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Terrace Vertical Gardening, Ideas, Tips, Techniques

Introduction to terrace vertical gardening

The lack of vegetation in urbanized areas, as a result of human establishments and modernization, is directly affecting the quality of life, from a natural and aesthetical point of view. The use of a vertical garden design concept in the terrace is an urban gardening style. In contemporary times, homes with compounds, lawns, and yards is a rare sight. In cities and towns, skyscrapers are substituting such homes. As an outcome, the private home gardens are vanishing, and the only places left for gardening are roofs, terraces, and balconies.

A step by step guide to terrace vertical gardening

A vertical garden is a system used to grow plants on a vertically suspended panel by using a different way of pot or containers arrangement or by using hydroponics. These exclusive structures can either be freestanding or attached to a wall.  People are investing in terrace vertical gardens to add a pop of color, nature into the modern-day establishments. Vertical Gardening is a special kind of urban gardening suitable to small spaces, particularly for utilizing spaces for gardening. This is a perfect alternative to gardening by expanding the range of growing plants in a vertical space as a terrace garden. Concentrated urbanization has left hardly any horizontal space for outdoor gardens.

Here in vertical terrace gardening instead of growing vegetables and other foods on a single level, such as in a field or a greenhouse, this technique produces foods in vertically stacked layers usually integrated into other structures such as a skyscraper, shipping container or repurposed warehouse. The most important goal of vertical farming is maximizing crop output in a limited space of your terrace.

Advantages of terrace vertical gardening

Vertical gardening is promising and sounds like the future gardening technique for city dwellers. Having superior output from a small cultivation area is not the only advantage of vertical farming in fact its more than this. Some of the major benefits of vertical terrace gardening are as follows:

  • Preparation for Future: With over expanding population and lifestyle requirements it is expected that 80% of the world population will prefer living in urban areas, and obviously the growing population will lead to an increased demand for food. The efficient use of vertical terrace gardening can play a significant role in preparing for such a challenge and making people self-sufficient.
  • Less Use of Water in Cultivation: Vertical terrace gardening permits us to produce crops with 70-95 percent less water than necessary for normal cultivation.
  • Not Affected by Unfavourable Weather Conditions: Crops in a field can be adversely affected by natural calamities like torrential rains, cyclones, flooding, or severe droughts which are becoming more and more common as a result of global warming. Indoor vertical gardening is less likely to feel the brunt of the unfavorable weather, providing greater conviction of harvest output throughout the year.

Increased Production of Organic Crops: As vertical garden plants are raised in a well-controlled indoor environment without the use of chemical pesticides, vertical gardening permits us to grow pesticide-free and organic food.

  • Human and Environmentally Friendly: Terrace vertical gardening can considerably reduce the risk associated with traditional soil gardening. Provides aesthetic, spiritual as well as nutritional benefits to you.
  • Acts as natural insulation for hot and cold air and a save energy for your building
  • Reduces CO2 levels and increases oxygen and improved air quality
  • Conserves water and watering takes less effort
  • Plants grown vertically are more accessible, and gardening tasks like planting, weeding, feeding, and harvesting are much easier.
  • Diseases and pests get observed earlier on plants growing at eye level, so remedial actions can be taken at the right time

Types of vertical gardens

Depending upon the various factors such as cost, type of plant, growing conditions required, watering needs and drainage, following are the different types of vertical gardening systems:-

  1. Green Wall

A green wall is the most attractive type of vertical garden design. It can either be free-standing or attached to the wall and hence can either be planned indoor or outdoor in a terrace or balcony. It is also known as a ‘living wall’ as the complete wall structure is covered by the vegetation. Usually, creepers are suitable for this kind of vertical gardening system. The living wall system is constructed from pre-vegetated panels, vertical modules, or planted blankets that are set vertically to a structural wall or frame. These panels can be prepared by plastic, expanded polystyrene, synthetic fabric and support a great variety of plant species (such as a lush mixture of decorative ferns, ground covers, perennials, and edible plants such as salad leaves).

You can make the vertical garden wall or green wall yourself with some supporting posts, wire, and terra cotta pots, you can create a vertical garden that will double the yield and act as a privacy screen. Hanging individual pots permit you to easily pot up or retire plants with the seasons.

  1. Arranged Garden Pots

In this type of vertical gardening, we use normal gardening pots of various materials and colors and simply hang them on the walls. Plants of various herbs and flowers with coordinating colors are planted in these pots to generate an attractive view. Herbs, seasonal and annual plants grow well with this type of gardening. It is preferable to use vertical garden pots made up of light material so that it doesn’t get destroyed due to heavy pots as well as plant and soil. It is the most preferred and practiced way of terrace vertical gardening because of creative freedom it allows to the gardener. This vertical garden is very easy to create and permits for lots of planting flexibility. Just paint an old step ladder with your favorite color, and then organize several pots on each level.

  1. Trellis Gardens

This is the most used and quite old practice of using vertical space in households. In this kind of vertical garden frame, we make use of the same type of trellises we get in the market or we can make one of our own frames by wood or wire in the shape of our own choice as per the number of vines or space availability. Plants such as vining tomatoes, pumpkins, bitter gourds, ridge gourd, cucumber, or even grapes, watermelons can be grown in such vertical gardens. You simply plant the crop in a small container just to hold its root and rest trellis will do the work.

