UPWARDS AND ONWARDS: vertical veggie growing

The Gardener|June 2020

UPWARDS AND ONWARDS: vertical veggie growing
Saving space is not the only reason for growing veggies vertically
Alice Spenser-Higgs

Veggies twining up obelisks, tumbling over archways, vining up a tepee or acting as a green screen beautify a veggie garden while also making it more productive.

Veggies grown upwards are generally healthier, and less susceptible to fungal disease because the leaves dry off quickly after watering and there is better air circulation.

Going vertical is an effective alternative way to grow pumpkins, squashes, watermelons and other melons that take up so much ground space.

A tepee hideaway, planted with peas or runner beans and flowers, is a sure way to entice kids into the garden, and maybe even get them gardening.

Re-purpose all that stuff you were going to throw away. Mount old gutters on a wall for growing strawberries and salad veggies. Use drainpipes as a support for berries, beans or granadillas, or make a hanging garden with small pots or dark-coloured plastic cooldrink bottles (plant roots don’t like being exposed to light), cut in half and attached to a frame.

5 ways to make it easy for yourself

Vining vegetables and fruit do the clinging and climbing themselves. You may have to get them started, but that’s all. The best veggies are climbing peas, runner beans and cucumbers.


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June 2020