II. What is Vertical Gardening?

Imagine if you would, a world where vegetables and fruit all climb, twine and grow upward, creating beautiful and bountiful landscapes that save space, require less effort, produce high yields, and reduce pest and disease problems. Whether your goal is self-reliance or the simple satisfaction of growing your own foods, a bountiful vegetable and fruit harvest can be yours regardless of the amount of space you have.

I’ll show you how to transform whatever available space you have into grow-up or grow-down gardens with just a few inexpensive supplies that you may even be able to get for free, if you know where to look. Vertical gardening is a contemporary, nearly effortless, and highly productive growing system that uses a wide variety of plants in both small and large garden spaces.

There are hundreds of varieties of vegetables and fruits that are perfect for vertical gardening. One of the greatest achievements of vertical gardening is that it almost guarantees better results from day one, by reducing both the amount of space required and the work needed to prepare new beds. Because plants in a vertical garden are separated from regular soil, arduous chores like weeding, watering, fertilizing, and controlling pests and diseases are reduced to a minimum. Yields, however, are increased, especially with vegetables like beans and tomatoes.

A vining beanpole will out produce a bush bean nearly tenfold. Moreover, a vine growing vegetable is capable of continuous yields. A bush variety, by contrast, will exhaust itself as little as two weeks.

• If this is your first attempt at gardening, I would highly recommend that you stop here and review the section titled Green Thumb 101 in order to familiarize yourself with the basics of gardening.