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
International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Local

Local politicians pressure DOJ to investigate Ramarley Graham…

On what would have been his 21st birthday, Ramarley Graham's mother joined elected leaders to ask the U.S. Department of Justice investigate his death.

Local

Muslim leaders welcome NYPD surveillance changes with degree…

Leaders and advocates praise the NYPD's move to shut down a unit tied to its Muslim surveillance program but say there's more left to do.

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Going Out

Tasty chicken and waffles in NYC

Try some soul food goodness around the city.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

NHL

Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.

MLB

Masahiro Tanaka dominates Cubs over eight shutout innings

Masahiro Tanaka certainly had no-hit caliber stuff Wednesday as he allowed just two bunt singles.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.