Make Container Vertical Garden

Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Robbi, Lynn, Eng and 1 other

At a time when living in the space-challenged homes in the metropolis is called for to be near work or school, one has no choice but to surrender the comforts of a home replete with yards and gardens. But on second thought, why surrender the idea of growing a garden when you can still have one, even if it is in a container.

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Bless container gardening, as it lets the imaginative gardener in you convert each dead or free space in your home into a beautiful container garden. Combine this with the innovative concept of vertical gardening and each wall is transformed into functional greenery. Make a container vertical garden around your home and you wouldn't have to live in a barren metropolis home ever again.

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What is Vertical Gardening?


Vertical gardening is growing plants in containers with the intent of multiplying the number of plants in a certain space, which incorporates tiers or stacks of the containers you'll use. This maximizes the use of space in office and apartment buildings like the front façade, back and sides of buildings.

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Garden containers come in all shapes, sizes and materials. You can go to the garden shops in the nearest mall, but before you do that, why not look around your back yard, garden shed, garbage containers, attic, and even in your kitchen cabinets for any containers you could use. Let's look at some DIY materials for now. One consideration is that these container materials can be used to erect a vertical garden.

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  1. 1
    Wooden Pallets.
    Find three to four wooden pallets. Set aside two pallets and disassemble the other two. Remove the nails. Set them up, standing the other pallets in an A shape and nail them together. Put in some shelves to accommodate the type of plants you will put in.
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  2. 2
    Wall hanging pots.
    These can be in coffee cans and milk cans with drilled holes and terra-cotta clay pots or other appropriate plant containers.
    1. Nail some thin wooden boards on a wall like a pyramid or an inverted one so you can easily hook up your pots in a line or a zigzag.
    2. You can create a garden of lettuce, chard, radishes, kohlrabi, or other shallow-rooted greens.
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  3. 3
    Gutter shelf.
    Don't throw away discarded gutters. Cut into desired lengths, put in drainage holes and they're ready to house the soil and plants.
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  4. 4
    Plastic bottles.
    For plants with larger root systems, you will need larger bottles so more soil can be contained for climbing vegetables like cucumbers, eggplants, and peppers. For big vining and heavy plants like squash and watermelon, the container should be anchored on a wall or thick wire fence for support and to serve as trellises for the plants.  
    1. Secure the containers to the wall or vertical existing structure with wire, twine, nails or screws, depending on the expected weight of the plants when fully grown and fruiting.
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Towering Gardens

Yes, you can have one simply by stacking plastic bottles, pots, buckets, milk crates or any other containers that can be stacked properly and safely.



  • Plastic bottles
  • Sharp scissors or cutters


  1. 1
    Leave the lid cover on bottle number one.
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  2. 2
    Lay the bottle on a surface and cut off the bottom part of the bottle.
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  3. 3
    Perforate near the top of the lid with the scissors or cutter at 5-10 centimeters or 2-4 inches.
    This will serve as the container's drainage hole.
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  4. 4
    Perforate a second drainage hole diagonally across the bottle.
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  5. 5
    Below the two holes, put in some reserve water.
    These two holes will drain any surplus water.
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  6. 6
    Fill the bottle with potting soil to 2.5-5 centimeters or 1-2 inches from the bottle's edge.
    The soil is a mix of manure and dirt.
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  7. 7
    The bottom of the tower to be constructed is bottle number one.
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  8. 8
    For the succeeding three bottles, cut off the bottoms, take the lid covers off and don't make any drainage holes.
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  9. 9
    Starting at the bottom with bottle number one, stack bottles two, three, and four on top.
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  10. 10
    Continue preparing your bottles to form a wall of container plants, depending on the space you wish to occupy.
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Basic Things to Know about a Soilless DIY Vertical Garden

    1. The Frame. If you want a long-lasting one, get a metal frame; if not, a wooden frame will also last many planting seasons.
  1. 1
    The Backboard.
    PVC sheets are recommended, but a rigid fine mesh will do, especially if it is stainless steel.
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  2. 2
    The Holding Sheet.
    Use a thick sheet of felt or Hessian.
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  1. 1
    The frame serves as the basic support of a vertical garden.
    Fasten, adhere or rivet the backboard to the frame.
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  2. 2
    Staple the holding sheet on top of the backboard.
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  3. 3
    Embed the plants into the felt, which serves as the growing medium.
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  4. 4
    If the frame is used outdoors, hand-water the plants.
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  5. 5
    If indoors, make a well at the bottom and with a continuous feed pump, water moves back up and filters down to the plants.
    The water should contain the nutrients to feed the plants.
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Vertical Gardening Products On The Market

