Laurie Neverman at Common Sense Homesteading
The 10 reasons to garden up instead of out:
- More productivity in less space
- Less disease
- Less predation
- Compensates for poor soil
- Easier weed control
- Easier harvest, better accessibility
- Creates micro-climates
- Shelters you home and living areas
- Creates privacy and screen out not so good views
- Gives your garden a « Wow! » factor
Suitable at first glance are trees, bushes and vining plants; but any others can do the trick as well. Here are some examples:
Gutter salad bars: buy gutters (10ft). Install the gutters at slight angles, so the drain water can flow from one to the lower one. Drill holes on the lower side in the bottom to drain excess water into the next gutter. Under the lowest gutter there is a container to collect the water.
Grafted and espaliered fruit trees: Graft different varieties of fruit on the same tree and train it to grow in a espalier (against a wall or a fence). Each of the 4 main branches carries a different variety of the same fruit.
Arched Squash: Make an arch of pvc piping. Plant squash or melons (they need rope for support). Hand the squash over the trellis. The growing up of cucubitaceae makes the leafs more dry and therefor less attacked by mildew etc what they get when are in more or less close contact with the soil. You can use such an arch as a portal into your garden (or house).
Cucumber trellis: attach a trellis to two metal fence posts. In cooler summers put a black fabric on the south ground to accumulate sun energy; in hot summers put straw to cool the soil. In really hot climates you can fix the trellis in less steep angle so the cucumbers create the shade for salads etc.
Pea trellis: attach 3ft garden fence on 4ft posts at around 3ft intervals. After planting the soil around the double row of peas is covered with damp newspaper covered with straw – this keeps the soil cool and blocks weeds. Onions next to the peas deter rabbits.
Pole bean solidity: if you keep picking them they keep on producing. Trellis supported every 5 ft metal posts; on top of them there is a 2×3 cross part. Plant the beans in a double row, back and front of the trellis.
Tomatoes on trellissessess: needs to be really sturdy because tomatoes become very heavy. You can plug leafs towards the end of the season to expose the tomatoes to more sunlight for ripening. Start the tomatoes with stalks in the ground; when they grow beyond hold them with rope loops from the cross beam.
Container gardening or straw bale gardening uses « raised beds » to become independent of bad soil or too compacted soil or not draining soil.
Trees, shrubbs and vines can be used as edible windbreaks.
Living walls made from geotex pouches on rails hanging in front of a water-tight epdm liner. the individual pouches are hung by eyelets on the rails; they can be re-arranged at any time.