Greengirls Helen Yarmoska, Nicole Hvidsten, Martha Buns, Connie Nelson, Kim Palmer and Mary Jane Smetanka are dishin' the dirt from the back-yard garden and beyond. Whether you're a greenthumb or greenhorn, they're eager to learn from your mishaps, mistakes - and most importantly, your sweet successes - all growing season long.

The sky's the limit

Posted by: Martha Buns under Vegetables Updated: July 25, 2012 - 8:13 AM

Need more growing room? Try adding a second story.

Last year rabbits relieved me of the bother of what to do about ambitious pole beans, lopping off the first planting just as it threatened to reach the sky. This year, protected by a netting fence, my pole beans are once again in Jack and the Beanstalk mode, outstripping first the obelisk they shot up, then the tall tomato spiral stake I used to extend their reach.

Since they allegedly prefer to have something to grow on, I've obliged them by stringing twine to tomato stakes in each of the corners of the raised bed they occupy. One of the tendrils has made it to a corner stake and has rounded the corner on its way to the next one.  I figure I can just keep on adding twine garlands as needed, and it should make it much easier to find the beans. I doubt they'll create such a canopy that they overshadow the broccoli growing below them.

Hmmm. Maybe next year I'll try rigging up a pole bean arbor at the entrance to the vegetable garden. Kale doesn't have to be the only ornamental vegetable, and those purple bean flowers are lovely.

Now if only the cucumbers preferred to grow up their trellis and didn't have to be dissuaded from growing up every other plant they can find instead.

How are you corralling your vining plants this year?

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