How to get your vertical garden started

An old pallet becomes a creative planter at Greensgrow.

Outdoor space is hard to come by in a city, but you don’t need a sprawling lawn to spruce up your home with plants and flowers. Instead of gardening out, garden up.

With vertical gardening, you plant on a wooden pallet or metal panel, then attach it to a wall or prop it up against a deck or balcony railing. “If you can wake up in the morning and look out at what was previously a brick wall and is now full of green living plants, it changes your whole outlook on the day,” says Curt Alexander, owner of Urban Jungle, a vertical landscaping company and garden center in South Philly.

The trick, he says, is to arrange the plants so they all get enough light, which means making sure bigger ones don’t throw a shadow on the little guys.

Most types of plants, flowers, veggies and herbs will work, says David Prendergast of Greensgrow, an urban farm in Kensington. The farm, open seven days a week, has examples on display for aspiring vertical gardeners, plus a nursery, a vegetable stand and a pig named Milkshake.

Keep the bugs at bay

Incorporate mountain mint and marigolds into your pallet. Mountain mint wards off mosquitoes, and the scent of marigolds deters other bugs. 

Step by step:?How to make your own pallet vertical garden

1. Get a pallet. “You can Dumpster dive, find one on the street, go to any retail or industrial space,” says Prendergast. “They’re readily available.” Chemically treated pallets, which are painted a color, shouldn’t be used for vegetables.
   
2. Attach landscape fabric to the back of the pallet by stapling it all along the edges, putting the staples an inch or two apart.
   
3. Snake a soaker hose (made of permeable rubber, so water will seep through and get distributed evenly) along the back of the pallet.
   
4. Lay the pallet down and fill the spaces with soil, two-thirds of the way full.
   
5. Plant your plants. About 32 plants should fill the pallet.
   
6. Leave the pallet flat for two weeks to give the plants time to “get established,” Prendergast says. Make sure it’s near where you want it to wind up, because it will be heavy.
   
7. Stand the pallet up and attach it to a wall or balcony railing.
   
8. Enjoy your new green wall.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Dr. Dre is king of hip hop with…

With $620 million in estimated pre-tax earnings, veteran rapper and record producer Dr. Dre topped Forbes list as the highest paid hip hop artist, ousting Sean "Diddy" Combs from the…

News

Bin Laden son-in-law sentenced to life in U.S.…

A seemingly unrepentant Suleiman Abu Ghaith, a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday in New York following his conviction on terrorism charges.

National

Bloomberg: Going green will grant you longer life…

Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg tells Metro that cities are where fighting global warming can make a difference, and increase people’s lifespan.

International

Ban Ki Moon: "Climate change is an issue…

My message to you is: make your voice heard and your actions count. Change is in the air. Solutions exist. The race is on. It’s time to lead.

Television

Craig Ferguson wants you to see his new…

Craig Ferguson thinks his new game show will become "a comedy show in which a game is played and money is won."

Television

Anthony Anderson on dealing with your 'ish'

Anthony Anderson discusses finding the humor in his "Black-ish" family.

Gossip

Photos: See who Robert Pattinson was caught holding…

Robert Pattinson has a new girlfriend.

The Word

The Word: Kris and Bruce Jenner's predictably public…

They said it wouldn't last — mostly because of that separation almost a year ago. And now, more than a year later, Kris and Bruce…

MLB

Bud Selig honors Derek Jeter as both prepare…

Bud Selig’s 22-year reign as commissioner will end Sunday, and while it’s had its share of negative moments, it also had Derek Jeter.

NFL

Column: Geno Smith not the answer for Jets…

There were highs for Jets quarterback Geno Smith in Monday night’s loss to the Bears and there were incredible lows.

NFL

3 things that went right in Jets loss…

It wasn't the result the Jets wanted, a 27-19 loss to the Bears, but this team deserves some credit.

Sports

Here's the 8 best and worst sporting goodbyes

With Derek Jeter set to retire following the 2014 Major League Baseball season, we look back at some of the great and not-so-great sporting goodbyes.

Home

NYC fall real estate hot list

The upcoming developments and areas everyone's buzzing about.

Style

Milan Fashion Week shows the best of Italian…

Metro rounds up the cut of the collections at Milan Fashion Week.

Tech

The 2014 Maker Faire saw robots, printers and…

Got a broken button maker? There’s a fix for that – and Tony Stanzione of the Fixers’ Collective says he can show you how.

Parenting

First look: Uniqlo's fall/winter 2014 kids collection

Get a sneak peek at Uniqlo's kids and babies fall/winter 2014 line.