I have a long chain link fence and would love to cover it with a non-invasive type vine and it would be great if there were anything edible, maybe a fruit? My fence is in full sun.
Watermelon, pumpkin, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, cantaloupe, that kind of thing?
oops, didn't think about clarifying that I want something perennial that will hide the fence. But in the short term those might not be a bad idea. Could you grow them up a chain link fence? I would think the fence would be too short to contain them.
I haven't tried them all on a CL fence in particular, but the containment would depend a lot on how much fence they have to grow on. The food vines I've put on fences before go straight to the top, then sideways along the top. But that's pretty much the case with any vine on a fence.
The problem with perennial vines is that they usually have woody stems/trunks that and can eventually damage the fence, and/or become enmeshed in the fence and impossible to remove. Those that die back to the ground for winter usually leave debris that most people feel compelled to remove 'cuz it's ugly.
Some kind of grapes might work, IDK, or jasmine (but nothing edible on that.) I've started Passiflora on mine for the butterfly caterpillars to eat, but that's probably not what you had in mind either... although if the caterpillars don't decimate the vine, it might make passion fruits.
Berry vines might be something you'd like, if you don't mind dealing with a thorny plant. Raspberries might grow differently but the wild blackberries that are all over this area don't really grow up the fence, they just kind of lean on it. Without occasional intervention/guidance, they're as likely to just fall to the ground as find their way through the fence for support.
Growing something on the fence is a common romantic notion, but in reality is not at all easy, assuming one doesn't want to damage the fence, even without the desire for something edible.
Maybe someone else will have a brilliant suggestion, I've not said much you can use... Good luck!
I had about come to the same conclusion but was hoping for a miracle answer! A cooperative vine that produces fruit and covers the ugly fence. I guess maybe there isn't a vine that solves all those problems! My fall back is a climbing hydrangea. Do you know of any downsides to trying to hide the fence with a climbing hydrangea?
I'm pretty sure that's going to have an expanding woody trunk to it, probably not ever going to look like the picture I linked, but would become a permanent part of the fence. There is a Hydrangea forum where this question has probably been asked before, if you'd like to check that out. I'd love to be wrong, that's a great vine!