Vertical Ventures

After watching the garden grow over the past few years, I came up with a couple ideas to take advantage of the airspace above the garden.  The first idea is to try to get the yellow Golden Egg squash to grow up instead of out.  Last year the plants ended up trailing off outside their home bed, across the walkway and up into the neighboring bed.  They don’t appear to be a vining type plant, so I imagine it will take a bit of coaxing to grow vertically, but I figure I’ll give it a try even if it means tying the plant up to the trellis.  Nothing too fancy for the trellis.  I just bough a 4 ft folding panel trellis from Gardener Supply last year when they were on sale.  I liked the fact that it had larger openings which I think will help give the plant some room to fit.

Trellis for Golden Egg Yellow Squash

Trellis for Golden Egg Yellow Squash

View of the opposite side of the experimental squash trellis

View of the opposite side of the experimental squash trellis

The second idea has to do with sunflowers and pole beans.  Having grown sunflowers the past couple years as well as pole beans, I started to wonder if perhaps I could get a second crop of beans using the tall stalks of the sunflowers as supports. Today, I decided to give the idea a try. I had some leftover pole bean seeds and planted them along the already well established sunflowers. I’m not sure if the beans will like to grab a hold of the sunflower stalks or not. I’m also not sure they will get enough sun tucked under the fairly thick canopy. In the previous years, the sunflowers were always planted in a single row going east-west. This year I have a double row running north-south. We’ll just have to see how it goes, but I’m thinking the orientation could be better than what I have this year. Oh well, even if it is a fail, I am only out about a dozen bean seeds.

Organic pole bean towers

Organic pole bean towers



3 thoughts on “Vertical Ventures

  1. Gardening experimentation, my favorite!! I’m trying some old school Three Sisters planting this year, but I had the same thought with sunflowers and pole beans, especially since some peas are growing up a sunflower. I did a little clicky research and the general thought seemed to be that it’s not good for either plant but I’ll be gummed if I can remember why (and very possibly it’s some of that conventional “wisdom” rooted in rumor). The only guess I’ll venture is that maybe the beans provide too much N to the sunflowers, which I was shocked to learn are actually fairly light feeders, so you get lots of leaves but not many flowers? Mebbe? But it’s solid logic to try it out; am excited to see how you fare!

    • Very interesting about the sunflowers. For as tall and expansive they get in such a short time, I would have thought they would have liked the extra nitrogen. I’m not too worried about a harvest of either since I have other prime sources for my green beans. If it doesn’t pan out, I’ll just chalk it up to experience.

  2. Pingback: Celebrating a milestone | Matt's Garden Blog

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