Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Perfect for a sunny wall or small outdoor space, vertical gardens can be built without expensive power tools like drills. This post will show you some low-cost and low-effort vertical gardens that will fit any space and produce a variety of plants.
Here are three ways to create a drill-less vertical garden:
- Use a sharp blade to cut a number of holes directly into a bag of gardening soil. The plants can then be placed directly into the holes.
- Use a system of small connected planters or a hanging wall organizer with pockets. These can be hung on the wall by using anchors that don’t require drills, only a simple hammer (or your favorite hammer replacement).
- Stack interlocking containers designed specifically for vertical gardening. They can simply be filled with soil and plants.
While they may not look as fancy as some vertical gardens that require power tools, drill-less vertical gardens grow the exact same plants. With some focused vegetation, your friends and family won’t even notice! Let’s get started with a DIY garden that requires ONLY a bag of soil, a cutting utensil like scissors or a knife, and plants.
Turning a simple bag of soil into a vertical garden
Here's a quick nifty idea that will help you instantly create a vertical garden - without ever using the drill.
Find the right bag of soil.
Be sure that the soil is a general-purpose potting soil. There are some soils like cactus and succulent mix that will not support traditional vegetable gardens. Some bagged soils are also intended to be mixed into the ground and specifically state that they are not to be used in pots or other containers.
Cut pockets into the bag and insert your plants.
Use a pair of scissors, a kitchen knife, or utility blade to cut spaces for your plants. It would be best to plant already established seedlings. This eliminates the risk of the seeds falling out of place.
Make the bag vertical
Your new vertical garden can be secured to a bench, table, fence post, or anything else that will help it stand up and save space. Zip ties, rope, or just leaning it up will work just fine.
This type of vertical garden works best for plants with shallow roots that don’t need extra support. These include herbs, chives, and various types of lettuce.
Be mindful of watering a soil bag vertical garden. Because drainage can be less than ideal, the roots may rot and kill the plants if overwatered. Poke additional holes in the bottom of the bag to help alleviate this issue.
Find your preferred hanging vertical garden
There is a variety of wall mounted vertical gardens from which you can choose. They include cloth or canvas materials, lightweight plastic, or smaller vertical gardens that can look like picture frames. A hanging organizer designed to hang on a door may also be repurposed to a vertical garden, so long as there is adequate drainage.
Small, leafy plants are ideal for hanging vertical gardens. This will keep the weight down and therefore greatly reduce the risk of damaging the wall. If you intend to have this on a wall inside your house, be sure to find a hanging vertical garden that controls drainage to control damage to both the floor and wall.
Succulents can be placed in the hanging vertical garden for a low maintenance wall hanging.
Find the best place to hang your vertical garden.
You may want to hang your vertical garden in your kitchen, living room, or other frequented room in your house. This will make it more convenient for you, and therefore more enjoyable. You will also be able to tell when they need watering or if there are any issues with your plants more quickly than if they were in a room that you do not frequently use.
You should determine how much sunlight your desired plants need before you decide where to hang your vertical garden. In the northern hemisphere, a south-facing wall will receive the most light while the north facing wall will receive the most light in the southern hemisphere.
Buy your desired wall anchors and install them
For a lower weight garden, you may be able to simply use a hook with an adhesive strip, like a 3M hook. These are ideal for renters as they can be removed from the wall with minimal damage.
A more permanent, but still drill-less, solution to hang a vertical garden are anchors that go directly into drywall. Normally, drywall anchors require a pilot hole to be drilled. However, anchors are available that require only a hammer and/or screwdriver. Simply search for “hammer/screw in drywall anchors” or ask about them at your local hardware store. If you don’t have a hammer or screwdriver, this would be a good opportunity to also get an inexpensive one.
If the garden is being hung on a deck or fence, zip ties may be your best option.
Regardless of how you choose to hang your vertical garden, be sure to choose an anchor with a higher weight limit than you think is necessary.
Install Your Hanging Garden
Be sure to follow any instructions when it comes to wall hanging kits so that you have the best outcome.
A more traditional vertical garden
If you want a more traditional vertical garden with tiers of beautiful lush vegetation, it can still be done without needing a drill.
Stackable containers can be purchased that are made specifically for vertical gardening. If these interest you, it may be a good idea to buy just a few to get the hang of it. You can then buy a few more containers every year until your vertical garden is the height that you desire.
These stackable containers could make a fun and interesting garden by growing ground vegetables like cucumbers or zucchini near the bottom, bushy plants like herbs or strawberries in the middle, and taller plants like tomatoes or beans near the top.
Sounds interesting? Then check out our post about vertical garden towers here. You'll find a great selection with detailed descriptions and pictures too. If you're not looking to get your garden too high up, maybe one of these 8 stackable planters would work for you.
Like the wall hanging vertical garden, elevated vertical planters are rows of plants stacked upon each other. Instead of hanging on the wall, the planters are on a frame. This would allow you to grow heavier plants and not worry about damaging the walls or floor of your home. They may also be moved around for the best light, or in and out of the house depending on the weather.
If none of these options interest you, a simple set of shelves to hold plants could fulfill your vertical gardening desire. Industrial wire shelves are sturdy and low maintenance, but an elegant set of bookshelves would be a good fit in your living room for your guests to admire. Regardless of how you do it, there any many unique and beautiful options to go vertical with your gardening without using a drill.
Vertical Gardens Add Beauty for All to Enjoy
Regardless of what method you choose, you can grow the plants that you desire without damaging property. This is especially important for renters, who often have very strict guidelines they need to follow. These types of gardens are a great way to add beauty and visual interest in the smallest of space, so plant away!!