Make a Summer Vertical Garden with These Plants

comments (0) June 17th, 2015

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DesDT DesDT, member
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Just because it's summer, it doesn't mean you can't plant anything in the garden. This season is the perfect to start a vertical garden. It will save you time and space and provide you with a tasty autumn harvest. Here's what to grow:


#1. 'Sugar Snap' Peas.


Most snap pea varieties grow in cooler weather, but you can also grow them in the summer. They will thrive just as well as the ones grown in spring. You can enjoy their taste in early autumn.


Tip: Don't pick the pods before the peas have swollen them. You can eat them raw, but it's better to peel them and get rid of their shell. If you want to cook them, just steam them for 5 minutes and enjoy the tender green beads.


For anAutumn Harvest: When you plant sugar snap pea in early spring you can harvest it in early summer. For an autumn harvest you should plant it in mid-august, or earlier if it doesn't get too hot in your area. Pick a spot with afternoon shade in your garden if you want to grow peas in the summer. If it's exposed to the harsh sun at noon, it will wither and die too soon. Also , you will need trellis or garden netting to support your vertical garden. Pea vines can grow up to 2 meters, so make sure you have enough support. Once you gather in your crops, you can plant peas again to sow later in autumn, or early winter. Most pea varieties can tolerate fall frost, so you don't have to worry about your produce freezing.


#2. Cucumber 'Orient Express.'

If you grow cucumbers, you should know that they thrive when they have support. This vegetable has strong tendrils that help it climb up to 1 meter and higher. The "Orient Express" variety is perfect for summer vertical gardens. It's not bitter and the skin is really easy to peel off.


Bonus Tip: If your target is long, straight cucumbers, you should let them climb up the support and the fruits will have enough space to hang down and grow. They will be ready to harvest in about two months and taste best raw, into a fresh summer salad.


For a Fall Harvest: Get your cucumber seeds ready and sow them directly in the ground in mid-spring until midsummer. Make sure you leave enough space between the plants, around 50cm is enough. You can also plant a consecutive crop in September and it will have enough time to mature in winter. However, do this only if you live in a frost-free area.


#3. 'Lazy Wife' Pole Beans.

There are so many pole beans varieties to choose from. If you want a new addition to your summer hanging garden, you can pick the "Lazy Wife" pole beans. There is no other bean variety that can match its buttery flavour and heavy yields. What makes it perfect for summer growing is that it needs warm and frost-free weather. It's better to plant it late May or early June.


Bonus Tip: Stay alert for impostors. There are people who would try to sell you fake "Lazy Wife" beans, but you can recognize it by its appearance. The beans look lot like peas, almost round. They are white and look like polished marbles. The pod should be flat, and when the seeds swell, they make the pod look like a knuckle.


For a Fall Harvest: You can start pole beans seedlings indoors or directly sow the seeds in your garden. Do this in mid-spring or in early summer, after all danger of frost has passed. It will take around 75 days for your climbing plants to mature and bear fruits. Once they begin, they will provide you with fresh, tender beans until autumn frost. If you live in an area with warmer, frost-free climate, you can plant "Lazy Wife" beans in September or early October. Just make sure you space them at least 20 cm apart.


#4. 'Doctor Martin's' Pole Lima Bean.

Another great beans to try and grow vertically. "Doctor Martin's" pole lima beans are named after a Pennsylvanian dentist, who experimented with plant breeding. This bean variety is one of his successful experiments, as long with the "Black Brandywine" tomato.


Bonus Tip: If you let it grow and climb freely, this vine can exceed 3 meters in a single growing season. Make sure your vertical garden offers enough support for this climbing bean. It's even better if you arrange it in to a teepee. And if heavy yield is your target, plant it in fertile soil with good draining and you can harvest your crops up to autumn.


You should also know when to pick your pole lima beans. Do a simple check by squeezing the pod to check if the seeds have swollen. Sometimes it looks like the beans are ready to pick, but they more time to ripen and grow. When they are ready to be picked, the beans are pale green, turning to white.


For a Fall Harvest: Like the "Lazy Wife" beans, this variety should be added to your vertical crops in late spring or early spring. Make sure there isn't any danger of frost or strong winds, which can damage your plants. When your bean vine begins to bear fruit, it won't stop until autumn frost. Leave enough space between the greens so they can have room to grow and climb.


#5. 'Vegetable Spaghetti' Squash.

This is one of the many cultivars of Cucurbita pepo (squash). There are some arguments about the origin of this plant. Some say it's native to Central and Nort America, other say it comes from Mongolia. It doesn't really matter where it comes from as long as people can enjoy this spagheti squash. The colours vary from ivory to yellow or orange.


Bonus Tip: "Vegetable spaghetti" squash might be the perfect addition to any summer backyard garden. A single plant can bear up to 12 fruits, with each weighing and average of 2 kg each.You can pick the squash once the fruit changes its colour from white to yellow. You can make your vegetable spaghetti really easy. Just bake the fruit in a preheated to 200-250 degrees Celsius, for 40 minutes. Before you put it inside, poke the squash with a fork. When it's done, remove the seeds and use the fork to make the spaghetti.


For an Autumn Harvest: Sow the seeds directly in the ground in early summer up to the midle of the season. This way you will have a rich autumn harvest. You should leave enough room for the squash to grow. The spacing between each plant should be at least 60cm apart. 


#6. 'Malabar' Heat-Resistant Climbing Spinach.

Spinach is one of the most common and easy to grow garden crops. However, you can only have it in your garden in spring since it can't tolerate the heats. The "Malabar" climbin variety is an exception and can be grown in summer. It's another climbin vegetable that thrives when you offer it enough space and support to grow vertically.


Bonus Tip: Gardeners around Bicester say that this climbing spinach is perfect for growing in the summer since the seeds need high temperatures to germinate. You can start them indoors in the middle of spring and transplant them in your garden in early summer. Provide support such as trellis, teepees or garden netting. This spinach has the natural will and ability to climd, so it will grow well. You can choose from green and purple-stemmed varieties, which taste the same.


For an Autumn Harvest: If you decide to dow the seeds directly in to the soil, you should soak them in water overnight. Make sure the last frost date in your area has passed. You can plant them again in late summer or early fall and you can have an early winter harvest. Do this only if you live




posted in: Grow, Vertical gardening, summer garden, climbing