Because we grow a squarefoot garden in raised beds with paths between, the plants in the garden are trained upward. To effect this we make bamboo structures specific to each crop so they can climb.
This is a frugal venture that only costs time and a ball of jute twine. The bamboo comes from a neighbor’s grove which needs thinning regularly to keep it from encroaching on the street.
The veggies that require trellising are pole beans, tomatoes and cukes. Each is a little different.
The pole beans get a tall A-shaped structure with twine bars to let the vines climb up it or a teepee shape. Either works very well but the A-frame keeps the vines more organized when you go to pick the beans. If the frame wants to list to one side, we tie it to a vertical stake in the corner of the square to give it some support. Here is a photo from a few years ago since we are only growing bush beans this summer.
The tomatoes are already in 4-foot-tall wire cages so we add a bamboo teepee on the outside of the cages to add support to indeterminate branches.
Once the branches start to grow outside the wire cages we tie them to the bamboo with pieces of old nylon stockings which seem to be gentle to the plant and not cut through the stems.
Finally, the cucumbers get something similar to the pole beans but a little sturdier since the weight of the hanging cucumbers can pull the thing down. (Sometimes we have a serious storm and everything blows down. Usually, you can just set it back up, although slightly askew.)
When you go to pick the cucumbers, they’re easy to see just hanging there.
I’m eager to watch the vines climb and will give you updates as it happens.
Can’t wait to taste that first tomato of summer. What’s your garden delight?
Sidebar: Check back soon for Bamboozling: The Tutorial.