I just wanted to post a link to an article I wrote last year about vertical gardening. There are some good links at the end too. Enjoy!
Here is a link that might be useful: Vertical Gardening
Thanks for the link. I book-marked it. I have vertical-gardened tomatoes for years, using big sturdy 5-foot concrete re-mesh cages. I also used the same cages for ice-box watermelons, which frequently did not need slings for support. Unlike cantaloupes or muskmelons, the watermelon stems hang on tenaciously even when the melon is ripe.
Last year (2005) I used a large diameter version of such a cage to train a Costata Romanesco zucchini squash into a space-saving vertical format. However, about half of the squash fruits formed inside the cage, which made it somewhat inconvenient to harvest them. Costata Romanesco also provides an abundant supply of male squash blossoms for squash blossom recipes.
The re-mesh wire is spaced on 6-inch squares, which makes it possible to reach through, but the squash grew rapidly and frequently it was awkward to extract them through the holes. I "walked" the larger squash up over the top of the cage, by passing them from hand to hand. Many of the ice-box watermelons needed the same extraction technique.
As an experiment last year, I made an "open" re-mesh cage by using a couple of rebars to support the open ends. It was somewhat U-shaped, except that the sides curved in more. It was more like a big cylinder with a door in it.
We trained vining nasturtiums on the open cage. They were ornamental and nasturtiums are edible, so they did double duty as a tangy salad ingredient. Our little granddaughter enjoyed playing in the privacy of her nasturtium "fort". From time to time, she nibbled the leaves and flowers.
Next year I plan to reconfigure several of our big tomato cages as open cages, for the convenience of having access to both the inside and the outside of the cage. So I'll be buying some more rebars to make the conversions.
Nice article, I enjoyed reading it. I added it to my site, it's hotlinked on the page below.
Here is a link that might be useful: Morning Glories
I suggest you see the pages of French botanist Patrick Blanc.
He builds huge vertical gardens on house walls.
He uses hydro-felt.