Recently gardeners have been trying a fun variation on garden beds by turning them 90 degrees and creating vertical gardens. Some I’ve seen are quite ambitious, covering the side of a building or wall. Others are quite low-tech, such as those that are made from wooden pallets. Of course some form of vertical gardening has been around for a long time – remember strawberry jars? So in the spirit of this vertical trend, here are some ideas for growing herbs vertically.
When growing upward, you should keep in mind that the soil will be relatively shallow. After all, soil is quite heavy. In fact you probably shouldn’t use soil right out of the ground since many of us suffer from clay soils. This is a time when potting mulch is a must.
With this in mind quite a few herbs would work in shallow vertical gardens because they have shallow roots and can be clipped to maintain a modest size. Here are some that I would recommend.
I’d like to conclude with a quick list of herbs that probably wouldn’t work in vertical gardens. Dill and fennel (even the dwarf varieties) will grow too large and need too deep a root system to work vertically. Ditto on lemon verbena, Jerusalem sage, and most of the artemisias.
I would suggest a good rule of thumb is to avoid any herb that is likely to grow more than two feet tall. These larger herbs will quickly outgrow their space and detract from the compact look of a vertical garden. So this spring, grab a pallet, add soil in landscaping fabric, turn it on its end, and create your own vertical herb garden.