Garden Planning: Vertical Garden

One of the more interesting gardens this year will be our Vertical Garden. We are planning to use the cattle panel trellis system for an entire bed (6 trellises) to grow a variety of vining vegetables.

As you can see, we have selected 12 different varieties to try. We have some varieties that might look familiar – Suhyo Cross Cucumber and the Red Noodle Bean were both in the Asian Garden last year. We’ve also added another popular slicing cucumber and a pickling type cucumber.

We have 2 winter squashes and a more vining type straightneck summer squash. We’ve also got two types of cantaloupe on the trellis – one personal size and one larger size. We’re also trying a normal pole bean, partly because I’ve heard from several quarters that pole beans don’t do well here. We’ll find out!

We also have a trailing nasturtium and malabar spinach to add some diversity and color to the garden.

Most of these vining crops don’t naturally climb on a trellis, so I expect we’ll have to use some clips to help them start climbing.

About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on February 22, 2011, in Around the Garden and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I’ve always grown pole beans, and they’ve gone gangbusters. The biggest problem I had was that they’re way too tall for cattle panels and so they get very densely interwoven at the very top and hard to harvest. I’m told the ideal way to grow them is actually on something big like a teepee of landscaping timbers, so they spend more of their length spiraling up it instead of shimmying up wires and having nowhere to go. Someday I’ll try that.

    • Hurray! I’m glad to collect more anecdotes of other people having success with pole beans. What varieties do you grow?

      • Kentucky Wonder, which I picked by the scientific method of going to Valley Feed and saying “That one has a star!” IIRC, they star things that the Extension Service has designated a good Kansas variety. They self-seeded the second year (because by “hard to harvest” I of course mean “I kept finding gigantic dry pods buried in the foliage and tossed them on the ground”) so I haven’t really seen a need to change varieties.

        I am adding yardlongs and Zipper Cream and Brown Crowders this year. Not exactly beans, but close enough. And that was before I got that crazy package of seeds, so I may add some dry bean types to the list if I can find space.

        I just got back from surveying a site for a demo/community container garden, and I’ll have to pick something to climb a 6′ chain-link fence that is adjacent to a sidewalk, so it’ll have to be something that can handle being picked by passers-by *and* going without being picked for awhile (because getting outside the chainlink means walking all the way around the building). Melons are cukes are too susceptible to vine damage and picking too early, so I’m thinking a bean that can be picked green or dry. I haven’t decided which one, but least I have lots to choose from now.

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