I tested for you: the vertical vegetable garden at Botanic

I tested for you: the vertical vegetable garden at Botanic

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The vertical vegetable garden is a way of growing plants and vegetables above ground, stage by stage. A very practical alternative when you lack space in a small garden or when you want to grow your own vegetables on a balcony in town. Many plants can grow there, the idea being not to bet on crops that take up too much space or that need too much soil depth. Not having the place to install a traditional vegetable garden in my little garden, I therefore embarked on the realization of a vertical vegetable garden, the model in untreated douglas pine from Botanic. Demonstration in pictures.


- The vertical vegetable garden structure in Douglas fir untreated Botanic - 3 bags of 10 liters of clay balls (diameter: 8 / 16mm) - 6 bags of 40 liters of vegetable and aromatic potting soil in trays - 3 strawberry plants, aromatic plants , 1 foot of cherry tomatoes and 1 foot of eggplant - 1 drill, 1 star tip, 1 stapler, 1 cutter Completion time : around 1h30-1h45

Step 1: mounting the vertical vegetable patch

Once equipped, I embark on the assembly of the vertical vegetable garden structure. Using the plan provided (as well as the screws), the latter can be mounted alone and small DIY enthusiasts can get by easily. 20 to 25 minutes will be required for assembly. I just regret that the locations of the screws are not already perforated to make my job a little easier.

Step 2: laying the planting felt

Once the wooden structure is assembled, I move on to installing the planting felt. Nicolas, salesman at Botanic, explained to me that it could simply be unfolded and set up. To make sure it doesn't move, it can also be stapled. So I choose option 2 and staple my canvas 5mm from the edge. I am satisfied with the result because the planting felt now seems well maintained.

Step 3: placing clay balls and potting soil

Little advice before you embark on the third step: set up your structure in its final location. Your garden will be too heavy to move once this step is completed.
Now is the time to fill the planting felt with my vertical vegetable patch. For this, I once again follow Nicolas' advice, starting by depositing in the bottom 3 bags of 10 liters of clay balls which will facilitate drainage. Once the balls are well distributed, I move on to the soil. Six 40-liter bags will be required to completely fill it. Little tip to remember: open the bags of soil directly in the vertical vegetable garden so as not to soil your terrace or balcony.

Step 4: planting of the 1st floor

Plantations on the first floor are the easiest to carry out. This is where you should place your tall plants. So I plant my cherry tomato stems as well as my eggplant stems, leaving enough space between each crop so that the roots do not mix.

Step 5: planting the other 4 floors

For the other 4 floors, Nicolas explained to me that it is better to favor the plants that require the most water at the top and install those that need them the least at the bottom. Following his advice, my cultures are organized in this way: Floor 2 : chives - basil - parsley Floor 3 : oregano - dill - lemon verbena Floor 4 : strawberries Floor 5 : mint - sage - thyme
Using a cutter, I begin to pierce the planting felt gently to slide my aromatic plants. After a first trial in the shape of a cross (to make the plant pass more easily) unsuccessful, I decide that the best technique is a simple horizontal cut. I repeat the operation until everything is planted. This step is the most delicate and requires a little patience. However, the vegetable garden is starting to take shape and I can't wait to see the result.

Step 6: watering the vertical vegetable patch

Once all my aromatic plants, strawberries and vegetables are planted, I move on to watering. If the upper floor is no problem, it is more difficult to water the upright plantings. After several days, I ended up adopting a watering can with a long spout that I slide in each notch to optimize the distribution of the water and no longer flood my terrace. Last advice from Nicolas: add a mulch on top of the vertical garden will absorb the water and maintain the humidity of the soil.
Here is my vertical vegetable garden completely finished after 1h45 of work. I am completely a fan of the result, even if a few small steps were not obvious. I am also a little surprised that no protection is needed for the balcony, because with each watering, the soil tends to escape in small quantities from the different notches. Do not forget that you also need to equip yourself with a star-shaped drill tip to mount the structure. Avoid going back to a DIY store before you get started!

The vertical Botanic vegetable garden one month after its installation

For the more curious, here is the vertical vegetable garden a month after its completion. Nice hours of sun and lots of water (watering once a day compulsory) were necessary to obtain this nice result. The most practical thing is that I just have to pick the aromatics I need to prepare my salads. As for the cherry tomatoes and eggplant, they are starting to point the tip of their nose! Vertical botanical vegetable garden : 118 euros