Vertical Structures in the Vegetable Garden
The structure of a vegetable garden doesn’t have to be a flat surface of soil where you grow your vegetables. Building vertical structures within the area such as arches, trellises, raised areas and frames will give your garden “height”. This not only makes your garden look good, it is also very practical because it helps to produce more crops. By building structures you are able to have a vertical garden which increases your produce per square metre since it allows you to have more space to plant in the ground.
The most popular vertical garden structures are the ones that are built to support plants and give them the room to climb whilst supporting the weight of its fruit.
The types of vegetables that need support are CUCUMBERS, PEAS, BEANS, TOMATOES, PEPPERS and AUBERGINES. Growing these vegetables above ground not only will produce a better crop, it also protects them from insects that are in the soil. Having the fruits above ground also prevents them from rotting by not resting on the soil or in water should the soil have poor drainage. Growing plants against a structure will also help your plants to grow stronger and taller.
There are many types and choices of vertical structures that can be purchased for your garden. Call in at a local garden store or shop online and you will see just how many styles there are and the materials they are constructed from. Plastic, wood and bamboo are probably the most common. Many will have mail-order catalogues from which you can purchase and have your goods delivered to your home. The types of structures that you should consider are, trellis, spiral supports, tomato cages, bean towers, arches, stakes etc. Garden structures may vary especially in terms of form and functionality. You want to choose those that are strong enough to support your plants and their fruit but also the ones that will enhance the look of your garden.
Many options are available to you when it comes to planning and building your vegetable garden. You can build arches, walls, raised beds and trellises to give a more visual appeal and height than just having a flat vegetable bed. Planting flowers against these structures can be very beneficial to the vegetable garden. Flowers attract insects that are good for the garden and the vegetable plants, for example trumpet flowers attract bees into the garden. You can also attract other helpful creatures into your garden by building such things as a bird house or a bird bath. These features will attract the birds into the garden who will help by feeding on the insects thus eliminating harmful pests.
Growing plants against vertical structures must be secured to stop the plants from being damaged and this will also help the plants to grow in their correct form. There are several ways to secure the plants, plant ties, twines, plastic securing clips and jute chord. Make sure that you don’t tie these too tight around the plant because this can restrict the growth; it can also cut into the plant and will possibly cause disease. If stakes are used to support the plants make sure that they are driven into the ground deep enough so that they will not fall over and also that they are placed a little away from the plant as to avoid damaging the roots.
If you are a do-it-yourself person you may feel confident enough to construct some of the structures yourself. Purchasing the wood from the local wood merchant to construct a trellis or arches can save you money and will give you satisfaction and pride when you erect it in the garden. Bird boxes can be constructed out of a few odd bits of timber that you may have lying about and even if you have to purchase the wood to build one, it will be less expensive as those that are available at the garden centre.
Your vegetable garden will look far more attractive if you erect arches and trellises for your climbing fruits to grow up as opposed to the flat garden that you usually associate with vegetable plots. It adds height to the garden; it allows you to plant flowers around the area which in turn will attract bees, birds, insects and other creatures all of which are essential for a healthy vegetable garden.
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