10 Vertical Garden Systems for Small Spaces

May 15, 2023Vertical Garden Systems, Small Space Gardens

Discover Vertical Garden Systems for Small Spaces

Ever found yourself admiring lush, green gardens in magazines or on the web, wishing you could recreate that in your own urban dwelling? Well, here’s some good news – you absolutely can! Small spaces shouldn’t limit your green dreams. With an array of vertical garden systems for small spaces available, your dream garden is well within your reach.

Vertical gardens offer an ingenious solution for all of us city dwellers, enabling us to usher in a piece of nature into our homes, balconies, or patios. But the appeal of these gardens goes beyond their aesthetic charm. They serve as natural air purifiers, provide a supply of fresh produce, and foster a sense of peace and tranquillity.

In this guide, we’ll navigate through various options, zeroing in on 10 vertical garden systems perfectly suited for small spaces. By the end of this article, you’ll have a much better understanding of what you desire from a vertical garden system for your compact space and which options are the most feasible for you.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing Vertical Garden Systems for Small Spaces

Before we jump into the list of the top vertical garden systems, there are a few things you need to think about:

  • Space availability: 

First, take a look at how much space you’ve got. Is it a small balcony, a wall in the kitchen, or a tiny patio? Knowing your space will help you pick a vertical garden system that fits just right.

  • Budget: 

Dreams are free, but vertical gardens aren’t. Make sure to think about the initial costs and the ongoing costs of taking care of your garden. Just like anything else you buy, your vertical garden needs to fit your budget.

  • Maintenance Requirements: 

Gardens need care and attention, and that takes time. Think about how much time and effort you can realistically put into your garden. If you’re always on the go, there are easy-care systems that still look great.

  • Plant Type and Compatibility: 

Lastly, think about what types of plants you like. Maybe you love flowers, herbs, or succulents. Your favourite plants need to be able to grow well in the vertical garden system you pick. Not all plants will work in all systems, so you’ll want to check this out.

  • Light Requirements: 

Different plants need different amounts of light to thrive. Consider the amount of sunlight your space receives throughout the day. Some vertical garden systems come with built-in lights which might be perfect if your space doesn’t get a lot of natural light.

  • Climate and Weather Conditions: 

If your vertical garden will be outdoors, it’s crucial to consider the local climate and weather conditions. Some systems are more weather-resistant than others, and this can be a deciding factor if you live in an area with harsh weather.

  • Ease of Installation: 

Some vertical garden systems can be quite complex to set up. If you’re not particularly handy, you might want to opt for a system that’s easy to install.

  • Growing Preference: 

Think about how you prefer to grow your plants – in traditional soil or hydroponically. Hydroponic systems can be a great space-saving solution for small spaces and often require less maintenance than soil-based gardens on a day-to-day basis. However, they require more work to monitor and adjust the balance of nutrients and pH to keep plants healthy.  Some gardeners prefer the feel of soil and the more traditional method of gardening. Consider which you prefer, as this will affect your choice of vertical garden system.

  • Sustainability: 

As a lover of plants, you likely care about the environment too. Consider the materials and resources used in the garden system. Some options, like pallet gardens, repurpose materials for a more sustainable solution.

  • Aesthetic Appeal: 

Last but certainly not least, consider the look you’re after. Vertical gardens are a fantastic blend of nature and design. Think about what style will best complement your living space.

Vertical Garden Systems for Small Gardens Work Well for Balconies

10 Vertical Garden Systems for Small Spaces

1. Pocket Garden Wall Planters

  • Description: Pocket Garden Wall Planters are lightweight, easy-to-install systems that are perfect for turning a blank wall into a lush garden. Made from breathable felt material, these wall planters ensure your plants get enough air circulation.
  • Space Requirements: These systems are extremely versatile and can be adapted to fit most walls or fences, no matter how big or small. Select a unit based on the space you have and the number of pockets that can be accommodated.
  • Cost: Pocket Gardens are a wallet-friendly option, with most sets available in the $20 – $60 range.
  • Maintenance: Watering can be a bit tricky as water can drip from pocket to pocket. It’s best to plant species with similar watering needs together.
  • Plant Compatibility: What you can grow, will depend on the depth of the pocket. Smaller pockets are ideal for small ornamentals, succulents, and herbs. Some vegetables, fruits and larger ornamentals can be grown in larger pocket garden wall planters.

