Vertical gardens – otherwise known as a greenwall – are increasingly popular in Brisbane. There are some stunning examples in the Queen Street Mall and inside the Myer Centre. As well as looking stunning, a well-constructed green wall set up will also reduce heat entering a building and attract birds and other wildlife to the area. Another reason they have become popular is that with shrinking block sizes and limited outdoor space, “going vertical” is sometimes the only way you can make growing space.
The Wallgarden greenwall system is a simple and modular design, suited to small or medium application. Unlike other systems, Wallgarden utilizes a generous 4.7L pot, meaning healthier plants and less replanting. Some replanting/resetting of green wall gardens is always required, but this pot size allows for considerable growth before the plant needs to be reset. There are greenwall systems out there with pots of only one or two litres! Beware of these as your plants will get root bound very quickly.
Similarly, other vertical garden systems can be difficult to mount, and the pots remain in fixed places once installed. This is especially true of the felt-pouch type systems. The Wallgarden system mounts simply to a wire grid, allowing you to add, remove or re-position pots at your leisure. Just make sure the mesh grid is strong enough to hold the weight of the pots without flexing or bending.
The main thing you need to worry about is watering. We have seen numerous examples where lots of money has been spent on the greenwall system and plants, but then nothing on an irrigation system. We strongly recommend you install a basic irrigation system around your greenwall. Drippers are preferable over sprayers as they target plants individually. Dense or overhanging foliage may prevent water from getting to the soil. Drippers also minimise water use as they are more efficient. You don’t need to spend big money on a controller for the irrigation system. Often a cheap tap timer will be effective enough. The main goal is to make maintenance easy for yourself.
Plant rotation is also a consideration. Some plants will inevitably outgrow the pots and become root bound. When this happens, most will start to decline in health and appearance. Some plants may need to be rehoused occasionally and replaced. Plants with a clumping or spreading habit (e.g. Spathyphyllum, Fittonia) can be broken up and simply ‘reset’ into their current pot. Don’t forget to replace the soil and apply fertilizer at this time also.
Speaking of fertilizer, remember to feed your greenwall regularly. You can use a slow release, or foliage feeds, or both!
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