When they are on sale, I buy arches for the garden. They are made of metal tubes that you put together for an arch about 6 feet tall and wide enough to walk through. Well, I set them up in a row, all facing the same direction, each one about two feet from the next, so that they form a kind of tunnel. I usually make the tunnel about 10 feet long.
At the base of each arch, I plant seeds for vining vegetables like beans or summer squash. In between each arch, I plant things like herbs and lettuces that won't mind shady spots once the vines grow. The vines will grow up the arches and then cover the whole sides and tops, creating a leafy arbor that is really very attractive. The vegetables (I've done several varieties of green beans, and Italian zucchini) hang down into the tunnel. Growing up off the ground like this, they stay very clean, and never get soggy after heavy rain. They also seem to stay pest free, since I never have problems with bug bites. And, in really hot summers, the vegetables never get sun-burned.
At harvest time, I take garden scissors, a step-stool, and a large basket with me. I get great harvests with this method. The vegetables hanging down are easy to see, just waiting there to be taken, and it's nice and cool in the shade. An added bonus is that I can harvest lettuce later in the summer than usual (lettuces don't usually like the sun and heat). This method saves space, is very attractive, and seems to produce the best harvests.
By schyresti from North Royalton, OH
I would love to see some pictures. I am thinking of adapting this idea and putting arches from one side (installed in the cinder blocks) to the other of my raised bed gardens.
Arches for gardening is the greatest. Thanks for telling it better than I could. GG Vi
Would love to see a picture. My neighbor & I are going into our 2nd year with vegetable gardening. We had a bumper crop of squash & cucumbers last year and could have used this "arches" idea. We want to do beans this year. If you have pictures would love to see them. Thanks for the great idea!
Me too! I'd love to see pics of your arches!! We live in the desert and I haven't planted a garden yet because of all the critters. Do you think this would keep the ravens, rabbits and squirrels from getting to the harvest before me? :-)
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