While every avid gardener would love a massive yard with plenty of room for greenhouses and garden beds, the reality is that most people find themselves living in small apartments or houses with tiny backyards and limited options. Luckily, there are still plenty of creative ways to exercise your green thumb, including vertical gardening. This clever strategy involves using wall-mounted boxes and hangers to make the most of your vertical space. Not all plants do well with it, but plenty of them thrive in those conditions. The best part is that it's also easy to make inexpensive and attractive DIY gardens.
Succulents are notoriously hardy and adaptable, which makes them a natural choice for vertical gardens. One of the easiest ways to create a vertical succulent garden is to simply use a nursery tray, which features small, individual spaces for each plant. Place them inside a frame and mount it at a 30-degree angle. Make sure you have holes punched for drainage and a tray to catch excess water. It's a good idea to experiment with your drainage system on a safe surface to make sure there are no leaks or floods.
If you like to cook and garden, you've probably dreamed of growing your own herbs. This easy vertical herb garden is a great choice for even the smallest spaces. Simply cut a large piece of weed barrier fabric, then smaller sections to act as pockets. Sew them together, fill them with dirt, and plant your herbs. It's a good idea to cut each piece of fabric big enough that you can fold it in half to double its thickness. You can use hooks or shower curtain rings to hang it.
If you like the look of those classic terracotta pots, you can convert them into a hanging garden with a few tools and supplies. Use threaded steel rods, eye bolts, and drain plugs to connect multiple pots together using either the pre-drilled holes at the bottom of each pot or by drilling a new hole that fits your supplies. Hang them from a hook or an eye bolt drilled into the ceiling. This one requires a few tools and some effort, but it is perfect for apartment balconies.
Start with a shallow wooden box and fill it with your potting soil, then cover that with weed barrier. Add a layer of chicken wire on top of the barrier and fix it to the sides of the box. Install a protective barrier of wooden slats screwed into the sides of the box. When you're ready to plant, cut holes in the weed barrier through the spaces in the chicken wire and place your succulents.
If you have a wooden fence or other outdoor space you can drill into, then you can make a quick and attractive vertical garden out of old tin cans. Simply drill a few small holes into the bottom of each can for drainage, paint them your favorite color, then drill another hole near the top and use that to screw them into the wall. Be sure to choose plants that thrive in small containers, such as herbs.
You can easily make a new wall just for your garden if you find yourself running short on vertical space. Buy or build a wooden frame, then stretch chicken wire to it. Make sure to pull it very tight so it doesn't sag, and be sure to attach it to the top of the frame as well. Once it's built, simply thread wire through the holes in the chicken wire to create individual holders for each pot. You can also use wooden slats instead of chicken wire and nail the pots to the wood.
If you like the idea of building a new wall planter but don't have the outdoor space, you can use steel mesh to get the same effect indoors. Simply pick up a sheet of steel garden mesh from your local hardware store or nursery, then cut it to the desired size. Mount it on your wall using suitable hardware. Wall anchors are a good idea since plants can add a lot of weight. Then simply attach your potted plants using hooks or wires.
A pipe planter is a great fit for an apartment wall, kitchen window, or other small space. Simply buy some end caps, cut a copper or other metal pipe to the desired length, and install it like a curtain rod or towel rack. Use macrame hangers to mount a few plants on it. You can even use an actual curtain or towel rod for this, but be sure you choose one that's sturdy enough to support the weight of your plants.
This clever garden idea lets you recycle your old furniture while also creating a charming, shabby-chic garden. Simply take your old horizontal dresser outside, fill it with soil, and pull the drawers out at varying lengths to create a pyramid-like shape. Plant your favorite garden plants in each drawer. It's a good idea to weatherproof the wood first as most furniture isn't designed for outdoor use, and you may want to drill some holes in the bottom of the drawers for drainage.
This is one of the easiest vertical gardens to make, as glass orb terrariums are readily available at most craft and garden stores. They're also perfect for small spaces due to their light, airy look and compact size. To use them, simply add suitable potting soil and plant your favorite plants. Succulents and air plants tend to do particularly well in them. Tie a ribbon or piece of twine to the ring at the top, then hang them from a hook in your ceiling.