By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter
As I sit in my backyard enjoying my green tea I take stock of my space.
I have my vegetable garden, my kitchen garden, my orchard, my historical garden, and a grazing area for my rabbit Rufus.
What more could I want?If I wanted more where could I put it?
My garden grows on 1/5 of an acre and while container gardening was an option I still had the problem where to put them.
Last Saturday I went to a talk put on by my local chapter of Master Gardeners that helped me think outside the box. Vertical gardening for apartments, balconies, and anyone who had run out of space like me was the topic. This was not the “vertical gardening concept” purposed by Mr. Dickson Despommier but instead dealt with rooftop gardens and living walls. I was fascinated by this concept especially living walls.
This was something I could do without changing the whole structure of my roof for a rooftop garden. This series of blogs will center on vertical gardening techniques that can be used by the ordinary gardener whether you are an apartment dweller or homeowner. So put your thinking cap on, go outside your gardening comfort zone, and try some of these techniques. You have nowhere to go but up.
How to Plant a Garden Pouch
These bags are inexpensive, easy to plant, and can be hung anywhere. The only limit to what can be planted in a garden bag is what will grow in your area. Below is a list of materials you will need to plant a garden bag.
- 1 Garden Pouch
- Lightweight soil conducive to your plants’ needs. Examples of the type of soil are potting soil mixed with coco fibers.
- Plants with similar growth requirements
- An area to lay your bag flat
- Irrigation system optional
1. There exist 2 schools of thought when it comes to how to plant a garden pouch. One is to open your garden pouch and fill with soil to the first “X” set of “Xs.” The second school of thought is to fill the whole bag within 1” inch from the top.
2. Depending on which school of thought you follow as far as filling your pouch will determine which step you take next.
- A. If you filled your pouch to the first set of “Xs” make sure it is upright and gently pull your plants through theÂ “X.” This is easier than trying to push the root ball through. Continue this process until all “Xs” are filled.
- B. If you filled the pouch with soil simply lay the pouch down on its side with “Xs” up. Then open “Xs” and plant your plants.
3. Once all “Xs” are full it is time to water your pouch. This can be done by simply laying the pouch on its side and watering gently in or one can place pouch in a bucket of shallow water and let the process of wicking water into the pouch. This last approach takes time and after the pouch has taken up water the pouch will have to be laid down so that plants can take hold.
4. The top of the pouch can be planted once plants have started to fill in. Also this the time that an irrigation system can be added. A simple one I have used for years is an IV bag with tubing. This bag is attached to the back of the garden pouch with the line going into the pouch. This homemade irrigation system provides a slow, even flow of water that prevents soil loss due to a flow that is too hard.
5. These garden pouches are then ready to be hung on walls, fence posts, sides of buildings, really anywhere you have vertical space.
Until we talk again remember, the sky is blue, the ground is brown, everything is full just look around, the need to grow will take us high, just remember aim for the sky.