successfully grown indoors, utilizing grow bulbs. 
I have dwarf potted citrus and fruit trees thiving under grow lights in the winter, while they wait for the spring and summer vacations outdoors. Ornamental plants and dwarf fruit plants grow at the bases of these trees. Permanently planting a tree in-ground in a small garden is not always practical or do-able. And it's certainly not portable. Hanging plants in my window is an added layer above the potted, dwarf trees.

Vertical gardening seems pretty simple if you equate it with square foot gardening. But you're growing that square foot garden vertically. The amount of horizontal space you save, and how many plants you can grow, is the bonus. More plants, in less space. And a great use of the sometimes "dead space" between your floor and ceiling, or the blank space between the ground and the tops of your fences.

Multiple-pot macrame plant hangers hung from ceilings and porch eaves can give you a 3-tiered garden, using that traditional dead space for food or flowers.

Grow 40+ plants vertically, instead of 10 on the ground in pots? Oh, yes, indeed.
Vertical growing in areas that don't have a garden bed with soil in which to plant things, uses up what would usually be considered dead space. Less space is needed between plants. A kitchen veggie or herb garden right outside your door is perfect. Neat, pretty, and easy to care for on decks and patios, giving height and a little privacy, to the perimeters.

Grow large, vining plants and vegetables that you couldn't grow before in your garden because of lack of space. 
Keep veggies off the ground and away from chewing bugs and nocturnal rodents and critters.

I also make use of tall, iron trellises that can grow and hold anything vertically. At the moment, at least 12- 72 inch tall trellises bear potted clematis and honeysuckle. At the bases of these trellises, the tops of the pots around the plants are filled with succulent groundcovers or creeping herbs, like thyme. the trellises are less than 2 ft. wide, taking up very little space for the intensive plantings. These trellises will also be used to hold up vining veggies, like peas, beans, eggplant and cucumbers, when needed. Think of how much space your traditional garden needs to grow these large, rambling plants. Then think of growing them in less than 2 ft. of horizontal space. Using trellises in pots also allows you to grow some aggressive flowering vines and plants that you wouldn't dare put in the ground, should they become invasive. Weaving vines within the trellis also gives you the opportunity to grow a large, and very neat and compact plant.

Vertical Farming

Vertical farming uses much less water (about 1/20th) than its conventional farming, produces a radically greater yield. 

By using aeroponics (spraying the roots of plants with a nutrient-rich solution) or hydroponics (growing the plants in a shallow bath of water containing their nutrients) methods, vertical farming reduces the reliance on the soil. It is a way to maximize the productive capacity of every square foot, while minimizing waste and ecological damage.

Plenty, a San Francisco-based vertical farming business, plans to build a large-scale indoor vertical farm outside of every major city in the world.

In Berlin, a company called InFarm is creating modular vertical farming units that can be scaled to size easily and effectively. The idea is to have a farm in every store. A vertical farm in your supermarket, where you can pick your own produce. Which doesn't get picked too early and travel for days before you get it.

InFarmís use of data and monitoring means that yields per square foot can be much higher than from conventional farming. The proximity of the farm to the consumer allowed by InFarmís models, means that a different set of incentives governs the growing process Ė taste and flavor can be prioritized over shelf-life.

InFarmís system, and vertical farming in general, avoids the use of pesticides. More consumers turn to products grown with environmentally-friendly methods, minimal waste, and chemical-free production processes.

Vertical farming businesses are also showing up in the consumer market. NeoFarms and others offer in-home farming modules with built-in ease-of-use technology. NeoFarmsí model is about the size of a fridge and can easily fit into a kitchen. CityCrop has already brought a mini-unit to market.

Texas A&M- Vertical Farming Technique - Tower Gardening

AMU Urban Farm United is a concept organization with the intent of introducing vertical farming to A&Mís campus and the local community.

Vertical Tower Gardening uses 90 percent less water, because thereís no evaporation.  The only loss of water is through root absorption. It uses 90 percent less land because, per tower, you can grow forty-four heads of lettuce in about four square feet of space. And they donít get earth-borne pests.

The towers used for the vertical farming are based on an aeroponic system, an environment of air rather than soil for the plants. The tower system feeds the plants through mimic rain (shower of mineral water trickles down), and since each tower is isolated, contamination does not spread among them.

The aeroponic system means that the roots are in a cylindrical tower base, where the roots are exposed to air. 
Thereís a pump that pumps mineral water upward, and then the water trickles down like rain. And that feeds the roots with minerals and nutrients.

The shape of the tower not only conserves space, but is able to cycle the water as needed. The system also brings a 30 percent higher yield, when compared to traditional alternatives.

Decorative Vertical Gardening


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