2. Freestanding Vertical Planters

  • Description: These self-contained units, often on wheels, are perfect for balconies or patios where you can’t or don’t want to attach anything to the walls.
  • Space Requirements: Most units are compact, designed to fit in a corner or against a wall.
  • Cost: Depending on the material and size, these planters typically range between $50 to $250.
  • Maintenance: Easy to maintain, though you’ll need to remember to water regularly as the vertical design can cause them to dry out faster.
  • Plant Compatibility: Works well with a wide variety of plants, including flowers, herbs, and small vegetables.

3. Hanging Baskets

  • Description: Hanging baskets are a traditional way to create a vertical garden. They’re perfect for trailing plants and can be hung at different levels for a more varied effect.
  • Space Requirements: All you need are sturdy places to hang the baskets – this could be a balcony roof, a wall bracket, or even a tree branch!
  • Cost: Baskets are generally inexpensive, typically costing between $10 – $40 each, depending on size and material.
  • Maintenance: Regular watering is crucial as baskets can dry out quickly, especially in hot weather.
  • Plant Compatibility: Best for trailing plants and flowers, but can also be used for herbs when planted at a height to make picking them accessible.

4. Stackable Planters

  • Description: These are pots stacked on top of each other, forming a tower of plants. They’re a great space-saver and often come with a central watering system. There’s a range of different sizes available and some models let you buy extra layers to increase the height of your planter. Some also come with the option of wheels allowing you to move them based on weather/ sunlight.
  • Space Requirements: They take up very little floor space, just ensure you have enough vertical space.
  • Cost: Stackable planters are reasonably priced, ranging from $30 to $100 depending on size and material.
  • Maintenance: Easy to maintain, especially those with built-in watering systems.
  • Plant Compatibility: Great for growing a variety of herbs, flowers, and small vegetables. Select a size that best suits what you plan to grow.

5. Vertical Wall Panel

  • Description: A vertical wall panel is a flat structure that can be attached directly to a wall or fence or on a frame secured to it. The panel typically features multiple pockets or containers where plants can be grown, creating a lush and vibrant green wall.
  • Space Requirements: These are ideal for narrow or tight spaces, as they make use of vertical space without taking up much room horizontally. The size can be adapted based on the size of the wall or fence they’re installed on.
  • Cost: The cost of vertical wall panels can vary significantly based on size, material, and design. Generally, you can expect prices to start from around $50 for smaller, basic units.
  • Maintenance: Maintenance involves regular watering and feeding of plants. Panels may also need to be taken down occasionally for thorough cleaning or for replacing the plants.
  • Plant Compatibility: Vertical wall panels are suitable for a wide variety of small to medium-sized plants, including herbs, flowers, and certain vegetables. The choice of plants can depend on the depth of the pockets or pots in the panel.

6. Trellises and Climbing Frames

  • Description: Perfect for climbing plants, these structures can be used to create a green wall or divide spaces in your garden.
  • Space Requirements: The space required varies widely depending on the size of the trellis or frame.
  • Cost: Prices range from $20 for a basic trellis to $200 for larger, more elaborate frames.
  • Maintenance: Maintenance is generally low, but you’ll need to train and prune your plants to grow correctly.
  • Plant Compatibility: Best for climbing plants such as ivy, roses, and climbing vegetables like beans and peas.

