Vertical Veg Growing Course

Hi everyone. I thought you green fingered types might be interested in this course. It’s a great opportunity for people who have a small outdoor space, possibly a balcony or flat roof, that they’ve been meaning to start growing on, but have been unsure how to go about it….:

Transition Town Stoke Newington has hooked up with the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden to host a food growing course run by Mark from Vertical Veg
.Mark has mastered the art of growing large quantities of food in containers in very restricted spaces and has converted his balcony into a beautiful and highly productive growing site – over the past 12 months he’s harvested 84kg of veg from a tiny area in his home in North London. Now he is turning his project into a social enterprise and is running courses to share his knowledge and experience.

The course consists of four sessions each lasting two hours. Mark will show you how to design and maintain a productive vegetable garden in containers on your balcony patio or window sills. Through a series of four participatory workshops mixing theory and practical you’ll learn the basics as well as more advanced tips to take your growing to new heights.

Sessions will be held at the beautiful Curve Garden on Dalston Lane an idyllic spot for it from 6.30 to 8.30 in the evening. It starts on the evening of Tuesday 14th June and runs each week with the last session on the 5th July. The full course of four sessions of two hours each costs £60 per person but if you follow Mark’s advice you can easily make that back through the food you grow for yourself.
For more information please email

Vertical Veg Course Flyer


  1. Someone has dropped out at the last minute so there’s one spot available. If anyone’s interested in doing this course, send me a message.

  2. Hi

    Is the place still available? I’d like it! Thanks!
    kirsten at kirstenfoster dot com

  3. Hi Kirsten. It just went last night. Sorry about that! I’m sure we’ll be running it again as the response has been very positive.

  4. Excellent stuff – just came on the group site to promote ‘Vertical Veg’ – a) because it shows what can be achieved with v little effortb) and Mark’s my brother in law!Hope the course is going well

  5. i donated my spot to kirsten so hope she gives us some feedback. kirsten, please tell mark to run more of them so i can get in next time!

  6. Hi Janice
    You’re making me feel guilty now! First class was great, it’s a lovely group.
    I can pass on a few things I learned if that helps!
    1. As a general rule, the more energy the plant needs to produce the bit you want to eat, the more sun (and water, I think) it needs. So, for example, you can get away with growing most salad leaves and herbs in places with 4 hrs of sun a day (also woodland fruits eg black and redcurrants, blackberries etc), podding things like peas and beans need about 4-6hours of sun a day, then things that are producing large ‘fruits’ or ‘roots’ eg spuds, aubergines, squashes, tomatoes (though cherry toms can get away with less sun) need 6hrs+ of sun.
    2. Plants need protection from strong winds especially cold winter winds. But if you put up a wind barrier it needs to be about 50% permeable to prevent turbulence.
    3. Remember soil and water is heavy so be careful if planting on a balcony!
    4. Think about what you like, what is difficult or expensive to buy and what gives good yelds and focus on growing those things if you’ve got limited space eg unusual salad leaves can be expensive in the shops are quick to grow, don’t take up much space and have a long growing season.
    I’m sure there will be more classes as this was so popular!

  7. Hi @acquafresca the course is great! Mark’s really good at sharing his knowledge, it’s a very nice group and in the perfect location so it’s all going well. One session done and three more to go and I’m looking forward to them..

    @janice we’ll be running this again in the future I’m sure and will keep you posted.

  8. @londiner
    no need to feel guilty. i have no garden and always said that someone was welcome to take my place were it full. meanwhile, thanks for the tips and am hoping for a future course, as @jamieb says.

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