And the vines keep climbing…

 

Ted spent this morning training tendrils in Home Demo., weaving vines of melons, squash, and cucumbers up slatted fences in the Gardens of Eatin’. Ted trellises these crawlers to save space by growing them to the sky, as opposed to letting the vines creep along the garden floor. Hanging fruit on trellised vines will also protect from ground rot

 and harmful slugs and insects, and makes an attractive addition to the garden’s style and function.

Guiding hands weave these vines between slats; others will take to the trellis on their own.

These “Poona Kheera” cucumbers are climbing thanks to Ted and his crew. This small, fast-growing variety is making a permanent spot in many gardens for its easy cultivation and sweet flavor. Its fruit, normally yellow/orange in color, browns when ripe (about 40 days after planting) and packs a nice bite into a manageable snacking size – only inches long. 

These “Red Noodle” Yard-Long Beans take advantage of twine to climb. Their peak reach approx. 6 ft.

You can easily make your own ergonomic trellis as well: collect materials to create either a free-standing structure or one affixed to a garden wall – many trellis constructions remain simple, using slatted wood, fence panels, wire, or ready-made steel.

 

  Benefits of your own trellis:

  • An overhead trellis makes easy picking of this sponge gourd, for example.

    Don’t worry about crowding; the plants will be trained to grow upward onto the structure and will get all the space they need.

  • Harvest fruit without stooping or hunching over.
  • Easy monitoring of ripe fruit and pest-control.

 

 

Things to remember:

  • Your trellis will shade other plants. Place in an appropriate spot to utilize this quality for other heat-sensitive greens, or place along the garden’s north end to keep it shade-free.
  • Keep your trellis as weather-resistant as possible by anchoring its frame at least 24 inches underground.

Be as creative as you like, really!

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