7. Garden Tower Systems

  • Description: These innovative systems feature multiple tiers or levels of planting spaces in a small footprint. They often incorporate composting and watering mechanisms, maximising efficiency. Some models are suitable for hydroponic gardening.
  • Space Requirements: These systems take up little floor space and work well in small outdoor areas like balconies, patios, or courtyards.
  • Cost: Price can vary depending on the complexity and materials used. Typically they start at $200 for basic models with advanced systems costing several hundred dollars more.
  • Maintenance: Many systems include built-in irrigation and composting features, which can help simplify maintenance tasks.
  • Plant Compatibility: These systems can support a wide variety of plants, from flowers and herbs to small vegetables. The specific plants that can be grown may depend on the size and depth of the planting spaces, as well as the specific tower design.
Garden Tower Systems

8. Vertical Pallet Gardens

  • Description: An eco-friendly option, pallet gardens involve repurposing wooden pallets into a vertical garden. The pallet is stood upright, and the slats or openings in the pallet are used as individual planters.
  • Space Requirements: Pallet gardens are relatively compact, making them ideal for narrow spaces like balconies or small patios. Ensure it is securely fastened if placed upright.
  • Cost: If you can find a free pallet, this can be a very cheap option. Otherwise, costs are usually minimal, mostly for soil and plants.
  • Maintenance: The wooden structure may also need to be treated periodically to prevent rot.
  • Plant Compatibility: can accommodate a wide variety of plants, from herbs and flowers to smaller vegetables. The choice of plants can depend on the depth of the spaces between the slats.

9. Hydroponic Vertical Systems

  • Description: These systems use nutrient-rich water instead of soil to grow plants. This method can result in faster growth and higher yields.
  • Space Requirements: The space required depends on the scale of the system. Some are compact enough for a kitchen counter, while others may need a whole wall.
  • Cost: Hydroponic systems can be more expensive due to the technology involved, often starting from around $300 and going up several hundred dollars. Also consider the ongoing cost of nutrients necessary for water.
  • Maintenance: These systems require more maintenance than others, including monitoring water levels and nutrient concentrations.
  • Plant Compatibility: Most plants can grow hydroponically, but leafy greens and herbs often do particularly well. Deep-rooted plants are generally not suited to growing hydroponically although food such as carrots do grow well in some hydroponic systems.
Vertical Hydroponic Garden

10. Mobile Vertical Garden

  • Description: These are portable, often wheeled, vertical garden system. It allows you to move your garden to different locations based on sunlight needs or to protect it from harsh weather conditions. There are several different designs available including stackable models with a wheel option, or a mobile frame with pots.
  • Space Requirements: The size and footprint vary, based on the design but they can usually fit into a small corner or unused space and are well suited to balconies or patios.
  • Cost: The price of mobile vertical gardens can vary widely depending on the size and complexity of the system. Generally, they are quite affordable, with prices starting from around $50 for simpler models.
  • Maintenance: Maintenance is generally minimal, involving regular watering and feeding of plants. Being mobile, they can be moved easily for cleaning or rearranging.
  • Plant Compatibility: Mobile vertical gardens are versatile and can support a wide range of plants, including herbs, flowers, and some smaller vegetables and fruits.

Each of these vertical garden systems has its own pros and cons, and they cater to different needs and preferences. So consider the factors we discussed earlier, and choose the one that suits you best.

Final Thoughts on Vertical Garden Systems for Small Spaces

Even the smallest spaces can bloom with life! Vertical gardening offers a brilliant solution for making the most out of limited areas, inviting nature’s beauty and benefits right into your living space.

The variety of vertical garden systems we’ve outlined offers something for everyone. Start by identifying what you need and what you hope to achieve. Use the factors we’ve pointed out as your guide, then review the options we’ve presented. To make your decision even easier, we will also be sharing more content, including specific model reviews.

When weighing up your options, also consider the ongoing cost including water, fertiliser, potting mix and nutrients for hydroponic gardens.

Whether your goal is to grow your own fresh produce, establish a privacy screen, or simply bask in the sight of verdant greenery, there’s a vertical garden system tailored to your needs. So why wait? Embrace the wonders of vertical gardening today, and turn your compact space into your personal green oasis.


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