How many of you have wondered how to maximize your gardening space?
Have you been victim of ‘vines’ taking over your garden in the form of cucumbers, melon or squash?
Well, vertical gardening is for you! Feel free to get some great ideas on our pinterest site where one topic we cover is vertical gardening and food scaping. Food Scaping and Vertical Edible Landscaping on HiBar Ranch’s Pinterest site. Additionally, we have a special section on trellis designs HiBar Ranch Pinterest Trellis Designs.
We have boldly jumped into vertical gardening this year and seeing that it is only the week after the fourth of July (a good milestone marker for farmers and their produce yield), I have to say the experience so far has been extraordinary.
With verticalizing our garden plot we were able to get in 65 different varieties of food in a reasonably manageable space. That’s incredible. Here’s a photo tour of our garden as we speak.
Above are photos of the produce we are getting now in our vegetable garden and fruit orchard:
- bell peppers
- cucumbers (specialty whites)
- yellow squash
- TONS of onions and garlic (only one garlic in this picture but pulled dozens the other day)
- marrionberries (underneath the blueberries)
- eggs (from the chickens)
- goats milk dailly (from our milking does)
- We also have a vast amount of greens: collards, spinach, swiss chard, lettuce, etc.
Many of our other vegetables are still maturing in the garden.
As you can see above there is alot going UP! Here you are looking at cooking and medicinal herbs on the front left. On the front right is soybeans, beans, corn, and two tellises for melons. Further back on the left are numerous trellises for pie pumkins, cucumbers, cantelope and watermelon.
As you can see, we have gone UP this year. There are so many advantages to this approach, I’d like to discuss them.
First, The heighth approach makes it much easier to move throughout the garden. Second, it also makes it easier for the heighth of everything to block out the weeds. Notice there are very few weeds in the garden. I just have to go through with a cultivator in the center and the rest tends to itself. Third, it gets all the produce off the ground so it doesn’t rot. All my produce pretty much does NOT touch the ground. Fourth, because the produce doesn’t rot by being in contact with the soil there are very few bad insects on the plants. I have had issues with the greens but you can do a natural Bt pray for that which I have used and it works great. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is actually a naturally occurring bacterium, common in some soils, that causes disease in certain insects, most notably leaf and needle feeding caterpillars. Read more at Gardening Know How: Bt Pest Control: Info For Controlling Pests With Bacillus Thuringiensis http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/pests/pesticides/using-bacillus-thuringiensis.htm. Fifth, we can grow so much more food in our garden by going vertical. Sixth, it appears that as the vines reach to the sky they tend to grow faster. I am guessing because they are getting more sun versus being blocked from the density that happens when everything is on the ground.
I could go on and on about the benefits we have seen so far. But, I am sure the above is enough.
The only things I’d like to add to think about are to make sure you set the trellises up when the plants are young. This way as the vines grow you can continually thread them up and through the trellis. If you wait too long the vines will be too big and long to actually weave them or tie them without damaging the plant. Also, make sure you use natural wood products without chemicals so you do not compromise your food by way of toxins.
We are so thrilled to be going vertical with our garden this year. We hope you’ve enjoyed our photo update on how this exercise is manifesting at our farm.
God Bless! L. Davis