Turning an old ladder into a vertical garden is just one of the many clever structures described in Vertical Vegetable Gardening.
This user-friendly, how-to guide is organized into four parts that make it easy to find the information you need. Surely everyone will enjoy thumbing through the pages to see some of the ingenious inventions that help with this space-saving gardening. Illustrations or black and white photos accompany the instructions for building or assembling each structure. The chapter on Creative Repurposing is sure to give gardeners ideas for ways to reuse old spice racks, shoe bags, buckets, feed bags and ladders as planters. Chris has all the bases covered for good growing practices including organic pest control, common vegetable pests and the least-toxic pest controls. For those who have always wanted to grow vertical fruit, Chapter 12 provides all the details for pruning fruit trees using the art form of espalier.
The extras or sidebars that Chris has sprinkled throughout the book highlight information that's especially helpful. Of course, there are many books on gardening that offer unique ideas for garden fencing and many of the home improvement retail outlets promote theseContinue reading >.
Whether it is a vegetable garden or a nicely landscaped flower garden, it can be almost like a piece of art work offer a wonderful way to blend your creativity with the dynamic canvas of nature. There is nothing quite as satisfying as growing your own vegetables, but first things first, you will need to understand that planning a vegetable garden can be just as important as the planting the seeds and vegetables themselves.
Printed plans and articles in books are usually shown as rectangles or squares when it comes to planning  a vegetable garden, but this is mainly for convenience of putting them down on paper. The further that the vegetable garden plot can be sited away from the house or overhanging trees the better.
Permanent crops such as asparagus, rhubarb and horseradish should be located at one side of the garden so that they will not interfere with the regular digging, planting or cultivation of other vegetables.
With vegetable garden planting, it is good also to remember that every foot of height gives lateral wind protection of 8 feet. This creates a sloping side so that the broad leaves of the beans will  carry the wind upwards and over the top, thus improving the windbreak. It has been customary and even traditional to sow seeds of beetroot, carrots, spring onions and similar crops in single drills but I personally prefer to make wide drills.
In addition to trebling the crop from virtually the same area of ground, they provide one another with mutual protection. Over the years, various attempts have been made to popularise pelletted vegetables seeds for growing your own vegetables.
On the whole the British gardener has not taken kindly to pelletted seeds, mainly because of an apparent reduction in germination. Making a wide drill This can be easily done by putting down a line and taking out a shallow scraping or, with a shovelling motion, take the top inch of soil and put this to one side of the drill.
Whether V-shaped drills are taken out with a special tool, a piece of stick or a corner of the hoe, they are invariably made too deep and, unless the operator is very skilled, irregular in depth. In the days before the importation of vegetables and fruit by air all the year round and the introduction of the freezer, professional gardeners were expected to maintain a supply of fruit and vegetables throughout the year from their employer’s garden. When growing vegetables very often it is a case of feast or famine but these surpluses and poor crops can be evened out by the use of a freezer.

