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So you have decided that you want to get into vertical gardening, but you are concerned about how much it might cost. It is a valid concern. After all, thinking about everything you have to buy to start a garden from scratch can be a bit unnerving. Worry not. While it will require some “seed” money, creating a manageable vertical garden will not break the bank.
When you add up the costs to build or purchase the actual structure for your garden, decide on the plants you want to grow, and add in a watering system, you are looking at an initial cost of between $150 to $300 to make a vertical garden. After the construction is complete and you are enjoying your garden, the costs will greatly reduce.
So what goes into this figure? It all depends on what you want your vertical garden to entail. Below are a few factors to consider.
Type of Structure
The most significant factor when it comes to the price of your vertical garden is the type of garden you hope to build. Several factors, including the size and materials used, will all determine a large chunk of the cost.
When it comes to outdoor vertical gardens, there are many options. For instance, if you decide to build a trellis or teepee style garden, then you will have to make or buy the structure. These setups are typically built from wood or metal and can be customizable to various heights and configurations.
You can find these structures at a garden store or online. These are generally budget friendly with many coming out at between $10-$30 a piece. For instance, this 60-inch carbonized barkless teepee costs $20-$25 on Amazon. On the other side of the spectrum, you can get a smaller, 36-inch version for under $8-$10.
If you want to go for a more traditional vertical garden, you can construct yours out of either various planters mounted on a wall or a shelving structure. You can buy these pre-made, or you can design your own.
The price also depends on the look of the planter. If you like the look of a ceramic planter, then you can find a set for around $35-$40. Meanwhile, a set of glass planters can cost as little as $10-$15 for a set.
If you want to build a shelving structure against an exterior wall, the price depends on the style. For a movable felt option, you could be looking at as little as $25-$30. A more rustic vertical garden made from a wooden structure that could cost you closer to $40-$50.
Some people opt to build their vertical garden out of a painted pallet. This type of garden can be very easy to set up and can give your backyard a rustic touch. Finding a suitable pallet can be relatively easy at a home improvement store or online with the price of a nice looking pallet ranging from $25 to $50.
Many people like the idea of an indoor vertical herb garden, especially those living in apartments or smaller dwellings. To build an indoor garden, you will need many of the same products as you do outside. Of course, there are different variations. If you are looking for a vast living wall planter, you can purchase one for around $30-$40.
If you are looking for a smaller option for herbs or succulents, there are some handy stackable units available, some of which can cost around $70-$80. There is also the option for a more compact hanging unit for approximately $25-$30. Also available is the option to take the guesswork out of designing your vertical garden by purchasing a complete set complete with planters, a stand, and a built-in drainage system. However, this comprehensive unit can cost around $100-$150 per unit.
Types of Plants
The next step in making a vertical garden is to choose the plants that you want to grow. Whether you are planning on growing flowers, herbs, cascading plants, vegetables, or anything in between, what you decide to plant will impact the cost.
Before you get your plants, you will want to find suitable soil that will help them thrive. You have many options when it comes to soil with prices ranging from a 16-quart pouch for $5-$11 to a 40-pound bag $25-$30.
Fruits and Vegetables
When it comes to fruits and vegetables, the sky's the limit including everything from tomatoes and peppers to lettuce and kiwi. You can buy the seeds or the plants themselves from any farmers market or online retailer. Seeds often come in variety packs for around $20 or less. They are great because they let you pick and choose what you want to grow.
If you want to grow flowers, the variety that you choose will impact the price. Some of the best flowers to grow in a vertical garden include Petunias, Morning Glory, Lavender, Primroses, Impatiens and many more. The prices vary depending on the flower. For instance, you can get a multipack of petunias for $25-$35, morning glory flowers in a variety of colors for $7, or lavender plants for around $20-$25.
If you are looking to plant elegant, flowing cascading plants, then a vertical garden is the perfect showcase. They are highly decorative and are also great for outside your home when you want to hide an unsightly fence or wall. Just like the other plants, what you decide to purchase will impact the price differently.
Some popular cascading plants include fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, vining cucumbers, and runner beans, flowering plants including Petunias, Cascading Roses, and Creeping Thyme, and tumbling greenery like Virginia Creeper and English Ivy.
Watering and Maintenance
You now have the vertical garden of your dreams, but the costs do not end there. As long as you want your garden to thrive, you will have to maintain it. The first step is properly watering your plants.
You have the choice of manually watering your vertical garden or installing an automatic drip system. If you decide to use something as simple as a watering can then you can add a few bucks to your typical water bill to cover it. However, if you opt for the drip irrigation system, then you are looking at additional costs for installation.
Like everything else on this list, the price of a drip system can vary based on the model and automation of the system. You can get a highly-efficient drip system complete with a timer, USB charging, and multi-plant service for around $40-$50. Then there is the heavy duty drip system with a 40-day water supply for just under $100. You can also pick and choose your components with a watering kit for around $15-$20.
Since your plants are not absorbing the desired amount of nutrients from the ground like in a standard garden, the plants in a vertical garden will need fertilizer. Many choose to go with an organic fertilizer ($10-$20) which will aid in the growth and flavor of your plants or vegetables. Others will decide to go another route with a fish emulsion solution which provides supplementary macro and micro-nutrients and will cost you around $25-$30. Fertilizer may be a repeat purchase, so keep this potential recurring cost in mind.
A final cost to keep in mind will be replacement plants should any of your current stock die off. It may not be a budget concern right off the bat, but as your garden continues to grow, it is a cost to take into account.
The Costs May Vary But the Experience is Priceless
While we have provided an educated ballpark cost of making a vertical garden, it is important to remember that every gardener will have a different experience. Your garden may be a little more or less expensive than your neighbors based on its size, style, and the plants that you decide to grow.
Still, while it may take some money to get it started, the value of watching your hard work thrive in a garden that you built yourself is truly priceless.