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Growing climbing plants on trellises or arbors adds height and interest to your garden. A vertical garden also offers an alternative to kneeling in the garden.
There are many vining and climbing plants. Vines can be grown as ornamentals or to provide food. When properly supported, vines grow up instead of out, saving space. Vertical gardeners can expect:
If you stake your tomatoes, you are already a vertical gardener. Other good fruit and vegetable candidates for vertical gardening are small melons, cucumbers, peas, pole beans and grapes.
Select annual or perennial ornamental vines and climbers for color, fragrance or foliage. Some of the proven best include:
Vines climb by several means, make sure you provide the proper structure or support for their growing method. The four vining methods are:
Here are some vining plants to consider for your vertical garden. Perennial vines are indicated with (P); annual vines with (A).
Some plants naturally entwine, others need to be tied. When support is needed, trellises, pergolas, arbors, poles, lattice, stakes, tee pees, cages, or fences are all useful. If tying is needed, use garden twine to prevent bruising or cutting into the stems.
Securely anchor your support structures before planting, especially for perennial vines. Determine the mature size of the plant and provide adequate structure.
Vertical plants produce shade, so make sure nearby plants get enough light.
Watering and fertilizing are frequently required. Even so, water and food can be applied in a smaller area. A drip irrigation system efficiently delivers water right where it's needed.
Some annual vining plants grow rapidly and are best started in the ground from seed. Some examples include nasturtium, morning glory and moonflower. Other vining plants like sweet potato make great plants for a window box or hanging basket.
Perennial climbers, like hydrangea vine, are often slow starters, but once they get started can grow quickly.