Vertical garden: mini-beds with maxi yields


What a great idea to organize a vegetable garden in a very small space!

You look at the photo on the internet and you are touched by these compact designs. And such greens in them are beautiful, juicy, that would be plucked into a salad. But there is one big “BUT…”

Vertical beds for summer cottages are of little use, alas, but they are. I do not recommend growing greens and other «vitamins» in small containers for two reasons:
  • in open space conditions, the soil dries quickly under the influence of sunlight and wind,
  • a limited amount of soil cannot provide the required amount of trace elements, which is usually compensated by a large amount of chemical additives.

However, the very idea of ​​verticality is really ingenious and has long been successfully used in the cultivation of garden crops.


There is a method of the same name for growing garden crops in open ground or in large containers (in high beds). This method allows you to get a very large yield on a very small area.
It was borrowed from greenhouses, however, it has long been successfully used by those who appreciate every fertile piece of land.
I first met such a mini-garden about 30 years ago, when I moved from Siberia to live in the Odessa region. They rented a house in a private house. The soil on the site was terrible: solid salt marsh. The owner of the house, a Bulgarian by nationality, very industrious and diligent, ennobled the land allotment no larger than a carpet, fenced it with boards and built raised beds. Cucumbers and tomatoes and eggplants and peppers grew there (Bulgarians are nowhere without it 🙂 …

What was my surprise in the month of August, when they began to harvest from this patch in buckets. For the sake of this, my grandmother processed more than one hundred square meters, and here, one might say, from scratch, and so much!
The secret turned out to be very simple: indeterminate (greenhouse, tall, standard, curly) plants were planted on mini-beds. garden crop varieties.

This method of obtaining a high yield from a small area is impossible without arranging vertical supports for plants, and if you are serious about creating such a mini-farm, make these supports metal: reliably and for a long time.

In the spring, you can put a geotextile cover on such a frame and get a greenhouse for early radishes, lettuces and seedlings, and in the fall you can cover the crop of late-ripening varieties from the cold.

In fact, quite a lot (indeterminate varieties, climbing and melon crops):

  • tomatoes,
  • cucumbers,
  • Bell pepper,
  • eggplant,
  • beans,
  • peas,
  • asparagus,
  • cowpea,
  • pumpkin,
  • melon,
  • watermelons.

NUANCE: when growing gourds, those fruits that promise to be large and heavy are placed in nets that are attached to the frame (so that they do not break off prematurely due to the large weight).

IT’S IMPORTANT TO KNOW: all tall crops require care in the form of pinching (the formation of one stem). And when the stem reaches the extreme height of the support, pinch the top.
As for gourds, here they do this: when the first ovaries are formed, only two or three are left on the stem, the rest is removed. So you are guaranteed to get sweet, rich in taste and large fruits.


All of the above applies only to a certain type of culture. But what about cabbage, strawberries, lettuce and other undersized crops? For them, it is also possible to build beds of a special design, under certain conditions suitable for summer cottages.

These are stepped beds — a kind of tall ones that will help save up to 50% of the area. I recommend doing it together with a frame for geotextiles and drip irrigation. The first will moisten the soil in your absence, the second will protect the plants from the baking sun and accelerated evaporation of moisture.

The design is extremely simple: first, a high bed with sides no more than 15 cm and a width of about 120 cm.

They put another one on it with an indentation of 20 cm from the edges of the bottom, it will be possible to put another one no longer than 25-30 cm above.

I do not recommend doing more «floors».

The direction of the location of such a bed is strictly along the north-south line for maximum illumination during the day.

What else to read on the site:

The end of winter and the beginning of spring are the most difficult months, when conservation is already pretty fed up, and you don’t want to buy young greenery grown in some unknown way. Because pannie harvest «vitamins» on their own beds — the dream of any summer resident. Just the climate not at all

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