I love the Gronomics Vertical Garden, but it can get quite pricey.
If you don’t know what the Gronomics Vertical Garden is, it’s basically a turn-key planter that stands vertically. Not only does it include placement for plants, but there is irrigation and drainage already installed in the kit. It’s easy – and ideal for gardeners who don’t want their gardening project to turn into a chore.
It’s also larger than other containers, so you can grow lots of plants, including herbs, strawberries and vegetables. No need to buy a bunch of pots that take up space. This planter is compact with an efficient watering system – so you don’t have to use as much water either.
But I digress.
My point is that the Gronomics is sold in some stores for over $300. Sheesh. That’s not cheap.
Yes, you have to give up the pre-installed watering and drainage system, but for some people, saving $200 is definitely worth it. You might decide to plant drought tolerant plants, install your own drip line or simply water it when needed.
A nice bonus is that the frame is not build with wood, but rather a water repellant material called ecoFLEX. It requires less maintenance and will last longer.
What exactly is ecoFLEX? it is a completely biodegradable and compostable plastic. If you want to use environmentally-friendly products, this is a great alternative to other materials – especially because it’s not expensive and it offers that low-maintenance water repellent feature.
How About a Living Wall?
If you are looking to create a larger living wall, position 3 or 4 of these planters together – and you can have your planting structure prepped and ready for planting in under 1 hour.
Extend a drip line across the top of each planter, and you can have a quick-and-easy irrigation system that is hassle-free and efficient. Water can drip from the upper level down to each level below it.
Another cool trend in vertical gardens is the flower tower. Some people call them “garden sticks” too. If you build one from scratch, you can use a PVC pipe, drill holes around the outside, fill the structure with dirt and insert starter plants through the outer holes.
The flower tower planter is popular for growing bushy perennials like impatiens that expand to cover the PVC pipe so that you can’t see it. Some people also use it for growing strawberries in a space-challenged yard.
You can actually buy shorter flower towers that are hanging planters. These are great for growing herb gardens, since you can conveniently place them by a kitchen window or even grow them indoors. You can also grow strawberries in these as well, keeping them away from berry eaters.
This project is fairly simple, and you can purchase the materials you need from your local home improvement store. The basic idea is that you get a PVC pipe with diameter between 4″ and 6″, cut it to length you want and drill holes around it (about 1 1/4″ – 1 1/2″ diameter) where the plants will grow.
Things to Remember When Building a Flower Tower
1. Stagger the holes that you drill into your pipe so that the roots have enough space to grow. 3″ is a good distance between holes. Of course, this depends on what you are growing and size of your container too.
2. Your tower will either need to have an end cap, be placed in a sturdy flower pot as a base or stuck in the ground. If you decide to use an end cap, you don’t want a bunch of water sitting at the base, so continue to drill holes for your flowers as low as possible on the pipe.
3. Install a drip hose (or smaller pipe with holes in it) down the center of the tower for even watering. I found this out the hard way when I didn’t insert a hose. When you water the planter from the top, water tends to drip out of the upper holes that you have drilled, and less water reaches the lower plants. This is especially true when the plants are new.
4. When you fill your container with soil, don’t fill it completely before inserting your starters. Add it in small sections, planting as you go. You will then be able to pack dirt down to help secure the plants.
Using Wire Fencing to Make Your Own Flower Tower:
Another option is to use wire fencing, line it with landscape fabric and position it in a sturdy flower pot. With the wire fencing, you have the ability to adjust the size of your vertical garden to the width and height you like. The base will need to fit in your flower pot, of course, so this type of flower tower is typically wider and shorter than one build from a PVC pipe. Home Depot has a video explaining how to do it below:
Easy Flower Tower Kits
What I realized when researching this project was that the building materials were not as cheap as I thought. I didn’t have the right size drill bit either. That’s when I started looking into vertical planter kits.
What’s nice about these is that they already have the proper size holes drilled and a center watering hose installed. Furthermore, you can buy them in small sections and stack them on top of each other to create a tall vertical garden. This makes inserting flowers much easier, not to mention setting up the entire structure.
This Polanter vertical flower tower is actually pretty versatile too. You can use it indoors or out and you can hang it, or create a tall garden from the ground up.
Each section is about 21 inches tall and can hold 12 plants. There is a detachable end cap at the base of the container, so you don’t have to buy one.
Here is a really helpful video that explains how to assemble and hang a Polanter vertical garden. He talks about larger kits you can buy, but the cheapest way I’ve found is to get several single sections through Amazon.com.