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Vertical Gardening

One area of gardening that I am looking at very seriously for OPSEC purposes is vertical gardening. It is where you can have several trays of crops stacked on top of each other in the same small footprint. I can see several advantages in it.

OPSEC
First of all the reduced footprint makes it difficult to see from the air. Make the trays match the same material surrounding them and they may be missed. At the very least there is no large area of cultivated land for someone to spot from miles away.

In addition you could even put this anywhere suitable. Down the outside of a block of flats, down the side of a cliff, a bridge, electric pylons, when the power is off of course, etc.

Portability
If the tray size is kept to a manageable size then they could be disassembled and moved by a small group if a threat is detected or even simply moved on a regular basis to avoid detection.

Sunlight
If there is enough space between the layers and the unit is placed correctly so the sun rises on it and sets on it then the sun can get to all the plants for most of the productive day. Only as it started going overhead would it be shielded and, depending on OPSEC, we could arrange some foil for reflection to cover that if we thought it was a major issue. For our requirements the reflections would be more of an issue though and thus not worth bothering about. Perhaps of use before an event instead.

Watering
One of the benefits of this is that we could set up a system where water from the base could be pumped up, by solar power, to the top and a flow downwards through each tray would start. Making it look after itself.

Maintenance
Weeds would still be an issue and you would need to either cover the soil with matting or chippings to control weeds. You wouldn’t want to be going up and working on these if you can help it. Being portable means thay are not going to be solid.

Harvesting
Pop up the ladder and harvest what you want when it is ready. Put slower growing at the top and fast growing at the bottom.

Vertical solutions
Guttering
There are several proposed solutions out there that are suitable for our use. The easiest and the most common use stretches of guttering as the trays and are staggered down a wall so water from the top flows along the gutter and down to the next section. This guttering is fixed on a wall and can handle smaller plants.

Trays
The alternative solution is to use trays simply stacked on top of each other on shelving or specially made racks.

Pallets
You can simply fix pallets to walls and utilise the space that way. See here.

There are several sites that go into this in more detail.

My thoughts
The problem is that I want something bigger. I want something that I can grow most crops in. So I thought about it for a bit and came up with this.

Two feet square boxes and 9 inches deep for the soil and crop. Four builders scaffolding poles. Each two foot box would have those grips to grip the poles on each corner to hold it in place on the pole. Step them up the poles as high as you can leaving 18 inches between the boxes. If on the side of a building then two poles would be fixed to the structure. If on the ground then on a concrete base with poles fastened to a structure to give stability. This give a larger size than the others, more portability and more crop choices. It would be heavy when built and working. I think that it would be safer attached to something especially in windy season.

How does that sound for a crop solution for us? Ideal I would say.

5 comments to Vertical Gardening

  • Bug out Bag

    Hi SD,

    I’m enjoying your gardening articles, they are helpful. You may find this link interesting,

    http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_uri=%2F&gl=GB#/watch?v=jZCL3H9XpU4

    http://www.windowfarms.org

    encourages people with limited space and not even a garden or a yard to grow their own food using hydroponics. Low cost using plastic bottles this looks a great idea and because it’s grown inside can perhaps be less easily spotted by the starving hordes. I haven’t tried this but it looks a great.

    Cheers,

    BoB

  • Skean Dhude

    BoB,

    Glad you like them. I’m learning myself as I go along and I am finding it interesting.

    The windowsfarms are a bit small imo. that is why I was looking at something a bit larger.

    The YouTube link took me to a music video listing. Not sure what went wrong there.

  • Bug out Bag

    Sorry SD, I don’t seem to have much luck posting links on this site! Next time I’ll post from a PC and see if that make s a difference!

  • Ellen

    I am considering such with a garden. It would make it easier to my way of thinking.
    I am not putting in a garden this year. I am going to try and gather the stuff I need for say a vertical garden and maybe a few sq. ft boxes.
    As I already need a lot of stuff for gardening that I am stupified.
    Also these are ways that if you had a place to bug out to or just move to that can be taken with you.
    As I am a renter that is always in the back of my head.
    I like this idea very much.

  • Skean Dhude

    I’m not a renter but I like to think of portability. After an event I can plant them if we are secure and increase the yields but you need them in the first place.

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