Planting a crop is almost as much fun as harvesting it, and you deserve it as a reward for the preparation work that you have completed. By using vertical supports for your vines and other vegetables, you are ready to enjoy a convenient way to produce healthful crops for your dining table. Crops that are highly recommended for vertical gardening include cucumbers, yellow squash and tomatoes.
Misting System Cucumbers
The area around the underground pipe that supplies your misting system is ideal for planting cucumbers. The width of the frame and the webbing that you installed allows you to plant two six-pack trays of small cucumber shoots about six inches apart. To have cucumbers available for a longer period, delay planting half of them for a week or two.
Here’s the technique:
• Purchase trays of seedlings that are several inches high.
• Dig a small hole along side the webbing so that each plant’s tendrils can reach it.
• As soon as you see the thin, curly growths of tendrils appear, gently wrap the delicate threads around the web strings. After you get a plant started on using the web twine support, it finds strings or branches of neighboring plants on its own.
Letting Squash Vines Climb
A squash plant may not appear to a casual observer as a vine, but you can observe that it is truly a thick vine. The novelty of growing squash as a vine is a way to amaze your gardening friends who may never grow them any other way after they see your method.
To accommodate the weight and height of the vine that may easily reach 10 feet or more, you need to use two different sizes of piping. A one foot length of two inch pipe provides stability for a 10 foot length of one inch pipe that neatly fits inside it.
Here’s the technique:
In traditional gardens, you plant several squash seedlings in a hill, but the vertical technique requires only one for each pipe installation.
• In the middle of a three foot area, drive the shorter pipe into the ground.
• Drive the longer pipe inside the smaller one until it is firm and stable.
• Remove one of the squash seedlings from its plastic tray, dig a small hole and insert the plant.
• Prepare to start training the top heavy squash plant to the pipe pole with strips of cloth as soon as you see it starting to tip over.
Planting and Supporting Tomatoes
Select a tray of tomato plants with seedlings that are six or eight inches high. The dual pipe support system is necessary for tomatoes as well as for squash.
Here are some growing tips:
• After you install the two pipes for each seedling, dig a hole as close as possible and install the plant in it.
• Leave a space of two or three feet between plants.
• Bury at least half of each seedling in the ground to allow the branches to act like roots.
• Examine each plant for growths that appear in the notch above each branch and remove it.
• Continue to remove the growths as your plants mature. If not pinched out, they form suckers that distort the shape of your plant and reduce the number of tomatoes that it produces.
R & R Sprinkler & Landscape
931 SE 11th Avenue
Cape Coral, FL 33990