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How to Do DIY Vertical Gardening in Raised Beds

Discover how to do DIY vertical gardening in raised beds with our design tips. Maximize your garden space. with vertical garden ideas for a small space!

Vertical garden on urban balcony

Gardeners are always on the lookout for innovative ways to get as many veggies as possible from even a small garden patch. One idea that’s working for many people is growing plants vertically in raised beds.

This technique lets you grow far more vegetables than you could normally get from that space. We’re going to talk about vertical gardening in raised beds – what’s great about it, how to do it, and some tips to make it even better. 

Benefits of DIY Vertical Gardening

Increased Vegetable Yield

One of the main advantages of vertical gardening in raised beds is the significant increase in vegetable yield. With plants growing upwards instead of sprawling across the ground, you can fit more plants within a limited area.

Organizing Your Space

Vertical gardening optimizes space by making use of both horizontal and vertical dimensions. This is especially useful for urban gardeners or anyone with limited yard space.

Pest Control

Growing vegetables vertically reduces the risk of pests damaging crops as it is more difficult for them to access leaves and fruits that are elevated from the ground.

When you combine vertical gardening with raised beds, this benefit gets even better.

Improved Air Circulation and Sunlight Exposure

With plants growing vertically, your veggie patch gets better air circulation, which reduced the likelihood of plants getting diseases from excessive moisture buildup.

Plus, vertical gardens maximize sunlight exposure for each plant, which helps them grow better.

Designing Your Vertical Garden

Choosing Suitable Vegetables

When planning your vertical garden in raised beds, you need to choose the best vegetables to grow for your setup. 

Look for crops that naturally tend to grow vertically, like tomatoes, cucumbers, pole beans, and peas. These plants will thrive in a vertical setup and yield abundant harvests.

Building the Raised Bed Structure

Before constructing your raised bed, determine the available space and how high you want to build it. Materials commonly used for raised beds include wood, stone, or metal.

Some people have repurposed plumbing pipes to act like a frame or trellis for plants to vine onto. You can also make a vertical garden for potatoes with old tires.

Whatever you use, make sure the structure is sturdy and securely anchored so it can take the weight of vertically growing plants.

Vertical Gardening Ideas

There are plenty of easy DIY vertical structures you can use in your garden design.


Trellises are one of the most common vertical gardening techniques. By installing trellises at the back or sides of your raised bed, you can train vining plants like tomatoes and cucumbers to grow upwards along these supports.

Image of two narrow trellises

Ladder or Stairstep Frames

You can built or buy a frame that gives you 3 or more shelves on which to put planters. This is simply a version of container gardening that uses more vertical space than just putting planters around.

Stairstep design wooden planter

A-Frame Structures

A-frame structures provide terrific support for vining crops while giving you easy access to both sides of the plants. Constructing an A-frame using bamboo poles or PVC pipes creates a visually appealing focal point in your garden while maximizing vegetable yield.

Stacking Planters or Pots

For smaller spaces or patio gardens, consider using stacked planters or pots to create a vertical section in raised beds. Stackable containers offer flexibility in terms of design and plant selection while efficiently utilizing limited space.

Hanging Baskets

Hanging planters are another great way to make use of vertical space. You can hang potted plants from shepherd hooks stuck in your yard or hooks installed in outside walls of your home.

Vertical Gardening “Living Wall”

You can also put together a “living wall.” This involves standing up a wooden pallet or even building a vertical wooden frame, usually against a wall or fence.

Make sure your pallet or other wood framing is clean and preferably untreated. It’s great to use reclaimed wood if possible, but try to make sure you know what it’s from and that it was never treated.

Instead of acting like a pallet, this wall frame will have compartments or shelves. Generally, you start it with your frame or pallet laying on the ground.

Your steps can vary, but they’ll be something like this:

  1. Attach Landscape Fabric: Cut a piece of landscape fabric that is larger than your pallet. Staple it to one side of the pallet along all four edges, pulling it tight as you go. This creates a pocket that holds in the soil.
  2. Add Soil: Now that one side of your pallet is fully covered in landscape fabric, turn it over so the fabric-covered side is facing down. Then fill your pallet with potting soil through the spaces between slats.
  3. Plant Your Plants: Make small holes in the soil and insert your plants into them. Start from the bottom up when planting to make sure each layer of plants gets settled before adding another.
  4. Let it Rest: After you’ve planted all your plants, let your pallet lay flat for two weeks before standing it vertically. This allows time for the plants to grow roots and helps ensure they won’t fall out when you stand it up.
  5. Stand It Up: Carefully stand up your pallet garden against a wall or fence and secure it if necessary.
  6. Water Regularly: Water according to plant-specific instructions and keep an eye on their health!

Essential Tips for Sucess

Proper Plant Spacing

Be sure to put adequate space between plants. Giving each plant enough room promotes healthy growth and prevents overcrowding.

Regular Watering and Fertilization

Vertical gardens tend to dry out more quickly due to increased sun exposure and air circulation. It’s crucial to water regularly and provide proper fertilization to keep your plants nourished throughout their growth cycle.

Pruning and Training Plants

To encourage upward growth and prevent tangling, regularly prune excess foliage from your plants. Additionally, gently train vines or sprawling branches to follow the desired vertical path.

Supporting Heavy Fruits

Vining plants often produce heavy fruits, such as melons or pumpkins. To support these fruits and prevent them from weighing down the plant, use slings made from fabric to cradle them as they mature.

Regular Maintenance and Monitoring

Vertical gardens require regular maintenance and monitoring. Inspect your plants for pests or diseases, provide necessary support as they grow, and adjust any trellises or structures as needed.

Putting Your Vertical Garden Ideas into Use

Vertical gardening in raised beds is a game-changer for anyone looking to maximize their vegetable yield in limited space. These techniques can help you create a vertical garden that provides a nice big harvest of fresh vegetables all season long. Happy gardening!