Vertical gardening…


adds a third dimension to your garden that really sets it apart from any other kind of gardens in your neighborhood. I grew a couple of these birdhouse gourds one summer. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with all of them outside of using them for, well, birdhouses. I ended up using two of them and giving a few more away. We’re all looking for little ways to make some extra cash so I ended up selling the leftover ones on eBay. I think I sold them for $15 dollars each, and I had several of them to mail off. Who would have ever thought that someone would pay money for those things? It turns out that there are people who do this for a hobby with the different kind of gourds. With these they coated them with some kind of varnish, drilled holes in them, painted them, and then put them out for birdhouses or bird feeders. Wow. That was a surprising thing. As we speak I am trying to sell two of them that I had from last year that I forgot about. They are a little smaller but someone will end up buying them. If I remember correctly I think I planted 1 seed per 2 square feet. You can see it really starts to grow. There are a lot of advantages of vertical growing. For me, I don’t have to worry about going out there in late summer and turning my ankles on vining plants covering the ground. Anything that vines you can grow vertically. That includes the obvious things like tomatoes(indeterminate varieties), cucumbers, all the varieties of squash, etc. When I teach I always get someone who wants to argue about zucchini. “You cant grow zucchini vertically.” Yes, you can. And, you can do it in one square foot to boot. The argument always goes away when they see the pictures of it. The other advantages are that you get better air circulation, better exposure to the sun, and you end up giving your garden a cleaner look. Who wants to step over things while your making your way through the garden? If you have any critters causing trouble it’s also easier to find them on the vertical tower. Otherwise you end up looking all over the place in your garden if you have any kind of infestation. For squashes, I usually don’t even waste time starting them early inside-I just plant the seeds right in the soil. There have been some years when I have made an arbor with vining flowers. I think the most dramatic time I did it was when I grew angels trumpet. The variety I grew that summer flowered at night with silver and blue pedals. It is a very, very fragrant flower-every bit as aromatic as something like nicotiana, which I also love to grown every other year.  It made me want to go out and spend time in the garden when it was getting dark-a strange thing.  But, it smelled so good!   So, don’t limit your vertical garden to just veggies-let your imagination run wild. Give vertical gardening a try. Once you’ve been successful with it you’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing it all along….

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