We are not restricted to planting on the ground anymore. These days, people allow plants grow and thrive on a wall. We call it by different names — green walls, living walls, and vertical gardens.
Green walls are your way to maintain a garden when planting in natural ground is not an option. It makes ugly walls and facades prettier. It helps people grow your own food. More than that, it helps combat air pollution.
Yes, green walls are fabulous, but these are not always that easy to build and maintain. In this blog, we’re going to discuss the usual challenges that homeowners face when creating them. We will also provide the best possible solutions for each one.
Problem: “If I plant seeds or very young plants, it will take months before I can see my lush green walls.”
While this method is ideal as it keeps the roots firmly on the soil, it does not create instant greenery. You’re still uncertain if the plants will grow or not. It’s a hit or miss!
If you want something instant, consider modular systems. Go this route and you won’t have to wait for the plants to grow before you can enjoy a stunning vertical garden. Most units have built-in irrigation systems too. You can buy the units off the shelf and DIY this home project.
Of course, you need to know which plants are best to use. The local climate and light exposure will help you identify which plants will work for you. If you’re not sure of the plants to get, consult a green wall expert or a horticulturist first. Show them a photo of your target site and get their recommended species. If you’re not smart about the plants you choose, you’ll end up with a dying wall instead.
Problem: “I want to disguise a boring fence.”
Station your vertical garden along the fence or your wall if you want to dress it up. Yours can be freestanding or attached to the existing wall. Take good care of it — make it self-watering so it remains lush all year around. The kaleidoscope of colours will give your outdoor space more depth and interest. It will lift your spirits every time you see it.
Consider replacing your fences if it’s old, mouldy and if it makes you feel claustrophobic. Lattice is a more affordable substitute. It will provide the privacy and enclosure you need in your garden without closing it off too much. If you take this route, choose to grow vines and climbers that bloom beautiful flowers. Using laser-cut screens work magically too!
Problem: “It’s hard to keep the plants thriving.”
Regardless if you have a green thumb or not, it is a challenge to keep the plants alive and well. Seasons change. The plant’s needs also change as it grows. Soon, it’s going to outgrow the pots, break the containers, and die because of the lack the nutrients.
The first thing to do is to choose your plants. Select the species that withstand the climate and seasons, despite how extreme it is. Next, give them the ideal environment so they’ll survive. Give it the right kind of fertilizer, soil, planter boxes, and irrigation.
Problem: “I can’t afford off-the-shelf vertical garden systems.”
The best solution is to find and work with easy-to-use materials like the pots below. Recycling PET bottles and turning it into plant boxers works too. You can check out these DIY vertical garden ideas here. For the irrigation, you can organize a simple drip irrigation network from an old bucket. These are doable by anyone.
Problem: “My vertical garden took over my outdoor space.”
Plants that grow out of control is another huge problem to deal with. Apart from regular trimming and shaping, you can make it a focal point. Take this vertical garden for example. Lush greens cover most of this house's facade and tamed its walls.
Green walls are applicable in structures like a small house or a huge commercial building. People are bringing their walls to life. It only shows that the green urban revolution is happening — and everyone can be a part of it.
If you’re having trouble on where to start, you can read more articles on vertical gardening. You can also get help from designers who know how to integrate green walls on your property too.