Thursday, November 12, 2015


Vertical Growing on Arches

I love arches, they are so handy for a lot of things that need support. Currently there are 4 in the garden, two out the back and two fancy ones in the front. The first one I see out the back, is next to the tomatoes and growing up this, are the purple king beans. These tubular metal arches, are very cheap, under $15 at the local Bunnings. Usually there is something growing either side, as yet the LHS side is not done, but soon will put in a 2nd crop of climbing beans. They are easy to put together and we have found if you put wooden stakes into the ground first and tie the arch to the stakes, the metal will not disintegrate as fast, which if poked into soil rots it quickly.

Purple King Beans on arch, note wood.

Arches make good statements to the beginning of a vegetable garden, define entrances and exits, and in my case I connected two of the meadow stone circles together. Climbing up onto the top of the capping, to pick beans also, is very handy in this garden.

The furthest one away has sweet peas,one side, which have gone wild, probably due to the fact I planted too many seeds, but the flowers have been prolific. Once these have gone to seed will also plant something new, as yet still thinking about  what. On the other side is the kipfler potato bed, which after all the rain is now ready to dig up.

2nd arch in back in potato bed, due to be dug up.

Out in the front is my new wooden arch, comes in a large box and put together like a jigsaw puzzle, eventually John worked it out and I painted it dark grey to match the poles, plus the large front one made several years ago had a face lift. This big one is growing kiwi berry fruit. The smaller one a new climbing yellow rose, and more sweet peas on the other side. I anticipate the rose will eventually take over.

Glad it wasn't me putting this together.

As growing the same plant in the same soil, season after season is not a good practice, as this can retain soil born diseases, I actually dig up the soil and replace it with new stuff, and never had a problem. Often growing the same thing on fences and fixed arches, can't be helped in small gardens, as they make good supports, and I am forever shifting soil around to fix this problem.

Rose Arch

 I tend not to put vegetables on the front arches, except maybe bean, and leave them for flowers, much more cottage garden look, that way. The big one though was especially built to hold kiwi vines, to date now we have had none and its been about 5 years so I am considering pulling them out, have yet to read up why they are not fruiting. The female vine is a kiwi berry and I suspect that is the reason, not a very strong grower compared to the male vine.

Very Front Arch with Kiwi fruit Vines, this side is the female.

 I might even try growing cucumbers up an arch. Very interested if anyone else has arches, love to know what you are growing. Happy gardening everyone.

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