I had the idea of doing a little bit of research on vertical gardens while on a road trip last week to the Valley of the Sun. So there I was walking the streets of Downtown Phoenix when I stumble on this really cool garden outside of the city's Convention Center:
Don't be fooled by the bareness seen on the photo. Vertical gardens can be incredibly dense and rich. Here's another example found in the next building, the Stadium for the Arizona Diamondbacks:
The concept behind these examples are very different and it depends on where you want to have your garden, what inputs you have, how many resources you have and the reason why you want to have your vertical garden.
How does it work?
There are actually several ways to design a tower garden. Here I'll talk about the hydroponic system (sometimes also referred to as aeroponic). According to DoItYourself.com the difference between a hydroponic and an aeroponic system is:
In a hydroponic system, plants grow without soil. Instead, they are grown with added nutrients in sand, gravel, or liquid. Aeroponics, a form of hydroponics, uses no growing medium at all.
This system uses a rigid structure to support the plants and to conduct with a pump the nutrient rich water from the bottom of the tower to the top. When it reaches the top, the water is sprayed down so that all the roots are in contact with the water. This happens in intermitted durations.
As you can see from the image below, the plants are "suspended" in the tower which is why is very important that the water provides the roots with the necessary nutrients for the plants. This systems requires a continuous supply of energy to keep the pump working as well as a special tower structure to support the whole system.
There are some excellent examples out there where people have used solar power to supply their gardens. Others have used water collected from the rain or condensate produced by an air conditioning system. Both of this alternatives reduce the water and carbon footprint. What a great way to contribute!
How can I make a vertical garden at home?
This is an idea I found on the Container gardening website:
I think it can be a fun activity to do with your kids. It also gives you an opportunity to teach them a new way to reuse plastic bottles while also learning how to garden. If you want to know the steps to create it you can check out their website:
It has a very easy step by step guide!
Ok this next one I think it's pretty self explanatory:
I love it! So cool and easy to do!
So I hope this inspired you to consider creating your own garden at home. There are many options and tutorials on the web. So get browsin' and start doin'.
See you in the next one!