When you find your current garden no longer has adequate space for your needs, consider building a vertical garden. When you start to go "high rise" in your gardening, you will not only free up much needed space, but can also make your garden more appealing. The following steps with show you how to start your vertical gardening efforts with a simple square trellis system.
Step 1 - Building the Base Box
Any good vertical garden starts with a box. Gather the 4 pieces of 2 ft x 6-inch lumber and form a box. Nail the panels together, adding wood glue along the seams to strengthen it. All of your other work will grow upright from this box.
Step 2 - Adding Key Supports
Your trellis needs to be able to attach to something. Start with the 2 pieces of 8-foot long lumber. Screw one into one of the back corners of the box and the second one in the center.
Next, grab the three 6-foot long pieces of lumber. Screw one of these in the other back corner, one in the center, and the third 18 inches from the back on both sides.
Step 3 - Assembling the Trellis
Drill each 1 ft x 2-inch piece of lumber. Glue and screw each of these pieces every 6 inches, starting at the top of the box and extending them an inch beyond each of the 2-inch x 2 ft. pieces to minimize splitting.
Step 4 - Adding a Platform
Even though you'll be using plants that climb, you can use platforms to add potted plants and even herbs. First, lay your 3-foot square piece of lumber flat on top of the 1x2-inch pieces. Screw and glue it into place.
Step 5 - Readying the Vertical Garden
Now that your box is built and trellis installed, you can prepare your garden. Fill the bottom of the box with good planting soil. Add traditional climbing plants and begin training them to scale your trellis system. Finally, add a potted plant to your platform.
Plan your garden according to the placement of your trellis. Keep in mind that different flowers and vegetables do best in different climates and respond to the sun when facing north, east, south or west.
Step 6 - Options
You are only limited by your imagination and how well you can manage an elaborate vertical gardening system. You can make your box as big as you need, add hooks for planters or build more platforms. If you're going to be adding more platforms and plants in pots, be sure to use all-weather wood to protect against the water.