In this tutorial i will explain how to build a vertical garden wall. My wall is 2m by 2m and this can provide two people with fresh herbs all year long.
Most of what you will need can be found in a hardware store:
- 4 wedge bolts M6
- 10 M6 bolts an 40 M6 nuts
- 2 Two aluminium beams with a U-shaped cross-section (50mm x 80mm x 50mm x5mm) with a length of 2.3m
- 6 aluminium flat plates (45mm x 3mm) also with a length of 2.3m
- Two steel nets with meshes of 10cm by 10 cm and 2m by 2 m in total.
- A planter with inner width at least 100 mm ( I used 300mm) and inner length at least 2000 mm)
- 8 m2 mineral wool (which is normally used for insulation purposes)
- A piece of non-woven geotextile at least 2m by 2m
- A piece of plastic at least 2m by 2m
- Some fishing wire
- Some tiewraps (best use black ones to blend in)
- Some potting soil
- Equipement for the watering system. You are free to chose your own system. The amount of tubes etc. depends on the configuration of plants you want. I used following products of Gardena:
- Watering computer Easycontrol (https://www.gardena-flymo-dealer.nl/gardena-besproeiingscomputer-easycontrol.html)
- Microdrip system T-pieces and end dripper with pressure compensation (https://www.gardena-flymo-dealer.nl/waterproducten/micro-drip-system)
Choose a wall to work up against. This type of garden is designed to be constructed in front of an existing wall for stability. With slight adjustments it is possible to redesign it to be freestanding. This will not be handled in this tutorial but I could provide some plans on demand.
Determine the places where you will anchor your wall. Keep in mind that the planter will also be filled with soil at the end. The net will have to be hanging about 30 cm above the ground. Mark the red points on you wall. See too it that they touch the outer bar of your net.
Mark these dots (red) on the back flange of each u-profile if you place them against the wall with the open sides faced to each other.
Mark the anchoring holes (red) on two of the flat plates as well.Make slotted holes with a 8mm drill in the U-profiles and the two flat plates with the anchoring points (red) at their center. The slotted holes should be about 5 cm long to make it easy to fit and to prevent the green wall from hanging.
Make the internal fastening holes (green) in all flat plates and the U-profiles. These are spaced equally over the length of the beams. The outer holes are located close to the anchoring points (red). Two things have to be kept in mind when doing this:
- Make the holes consistent: the flat plates will be fastened to the U-profiles by means of these holes so they will have to match
- Keep your net close so you can check that these holes do not clash with the bars of the net.
In the end your flat plates should look like the pictures above.
Place your planter underneath the anchoring holes on the ground.
Drill the wedge bolts in your wall and fasten the U-profiles and the flat plates with the slotted holes to the wegde bolts. Next picture shows the way to do this. The nuts on the wedge bolts (red) tighten the flat plate to the U-profile. By doing this you can clamp the first net in between the two U-profiles. If you want to protect your wall it is best to clamp a plastic sheet (blue) in between the net and the U-profile as well. This is also shown in the pictures.
Lay the geotextile (yellow) with one of it’s edges against the bottom ridge (purple) of the net and sew them together using the fishing wire.
Fold the geotextile (yellow) upwards and fasten the front net using the internal fastening holes and the bolts (green). The geotextile (yellow) should become sort of a bag.
Fill the geotextile (yellow) bag with the mineral wool (hatched). This wool is used to keep the soil in the bags moist. In time it is possible some of the plants will root into the wool, this is no problem.
With a grinding wheel open up some larger holes in the front net. This should be done too your own liking keeping in mind that the smallest usable hole is two meshes high and three meshes wide. The following picture shows the holes I choose. Be careful not to damage the geotextile. If wanted you can do this before mounting the net.
Cut open the geotextile (yellow) at the top of the holes made in step 11 and let the textile fall open to form a bag for your plants. Fill the bottom of these bags with a horizontal layer of mineral wool and top it of with potting soil.
The last step is the creation of the watering system. I will show what I used but a lot of different systems are on the market so feel free to use another one. As shown before I used the microdrip system of gardena because:
- I could use the ridge between the front of the U-profile and the front net to hide the tubes (see the pictures for their locations)
- It works on the pressure of the tap alone
The tubes start at the top of the wall running down on both sides with a horizontal tube in between the two columns at the top of all holes in the front net. Every hole is equipped with one or more end drippers (red) to drip the water in the bag. The yellow dots represent the locations of T-pieces. When one of the ends of the T-pieces is free I closed it using a hot glue. The tubes are fastened to the net with tie-wraps.
It is important to start from the top of the wall to make up for pressure losses and make it possible to give all points water consistently. Start with all the end drippers fully open. Then tighten the ones that receive too much water so the rest gets enough of it.
The drippers should hang just above the plant bases so you water their roots directly (see picture).
A computer is added so i never forget to water the plants.
Last but not least: watering schemes depend on your climate and chosen plants. If the planter at the bottom gets too wet it is advised to drill some holes in it and give it some drainage. Using the wall properly and knowing what plants can be grown in it will require some experiments.
This is an entry in the