Build Your Own Vertical Garden
From the Archives. Originally posted February 20, 2013.
With snow on the ground and temperatures in the single digits, Chicago is not the best place to garden during winter. Even though the elements were against me, I wasn’t about to stop gardening. I wanted something other than my windowfarm that I could grow year-round.
I decided to build a floor to celling vertical growing platform. I wanted it to be a multi-level structure strong enough to hold my body weight, with an integrated lighting system and as much space as possible.
I started with 2×4’s I salvaged from a 16′ long shipping palate. It took some creative thought to figure out how to get it up the three flights to my apartment all by myself but I prevailed without killing myself. It was also a bear to try and fit a sixteen foot beam in my kitchen so I could cut the pieces I needed.
This took way longer than I anticipated. With my floor being uneven and the molding being in the way, I had to custom cut each piece. It took most of the day to cut and place the first few pieces. Thankfully, once the front and rear supports were in place, the rest of the build went a lot faster and I finished with a second day’s work.
The next day I added a lighting system comprised of light sockets I salvaged from lamps found in the alley and a timer. After a few coats of paint, I moved all of the plants into their new home. The end result of all my effort was a 100% free, vertical growing platform that quadrupled the size of my garden. Not bad for a few days work. -Green on!