Food on vines on nets on walls

andrewhoernerAugust 30, 2010

Dear folks--

I have a largish, flat back yard in Oakland CA (cool but mild, wet winters and dry summers) that is completely surrounded by a rather unattractive seven foot solid plank fence. Parts of the east-facing and north-facing fences are significantly shaded by trees in neighboring yards.

I have a fantasy of using much if not all of that fence as a place to grow climbing vines that provide attractive foliage and food. I am writing for advice and suggestions about such vines.

I come to gardening late in life and am an enthusiastic but relatively ignorant gardener. If I am really to plant all this footage of fence, it would have to be with plants that are reasonably pest-resistant and not too fussy.

Can folks suggest fruits and vegetables that you think could do well on, say, nets hung on these fences? I would also very much welcome practical advice on where to buy plants, choosing between plants and seeds, plants that can still be planted this year, and the like.

Any suggestions or pointers you could offer would be greatly appreciated.



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This past year I had varying degrees of success growing vegetables and flowers vertically, much of it due to the sunshine amount reaching the plants. We had a pretty hot summer with huge amounts of rain this year.

Cucumbers, pole beans, and sun sugar tomatoes in full sun did enormously well. Butternut squash in some shade did moderately well. Main crop tomatoes and "Amy Melon" in half sun were so-so. Jenny Lind melons in more shade were not at all successful. Sugar snap peas, while getting enough sun, simply didn't produce a large crop.

Summer squash grew huge vines and took over a large part of the garden, out of control, like the plant in the play "Little Shop of Horrors". The poles I had pounded in and hoped to use in training the vines were completely inadequate.

I have pruned some shrubs and a tree this fall hoping to get more sun on to the shadiest part of the garden for next year. The supports I have in the garden are two tall vertical trellises on the shadier side, and an arbor tunnel consisting of three separate arbors. The best arbor by far is made out of cattle panel formed into an upside down U shape.

On another note, trellises with clematis in full sun and Seven-Sisters rose in half sun were nice.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 3:17PM
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