  1. Tiered Gardens

When several long bed-like structures are set up in an orderly manner to look something like a staircase, the garden constructed this way is recognized as a tiered garden. Plants are planted in those beds in little planters or baskets like grow pits. This type of gardening makes competent use of space and is the best option for urban-gardeners. You can grow plants that take less space and are continually harvested like herbs.

DIY vertical planters

You can creative vertical gardening ideas, vertical planters by using household items such as:

  • Use PVC pipes to grow plants, this is known as gutter gardening
  • Table garden
  • Hanging containers, Hang a lot of colorful planters on the railings of your terrace garden, this is an easy and suitable way to generate a lot of space

Key considerations for terrace vertical gardening

In case if you miss this: Terrace Hydroponic Gardening.

Considerations for terrace vertical gardening.
Considerations for terrace vertical gardening.
Choosing the right plants

The best plants for vertical gardens must be dense, compact, and low growing. Make sure you select plants that suit the feature of the space on which they’ll be growing. Space receiving full-day sunlight will need a selection of fairly drought-tolerant plants with longer day lengths, whereas for a shady spot it will require a selection of shade lovers, such as ferns. Also remember that the bottom of the vertical plant unit will hold more moisture than the top, so consider this when you’re deciding what to plant where.

Apart from aesthetic preferences and the plant’s ability to grow in a soilless, vertical location; while selecting the plants following factors should be considered for example local climate such as minimum temperature especially important to know.

  • Keep up the maintenance of your plants by trimming and pruning them whenever required
Growing media Requirements

Growing media must have the following features:

It should be Weightless media as weight management is important in vertical gardening

It must have good Water retention and Nutrient holding capacity

A most important feature of growing media is it must be in reactive with neutral pH

You can consider growing media such as Cocopeat, Perlite, Sphagnum moss, and vermiculite. Avoid using soil since it will increase the weight.


It is recommended to use quality topsoil that includes essential elements of vermicompost, peat moss, sand, and organic matter. Water-based fertilizer can also be used on the topmost layer of the plants so that the nutrients are washed down to the plants below simply by water. By this important nutrients will be provided that too without increasing the weight.

Growing technique

You can set up a vertical garden on your terrace without the use of soil by using hydroponics or aeroponics techniques if you wish to experiment with the plants and if cannot arrange a drainage channel for water and soil.

Water management

Water management is important and a challenge in itself since you don’t want any mess in your terrace as well as no seepage too. It becomes quite necessary to keep a tab on their water requirements as natural means of watering (rainfall) is available .you modify your vertical set up in such a way that excess water gets collected in the water collection trays at the base which can be either re-utilized or drained away.

If pockets are made for a vertical garden then water can be supplied at the top row of pockets which will supply water by a drip-irrigation or hand-watered. In the case of a green wall, the drip system on the top layer is sufficient enough to irrigate the lower layers of plants as water seeps down.

Working with containers

Since you won’t be planting directly into the ground your aim is to use the vertical space, it’s significant to consider root size as well as plant size. Some plants can grow up quite large and may become too large for the container. So arrange the planters as per the growing habit of the plants you are planning to grow

Plants suitable for vertical terrace gardening

Not all plants adapt well to vertical gardening. They must have certain important characteristics for proper development and growth for example:

  • Climate conditions
  • Space required by plants to grow
  • Watering frequency
  • Temperature and day length
  • Purpose of gardening whether you wish to grow vegetables, fruit, herbs or just decorative plants (Money Plant, Sword Fern, English Ivy, Geranium, etc)

Based on these factors you can select the plant and start growing vertically. Following plants are commonly grown in vertical gardening systems:

Herbs: You can grow a variety of herbs in a vertical system such as Rosemary, Chives, Basil, Mint, Thymes, and Oregano Etc

Trailing vines: These types of vines can be adapted to growing on trellises that are sturdy enough to support their weight. Some of them have heavy fruit that will require extra support. In a vertical system, it is easier to track their growth and to harvest.   Watermelon

  • Pumpkins
  • Cantaloupes
  • Bitter gourd
  • Tomato

Climbing Vines: Vines that have a climbing habit are nature‘s own effort at vertical gardening. These sun lovers mount towards the light on any accessible support, be it another plant, a trellis, fence, or wall. They will happily succeed in a vertical garden whether you grow them in containers or cover their roots in the ground, with the aerial parts scaling the vertical frame or trellis.

  • Pole beans
  • Peas
  • Cucumbers
  • Bottle gourd
  • Grapes

Root and bulb vegetables

Root and bulb vegetables have solid top growth and medium-light requirement, so they acclimatize very well to vertical gardening as long as you offer a sufficient amount of growing medium for their root growth. You can produce them in individual pots or grow bags, or in long rows using PVC pipes.

  • Onion
  • Carrot
  • Garlic
  • Radish
  • Turnip
  • Beetroot

In case if you miss this: Growing Tomatoes Organically, Cultivation Practices.


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