Grow Up!

Two nights ago I saw just a show and at the end, this yard, with grass much like mine – non existent – was gorgeous! Beautiful hanging vines from uniquely built trellises just added this awe-inspiring beauty as a privacy screen and backdrop. Now while we live out in the country, we do still have a couple of neighbors – albeit there about 100 yards away (give or take). I’d still like a little bit of privacy, but the yard, at this time, is just too darn big to fence in.

I loved the idea of creating beautiful screens – but in my world, I need them to also be functional as well as attractive. I told my darling husband my plans one morning and in his most supportive voice I hear over the running morning shower…”you want to what?”

“I want to build a tepee. I want my green bean vines to grow up them. It will be so pretty,” I replied back to him.

“Why not just get those trellis things we saw the other day, they’re already built for you.” his voice of reason quipped.

“Because MINE will be PRETTY.” – smiled back at him. And for ME, that was the end of the conversation. He had been duly warned and informed….the rest was up to me.

So, I ventured out to Lowe’s, grabbed $40 worth of wood, supplies and tools, swung by the bulk dirt place, bought $13.07 worth of dirt (1/2 cubic load) and excitedly headed home.

After nearly 2 hours of working a drill and skill saw – which both mom and my husband couldn’t believe didn’t end up in a trip to the ER – I had myself two great new add-on’ additions to my raised garden bed with three attractive features built-in. Or at least they WILL be attractive in a few more weeks. I like to think positively.

The benefits of ‘growing up’ a.k.a. vertical gardening:

  • increased harvest from a smaller space
  • Less chance of soilborne diseases
  • Less watering and feeding required
  • Little or no weeding needed
  • Cleaner produce
  • More air circulation, so less mildew
  • Plants are easier to reach and care for
  • Easier harvesting
  • Can cover an eyesore and/or provide privacy (my personal fav)
  • Less accessible to pets and some garden pests

Over the next few months – I fully intend on increasing my vertical gardens and hope to add things other than veggies. Here’s a quick helpful rundown of things that love ‘growing up’ :

  • Pole beans (‘Blue Lake’, ‘Kentucky Blue’, Scarlet Runner bean)
  • Cucumbers (Diva’, ‘Fanfare’, ‘Saladin’)
  • Eggplant: ‘Fairy Tale’, ‘Hansel’
  • Nasturtium (‘Moonlight’, ‘Spitfire’)
  • Pumpkins (‘Baby Boo’, ‘Batwing Mix’, ‘Wee-B-Little’)
  • Tomatoes (‘Celebrity’, ‘Early Girl’)
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About Wendy M. DeIorio

Founder of Leading It Foward - a grassroots initiative of women, by women, for women teaching and sharing leadership techniques at all ages.
This entry was posted in Vertical Gardening, Water Conservation. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Grow Up!

  1. Kathy says:

    Hey Wendy, the little pumpkins sound like a really good idea. I think I’ll do some with those on them along with my hyacynth beans.

  2. Rhonda says:

    Hi, groovy girls…I’m new to your blog and fairly new to gardening. Thank you for sharing your gardening adventures. Wendy, would you share the name of the “bulk dirt place”. I’m planning to add on to a bed and need some good hopefully weed free dirt.

    • Wendy says:

      Rhonda,
      I love getting our bulk dirt from Swinford’s in Lawton. Just down from the airport. They’ve got ‘regular dirt’ and then ‘garden dirt’ which is a little more. I just get the regular dirt – occassionally I’ve found a couple of smaller than palm size rocks, but only two or three in an entire cubic yard load. Not bad and it’s weed free. I’ve checked the pH on it as well and it’s really good – much better than the super alkaline, clay soil I have around the house. Just a warning though – you’ll need a pick up to load the dirt in (or a good trailer) the dirt is pretty heavy. It loaded down my husband’s 1/2 ton truck pretty good when we got a full cubic yard (two scoops). The owner’s at Swinford’s are very nice and helpful and willing to answer questions for you. In addition to their garden dirts, they also have great gravel and play sand varieites too!

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