How to build a vertical garden
by Jesse Khong,
- Wood panels (do not use compression wood panels as they have copper that might be harmful to your plants).
- Vinyl sheet (available in fabric & craft stores; I purchased a few yards from Joann Fabric)
- Polyester felt fabric produced from recycled plastic bottles (available from fabric & craft stores; they come in many colors; about $4.99 per yard; 72″ width).
- A staple gun (make sure to use long staples)
- Wood screws (make sure they are not longer than the thickness of your board)
- A measuring ruler or anything with a straight edge
- A permanent marker
- A pair of scissors
- Mounting hooks for hanging
Select wood panels from hardware stores (I purchased my panels from Lowe’s for $11.99 each )and cut them in half, so each small panel is about $6. Select something that is not too heavy to hang on walls. You can hang multiple panels in a row to create a larger framework, so it is better to start out with smaller panels.
Set the wood panel on the vinyl sheet (make sure to have about 2″ or more at each end). I prefer to cover my wood panels with some waterproof material, so the wood will last longer. Use a permanent marker to draw the outline of the panel on the vinyl sheet before cutting it out.
Wrap and secure each end of the vinyl material over the edge of the wood panel.
Use a permanent marker to draw lines on the panel to mark the location of each plant pocket opening. You can decide however deep your pocket will be. In my case, each pocket is about 7″ in height.
Set the wood panel on the felt fabric & start cutting. Make sure you leave 1/2″ of extra fabric on each side edge, so the wooden edge is not exposed from a straight view. You can even leave more fabric and wrap it around the edge. Cut the fabric as long as possible as you’re going to need this to create the pockets.
Using the drawn line as a guide to staple the fabric onto the panel (this is your folding line; the bottom of the plant pocket).
Keep folding the fabric piece up and down to create the pockets, using the drawn lines as guides. Staple the fabric onto the panel just to hold everything in place. Make sure to create enough room for the pocket openings, so it is easy to slip the plants in and out of the pockets.
I find that the staples alone aren’t strong enough to hold the weight of the plant, so I use wood screws to hold everything together.
Use the leftover felt fabric to wrap each plant and secure it with a rubber band. This will allow you to easily move the plants around.
I decided to make a few panels to decorate the water fountain and used small door hinges to hold them together.
You can create something like this for indoors with a long plastic window planter attached at the bottom to catch excess running water.