Edible Walls' Blog

Great Tips, Tricks & DIY Projects from Edible Walls

Three Best Vegetables for Living Walls - Cold Season

There are many factors you might consider when choosing what vegetables to grow in your garden. But, when choosing what vegetables to grow in your vertical garden, some of those factors are more important than others.

The three most important factors that we considered when selecting the best cold season vegetables for living walls were root depth, growth habit, and pollination requirements.

 For most vegetables, the bulk of the root mass is within the top six inches of soil.

For most vegetables, the bulk of the root mass is within the top six inches of soil.

Root Depth

              Some plants root deeper than others. Consequently, some plants need to be planted in deeper soil than others. Three different categories are commonly used to divide plants by root depth: shallow rooting (12” – 18” deep), medium rooting (18” – 24” deep) and deep rooting (24” – 36”+ deep). This is an especially important concept for vertical gardeners because most living wall systems do not allow for very deep root systems.

Growth habit

              The growing habits of plants are a bit more obvious than their root systems. The most important habit to consider when choosing plants for your living wall is the full-grown size of the plant. Smaller plants will perform better in living wall systems. Larger plants may require staking or other support systems and vertical gardeners know that this can sometimes present a challenge. You may also want to consider whether a plant grows upright or trails. Trailing plants add a nice dimension to living walls and, in some cases, are more compact.

Pollination Requirements

             Not all vegetable plants need bees, butterflies and other pollinators to produce the food for which we grow them. For some gardeners, especially those who want to grow their plants indoors, this is especially advantageous.  Leafy greens, brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, etc.), root veggies and tubers (carrots, potatoes, beets, etc.), most legumes, onions and a few other vegetable plants do not need pollinators at all. These plants make great choices for indoor vertical gardens.

 

Our Top 3 Choices:

1)     Looseleaf Lettuce

Specific varieties we love:

Why we love them:

  • Shallow root systems
  • Compact growth habit, do not require staking
  • Do not require pollination
  • Cut & Come Again
  • Can be harvested at just about any time in their development
  • Great taste
  • Very attractive plants

2)      Small/Dwarf Cabbage 

Specific varieties we love:

Why we love them:

  • Shallow root systems
  • Compact growth habit, do not require staking
  • Do not require pollination
  • Great taste

3)      Spinach

Specific varieties we love:

Why we love it:

  • Shallow root system
  • Compact growth habit, does not require staking
  • Does not require pollination
  • Great taste
  • Bolt & disease resistant
  • Reliable
  • Quick growing
  • Can harvest as baby greens