To avoid a glut, or if the summer holiday coincides with the maturing of the most desirable crops such as peas or beans, due regard must be given to sowing or planting times. This brings us to the question of varieties of vegetables designated as early, second-early or mid-season and late.
In the milder parts of the country, vegetables such as spring greens, lettuces and broad beans can be sown in October along with the overwintering hardy crops such as spinach, sea kale, beet and lamb’s lettuce.
Intercropping vegetables means slotting in early-maturing crops between those which take longer. Discover this exciting world of growing your own vegetables, and you’ll have an abundance of amazing vegetables all year round. While beginning gardeners may want to delve into The Basics: Soil and Seed, experienced gardeners might turn to the specific recommendations listed in Vegetables and Fruit that Enjoy Growing Up. Interesting ideas include growing vegetables in house-gutter hanging gardens, tri-level plant stands, sandwich-board A-frames, assorted trellises and the tipsy-looking terra cotta tower.
Many of the pictures were contributed by gardeners who have had success with their own vertical growing efforts. The top benefits include "less work, less weeding, fewer pests, less time, less money and more produce." By the time you've finished reading her book, you'll wonder why you haven't been gardening vertically all along.
Apple, pear, peach, apricot and nectarine trees can be trained to grow into specific shapes. The shade caused by a building is preferable to that cast by trees because not only is there an overhead canopy with trees but also searching roots. In a situation where there is a prevailing wind or, worse still, draught, an artificial windbreak such as that provided by plastic mesh should be provided in preference to using fruit bushes. It is essential to secure the beans by putting a string on each side and to take two more diagonally through the rows. Using beetroot as an example; single plants in a thinned-out row have no protection and if they are spaced as recommended at up to a foot apart a great deal of the land is wasted. If onion seed is sown thinly over the broad drill spring onions can be pulled from the narrow bed for as long as they remain suitable for salads or even for flavouring and then the remainder allowed to develop.
This means you can have round, intermediate and long beet in one row which may be selectively thinned without waste as the thinnings can be used. If a row 30 feet long provides too many vegetables to be conveniently used, then half the row may be sown in mid-April, for example, and the other half in early May. These seeds are smaller seeds that have been coated to make them bigger and more easy to handle. This may be due in some degree to the pellet formulation but certainly in all cases which I have investigated, it has been found that dryness of the soil has been the cause.
To make the best use of the freezer, varieties most suitable for freezing should be carefully selected from a catalogue.
For example, starting at one end of the plot with the hardiest crop of broad beans the next sowing would be of early round-seeded peas leaving a 3 foot space which, later on, when the soil has warmed up, could accommodate two rows of beetroot or carrots.
It is usually recommended that broad beans be planted in a double row with the beans spaced 6 in apart. This protection will make a significant difference to the earliness of the crops grown in its shelter.
This produces bulbs ranging from little pickling onions to bulbs the size of an old-fashioned pocket watch on the outside of the broad drill.

In the case of beetroot, pelletted seeds mean that the shiny black seeds have been extracted from their capsule and there will be only one seed in the pellet instead of the two or more found in the corky capsule.
It must be remembered that the pellet must absorb moisture before this can be transmitted to the seed and unless the soil is very damp, germination may be retarded or will not take place. I have always been impressed with the results that blind gardeners obtain and have come to the conclusion that much of this is due to their meticulous precision in measuring not only depth, but spacing.
The latter being a cave dug into a hillside or a specially constructed building in the woods which was filled with ice laboriously cut by handsaw – from the lake and stacked in the ice house in winter. Therefore, calculation of sowing times should be made backwards from the time that you need the crop.
For example, an early variety of pea may take 90 days to come to maturity whilst a late variety may take 100 to 110 days.
Then comes another sowing of beans or peas with a space between for lettuces and any other dwarf crop. Fortunately, the vegetable crop which lends itself for use as a windbreak, the broad bean, is the earliest crop sown and the toughest. My plan for many years has been to plant a bed of broad beans, four plants wide, thus making a double row barrier.
On calculation this method produces roughly three and a half times more in terms of yield than from a single row. In the case of beetroot one wide row will produce young beets which can be pulled when about the size of golf balls on a regular basis.
The same technique can be used for sowing a part or even a third of a row of lettuce seeds to provide a succession. Such calculations, however, cannot be precise because of variable weather conditions and it is advisable to make three sowings at ten-day intervals. This means that you can sow an early variety late because it will mature more quickly than a late variety.
This enables more of the ground to be covered by foliage so there is less moisture lost from the soil and the watering can be left to nature. In an extremely windy area it is a good idea to stop the growth of the beans on the outer row by pinching out their tops when they are about a foot high. This gradually thins out the roots to about 4 or 5 in apart allowing sufficient room to grow on to maturity for storing.
By the way, the so-called beetroot seeds are, in effect, corky capsules which contain at least two shiny black seeds. Hot beds which were fermenting heaps of manure and leaves covered with frames were used to accelerate growth. So in the case of peas it is possible to use one early variety sown at 12- to 14-day intervals to provide cropping right through to October. You calculate back 14 weeks which brings you to mid-May so that your sowings will be the first week in May, mid-May and then another 8 to 10 days later. By using some form of protection  such as cloches at each end of the growing season, another fortnight can be gained.

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