Admittedly, we have a fairly large garden in our back yard. But I'm always amazed with how I still can't seem to fit as many plants as I'd like to every year. So this year, I started researching vertical gardening a bit, and I came across a DIY garden arch from Get Busy Gardening. (Total side note: If you're local, this is a great blog for growing vegetables and flowering plants - I feel like it can be hard to find blogs with information about gardening, because they're never in my zone, and I don't know how to translate their information to my zone. Since what you can plant, when you can plant it, and how to care for it changes so much based on where you live, it's great to find a blog that you can follow along with and know their information directly applies to you.)
Alright, where was I? Ah yes, a garden arch. I loved the idea of building an arch in our garden for a few reasons. First, just to make more room to grow additional plants. Anything that can climb can go on the arch: pole beans, cucumber, pumpkin, melon, squash, are all perfect for growing up and over the arch. Second, the arch provides shade for some of my more cold-weather plants like kale, spinach and lettuce, extending their life by preventing them from bolting (or seeding out and starting to taste bitter) as quickly as they would if they were in full sun. And third, I'm hoping it will hide our compost bins a bit more - while I love what they do, I don't love how they look.
It was super easy to build the arch, I actually did it all by myself while Mike was working, which says a lot. Normally this is the type of project that I'd just gather all the supplies for and know how to do, then sit in my lawn chair sipping lemonade while I directed Mike in doing the actual work. He got lucky this time ...
Here's how you can do it to.
- Four rods of 24" long rebar (found in the concrete section of Home Depot)
- Two 1/2" x 10' PVC pipes
- One garden fence, at least 10' long.
- Wire cutters or super strong scissors
First, push your rebar into the ground in the garden bed. I just used the width of the fencing to determine how far apart they should be. I left about 8" of rebar above ground and pushed the rest in, using the back of a garden shovel to push in the last few inches.
Next, roll out your garden fencing and cut it to the length of your PVC.
Then weave your PVC and garden fencing together. Over, under, over, under, etc.
Once it's all woven together, pick up one side and put the PVC over the rebar.
Then bend the other side over and put the PVC on the rebar on that side. This was a little tricky to do by myself, but it can be done. I'm super weak - for the record.
And you can totally be done right there! I wanted mine to blend a little better and "hide" more, so I took it off and spray painted it with ORB spray paint, but you definitely don't have to do that.
I ended up planting cucumber on the left side of the arch and zucchini on the right (two of each). I'm not sure yet if that'll be too many or if I can fit more - I'll definitely update you guys as it fills in!
And if you plan on building this arch, you should definitely check out Get Busy Gardening's tutorial. Her arch is twice as tall and you can walk under it! She has photos of it all filled out too, and it looks amazing. Anyone else trying vertical gardening? Or gardening at all? I'd love to hear what you all are planting!