The Vegetable Garden Fence or Wall
Now here’s an idea for people who want something different in their garden or people who want a vegetable garden in a limited space. How about growing your vegetables on a wall? Vegetable growing is fast becoming a major way to build a successful landscape or garden area.You have a whole choice of ways to make a fence or wall become both decorative and productive. You might want to try one of these.
One way to grow vegetables on a wall is to simply plant vines and trailing vegetables. Trailers can be grown in pots or troughs seated on top of a block wall or thick fence. Grow them so the plants spill over the containers and cover much of the surface below. Trailing edibles you can use are hanging tomatoes, asparagus pea, strawberries or squashes. You can also mix them with flowers like ivy geraniums or Million Bells to add more color.
Grow climbers up the fence or wall. Smooth surfaces can be scaled with the help of trellises or stakes, by tying plants on chicken wire or by embedding hooks or ties in the wood or cement. Wire and chain-link fences will form the perfect support for twining vines with no help at all. Good edible climbers are pole beans, Malabar spinach, peas, cucumber and watermelon among many others. To cover an ugly chain-link fence, smother it with grapevines or raspberry, blackberry or boysenberry plants. Sprinkle a little extra color by adding edible climbing nasturtiums.
Vegetable and fruit plants can be planted in the soil, in containers or in even decoratively painted window boxes along the base of the fence. Often a fence or wall will add protection from cold, heat and wind and help your edibles grow even better. You don’t need to be limited to climbing and trailing edibles, either. Try just planting a row of tall, narrow-growers to decorate an unattractive fence. Asparagus plant will offer a fluffy hedge appearance. Or add some herbs like angelica or fennel for colorful foliage with a lovely scent.
Another way to grow plants on walls is by setting up a vertical wall system. You can buy ready-made vertical wall systems to assemble yourself then plant them with vegetables. Or you can try some of the new ‘pocket’ gardens that are fabricated for attaching to a wall or fence. These pockets are like a whole wall-full of draped, flexible containers that drain naturally. Add a little soil to each pocket and you can grow an assortment of vegetables that do not need to be either trailers or climbers. Probably the best effect will be had by mixing different vegetables with an assortment of growth habits so the wall becomes not only productive, but decorative.
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