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How to Grow a Vertical Vegetable Garden

Vertical space is often underused, but it has great potential in small gardens, increasing the space for growing a range of crops.
Excerpted from Simple Steps: Vegetable Gardening

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Vertical Vegetable Garden Makes Good Use of Space

Highlights:

Step 1: Get the Basics

Attaching pots of herbs and bush varieties of vegetables to a sturdy wire mesh can turn a bare sunny wall into a riot of color, and they are simple to care for and convenient to harvest. Vigorous climbing beans, squashes and nasturtiums can be planted in large containers at the base of the wall and are easy to train up the mesh for a fabulous, lush display.

Garden Basics:
Size: 6 x 7 feet
Suits: Any sunny location with a wall or fence as a backdrop
Soil: Light, multipurpose potting mix
Site: Wall in full sun

Step 2: Buy the Plants

2 x eggplant 'Mohican' (Image 1)
3 x basil 'Sweet Genovese' (Image 2)
3 x basil 'Red Rubin'
3 x tomato 'Tumbling Tom Red' (Image 3)
1 x cucumber 'Masterpiece' (Image 4)
1 x zucchini 'Tromboncino' (Image 5)
3 x runner bean 'Wisley Magic' (Image 6)

Step 3: Maintain Your Plants

Attach wood battens to the wall and secure a sturdy wire mesh to them. Drill holes in the sides of plastic pots and window boxes and thread galvanized wire through them before planting. After the risk of frost has passed, fill the pots with a lightweight potting mix, plant with hardened-off plants, secure pots to the mesh, and arrange larger ones at the base of the wall. Leave space for plants to develop, and train climbing crops up the mesh. Water the plants frequently because they will dry out rapidly in their exposed position. Tie in climbing plants as they grow and harvest frequently to encourage further crops.

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Excerpted from Simple Steps: Vegetable Gardening

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

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