Pierre Collet


DIY - Vertical vegetable garden

by Pierre Collet - 2017-07-14

Not so long ago, I moved into a nice and cozy apartment with a nice 20 Sq m terrace. A chance for me to make my very own vegetable garden. This terrace is facing North-West, the sun is shining on it most of the day, but the hedge makes a lot of shadow in the evening. After a while trying to move around my plants to make them catch as much sun as possible, I decided to conquer the third dimension. Additionally, the terrace started to become more and more messy as I acquired more and more plants. This project was first about making plants grow but it ended up as a fight against middle school trigonometry and cutting wood cleat straight using only hand tools.

Anyway! As usual, here is the final result.

There are two salad varieties, pickles, zucchinis, 3 tomatoes varieties, black and normal radishes, strawberries and finally around 5 sweet peppers pots. I also planted some herbs like chive, oregano, rosemary and ofcourse a dying basil. But that's what basil is all about anyway.

My biggest fear was that the final result would look bad. So I spent a lot of time trying to picture this thing into my mind, draw sketches, searching for similar things in garden markets, etc.All in all, I have to admit that I am proud of the result. =)

I started by buying this kind of wood cleat. These cleats are specially treated to resist against humidity

Here is the first attempt to cut straight a cleat. The goal of this setup is to guide the hand saw straight down through the wood

Hmm.. well, I expected something better

Lucky me, I bought a year ago some chisels. This is not really appropriate, but it helps make this cut more straight

Smoothing the edges

Second attempt, I start to believe that this setup is worst than nothing

Well this one worked pretty well

Starting to cut the top bar

Cutting under the sun is hard

I added some feet to prevent the wood to be directly on the ground. I hope that they will help the wood to last longer

I build the whole structure using these kind of squares

Building the frame

I am pretty happy so far. everything seems to fit correctly

Ok, that's the kind of thing I expected to happen. From this side, it looks really bad, but it's not from the other side so I decided to keep it like that

Looking good!

The height of the structure looks perfect to me

A close up of the left corner from the other side. It could be better, but it is already nailed anyway.

I fixed the metal grid using U nails.

Cutting the bottom horizontal wood bar. This time I chose to not use the previous setup and it turned out to be way better

I bought this surform to smooth out the tip

That is a straight cut!

Smoohing the edges

Starting to install the metal grid

Cutting it

One of the biggest issue was to make the grid tightly attached to the frame. To do so, a good trick is to point the U nails outward like on this picture

Looking good =)

It's not a chicken coop door

Adding some planters. Looks promising!

Starting to cut the front legs

Perfectly straight cut!

Adding a planter

Planting some salads and messing up the kitchen.

I am attaching the pots using metal wires. This way I can easily rearrange everything and control the angle of the pots.

See how these plants are happy =D ?!

Relaxing plants during sunset

Adding more plants

Here is the result only one month later.

All the plants are growing differently so I rearranged everything

Some cherry tomatoes

Other tomatoes given by a friend. I don't remember what variety it is. Looks promising though

Peppers! Those are REALLLY hots!

Pickles are growing really fast! It seems that mixing them with strawberries is not a good idea after all.

What a beautiful salad

Looks delicious!

I will probably update this blog post with new photos until the harvest. Thank you to have read/watched this blog post to the end. Hope you enjoyed it =)