Vertical Growing Books

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Vertical Gardening – Derek Fell – Rodale Press (US) 2011 ISBN 978 1 60529 083 6 – The book opens with a discussion of what constitutes vertical gardening and its advantages, moving from there into choosing your site and preparing the soil. This is followed by several chapters discussing the vertical gardening options (arches, pergolas, trellises, hanging planters etc.). Composting, seed starting, pests and diseases, watering pruning and fertilising (all organic) are covered and there is a section on fruit and vegetables suitable for vertical gardening. The book has some line drawings and colour photos as well as a fair amount of black and white photos.

Vertical Vegetables and Fruit – Rhonda M. Hart – Storey Publishing (US) 2011 ISBN 978 1 60342 998 6 – The book is divided into 3 parts, the first part covers why you should garden vertically and the sorts of techniques used such as trellises, teepees, hanging, stacking, making towers etc. The second part goes into the details of growing annual vines vertically like beans, peas, cucumber and squash; and part three covers vertical growing of specific perennial fruit crops like berries, grapes and kiwifruit. There are no photos, but some coloured line drawings which work very well.

Gardening Vertically – Noemie Vialard – W. W. Norton & Co (US) 2010 ISBN 978 0 393 73370 9 – Translated from the French, the subtitle of this book is “24 ideas for Creating Your Own Green Walls”. The book starts out with some history around green walls and then describes how you can take your own wall and set it up and maintain it for vertical gardening.The next section covers getting plants on your green walls, which is then followed by different ideas for how you set out a green wall on a theme eg foliage wall, aromatic green wall, epicurean green wall, a wall of mosses, a wall of ferns etc. Lots of colour photos with some colour sketches of the ideas for the walls.

Grow a Living Wall – Shawna Coronado – Cool Spring Press (US) 2015 ISBN 978 1 59186 624 4 – The books starts with lots of photos of the what and why of living walls, then in Part I moves into commercial systems available, which one you should choose and what tools you will need. There are then short sections on getting started, watering the wall, soil and compost, and choosing and obtaining plants. Part II consists of a whole stack of living wall ideas and how to build them including a pallet wall, and insulating wall, an aphrodisiac wall garden (!), a culinary garden, aromatherapy garden, pollinator garden etc. Lots of colour photos and step-by-step instructions.


Growing Up The Wall – Sue Fisher – Greenbooks (UK) 2013 ISBN 978 0 85784 109 4 – This small book also covers green roofs as well. It is divided into 2 sections, the first is “Planning Your Space” and covers assessing your site and planning green walls and roofs,  choosing the right growing medium and considerations for watering the plants. It also covers the use of containers and criteria for choosing plants. Section two is a directory of edible plants suitable for green walls and roofs divided up into vegetabls, fruit, herbs and edible flowers. There are some colour photos and few line drawings.

The Vertical Farm – Dr Dickson Despommier – Thomas Dunne Books (US) 2010 ISBN 978 0 312 61139 2 – This is an interesting book, not a “how to” so much as “what is possible”. It written entirely theoretically, since no one has actually implemented anything yet. The idea is that by taking over certain buildings within the city, installing solar powered grow lights and hydroponics the city could feed itself. I am not a fan of the hydroponic approach because it still requires the production of chemical fertilisers from limited resources, but this approach could improve city resilience and reduce food miles. I think greater analysis is required on the carbon footprint of the whole system. There are 4 colour photo sections scattered throughout the book.

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