  1. 1
    Straddling containers.
    As the name suggests, these straddle balcony railings or a fence and are designed as circular planters or boxy like window planters.
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  2. 2
    Wall hanging pocket planters.
    Small ones may be made of recycled plastic bottles.  
    1. They can easily be hung on rails or fences, or attached to the walls equipped with fasteners and anchors for almost any kind of wall.
    2. It has a watering system and reservoir that allows water to trickle down to the plants.
    3. A felt liner takes care of evaporation of excess water.
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  3. 3
    Stacking Planters.
    These are designed so when they are stacked, they allow pockets for plants that may be hung or left freestanding.  
    1. Look for a self-watering stacking planter and you can go out of town for several days without finding dried or dying plants.
    2. This kind of container (i.e. Nancy James) is food grade safe polypropylene with a UV stabilizer.
    3. Go on a planting rampage of herbs, tomatoes, strawberries, small squash, shallots, broccoli and other greens.
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What About Plant Choices?

Attention should be given to plant groupings for best results. The guide is simple group by the same type of conditions, like sun vs. shade and dry condition as opposed to moist, as illustrated below:

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Sun- Loving Plants:

  • Baby's breath.
  • Dahlias.
  • Zinnias.
  • Mums.
  • Marigolds
  • Cornflowers.
  • Evening primrose and more.

Shade-Loving Plants:

  • Forget-me-nots.
  • Columbine.
  • Hostas.
  • Coleus.
  • Ferns and more.

Part Sun/Part Shade:

  • Begonias.
  • Coriandrum.
  • Lobelia.
  • Pansies.
  • Nasturtiums.
  • Phlox.
  • Violas.
  • Heliotrope.
  • Antirrhinum and others.

Tips, Tricks, and Warnings

  • For DIY towering containers, in a line from the ground up, place a stick through all the containers (e.g. plastic bottles), so that when water is poured from the top, water will trickle down the stick to the soil and the plants. Less water should be used, as there's only one plant.
  • Smaller plastic bottles need more watering to replace water that evaporates due to the sun. Before watering, check first if the soil is dry and needs the water.
  • Watering in small amounts and at the base of plants.
  • Do not water during the day when the sun is hot.
  • Growing plants in containers should be exposed to sunlight at least 6-8 hours a day.
  • Plastic pots are a good choice as they are cheap, hold water or moisture better than clay and ceramic pots, and are lighter, so are easy to move around.
  • Soil in clay pots dries out faster, so monitor it closely. A good option is to have a plastic saucer or plate under the pot to keep moisture in the plant, and to avoid any moisture marring the surface of your patio or deck.
  • For self-watering planters, use a growing media of 50/50 blend of perlite and shredded organic coconut coir as base for hydroponic vertical gardening. You can also add compost, like earthworm castings.
  • For easy watering, connect rows by means of simple T-connectors in which water is poured over the top rows, or a drip tubing goes into the top planter and drain tubes catch the water and diffuse it into each stack of four planters. If more, a fresh emitter is recommended to the five-level.
  • Use organic potting soil in containers that are formulated to achieve a level of lightness needed for plants to breathe, hold moisture, and drain well.
  • Buy potting soil free of added nutrients or fertilizers so you can put in only the necessary amount needed by your plants.
  • Before planting in used or old containers, rework the soil by loosening it with your fingers or fork, remove root hairs of previous plants, put in compost and a spoonful of organic fertilizer. This gives the new plant a good start.

If you want to have "arm-away" vegetables, cascading flowers and ferns for your coffee or meditation area, then go and make a container vertical garden your priority. You won't regret bringing in a living wall inside your home and a wall of plants in milk crates stacked as high as you want for outside privacy. Vertical gardens are indeed bliss in the city.

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Categories : Gardening

Recent edits by: Eng, Lynn, Robbi

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