It is true that some architects have…skyscraper complexes. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I have one, but I do appreciate structures of all kinds. And garden trellises are one functional structure that I love, skyscraper complex be damned.
I suppose I crowd my plants more than wide-row gardeners do. Admittedly, crowded plants can reduce yields because the poor plants are stressed, thus game for predation from all manner of bugs or fungi (crowding leads to less air movement, thus creating a happier growing medium for certain wilts, etc.) But I am a succession planter, and my soil is pretty darned good…I say this fully admitting it’s more the fact that clay is a fertile medium, and that my judicious compost, manure and mulch applications only replace what the plants suck out. So I don’t worry much about crowding.
Pathetic first-pick of strawberries on Tuesday. You have to know I find this picture hilarious because she never looks like this and has only just put two berries in her mouth while I was adjusting the camera, thinking I wouldn’t notice. But the photo other than providing humor for her mother shows a couple of the trellises behind her.
But back to trellises. I have seven permanent trellised bed areas in the garden. There are also a few teepees of sticks, etc. that are scattered around for effect. Lots of verticality, in other words, mostly to support the wonderment that is the Pole Bean. Pole beans, cucumbers, certain members of the winter squash family, peas…all these lovelies appreciate something vertical to clamber up. And I am here to accommodate them.
I succession plant them, too: on beds that are staked east-west, I plant peas on the north half, and once bean season starts, I plant pole beans on the south half. Same trellis, different plants; the peas dying back gracefully when the beans go into full-production mode. I do the same thing on the north-south staked beds, though I plant first in the east, as the west sun works better at that second planting of beans or cucumbers. And I do succession-plant the cucumbers. I start two batches about a month apart, one in the end of May and one late June: two weeks after each of these plantings, I get the dill going for pickles.
Good golly that sounds like a lot of work. It’s more work to type it up, I swear, than it is to plant these things! All I am saying is that if you have a small garden and want more stuff, then go vertical, and share that trellis. Happy building.