Climbing Vegetables for Home Growing
Perhaps the most delightful way of saving space is to grow climbing vegetables. Runner beans, indeed, were orignally introduced into gardens for their decorative qualities, but equally striking are the purple- and yellow-podded forms of climbingand purple-podded , all of which can be trained into ‘vegetable hedges’ or screens. Other are the outdoor Japanese , which will reach several feet, and trailing pumpkins and which will clamber over fences, or cover unsightly corners. Only their roots need to be in good .
Although runner beans will climb up old tree trunks, artificial supports usually have to be erected for peas and beans, as they need to curl their tendrils around twigs, net, wire or string. When grown against solid walls or fences, supports can either be erected upright against the wall or, if necessary, at a 45-degree angle. Beans will also climb up the side of a house on strings attached to eyes set in rawlplugs. The only drawback with walls is that soil dries out at the base: so make sure that plants are kept well watered.
Where there are no convenient walls or boundary fences, free-standing wigwams for climbing vegetables can be made by tying together four or five 240cm (8ft) long bamboo canes. Tie them near the top, and anchor them firmly in the ground. They will soon be covered with vegetation, followed by flowers and beans or peas, making an eye-catching, functional and space-saving feature in the smallest garden.
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