Step by Step Guide to Vertical Garden Design

Are you a gardener who doesn’t have adequate horizontal space, wish to cover an unattractive section of a wall or simply want to deviate from the norm? A living wall or vertical garden – a recent innovative development in the landscape design industry – is a perfect option for you.


Follow this step by step guide and before you know it you’ll have a living wall.

  1. Choose a wall

Start by identifying the wall that you would consider ugly. However, any wall is ideal for the vertical garden, unless you want to grow trees! The weight of the plants should not be an issue in choice of the wall. Suppose you want to grow particular plants then you may select the wall based on how much light and other requirements of the plants.

  1. Build a frame

You have to build a robust frame with fabric and a sheet of plastic, which you hang on the wall. This makes it easy to take it down when need arises. Avoid using metal (it’s expensive) and wood (is prone to rotting)

  1. Attach A Sheet of Plastic

This plastic sheet backs the fabric layer up and keeps the water off the wall. Expanded PVC sheets are ideal for this task. Should you want to try this on a wooden wall then remember to ventilate behind.

  1. Attach the Fabric

Your plants will live in this fabric and you will also hold the water for your plants in the same. Consider using basic felt carpet padding or anything that can hold the water without rotting. You will need at least two layers of fabric directly joined to the frame with zinc coated screws and rust proof staples, just like a canvas stretched on a frame. Secure the fabric, ensuring that it’s free of wrinkles and buckling.

  1. Set up the Irrigation

You need a reliable irrigation system that can supply water to the fabric layer. You can use Perma-Loc irrigation fittings or any other poly tubing with fittings that lock. These you can get from irrigation suppliers.

To avoid rusting, the frame must be fixed to the wall using rust proof hooks and brackets fastened by screws. This makes it easier to remove the frame from the wall anytime later.

  1. Fix a Fertilizer Dispenser and Connect an Irrigation System to the Water Source.

Inject your wall with fertilizer by attaching a dispenser that sends liquid fertilizer into the system via a simple valve. Hook the irrigation system up and connect the water source. You can acquire a cheap irrigation water filter from a local hardware store for filtering the water.

  1. Choose Your Plants

Sun, humidity, shade, wind, and cold are among the considerations you will make while selecting the plants you’ll leave outside all year. It is better to choose plants for a colder zone than the zone you reside in.

  1. Insert the Plants

Plants should be inserted in the outside layer of the fabric. Using a razor blade, cut horizontally into the material, ensure that the plant’s roots don’t contain any bits of soil, then plug it into the opening. Create a secure envelope by attaching the cloth to the plastic backing using firm staples.

  1. Plant Design

This is the fun part of the entire process. Identify plants that can grow 2 to 3 feet from the wall. Plant them at the top to enable them to create shade underneath. Grow shade tolerant species below them. It gives a great waterfall effect. Growing a plant that’s normally found on the ground, up on the vertical garden would drop the beholders’ jaws.

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