Creating a Life of Plenty

Arch You Glad You Can Always Go Up?

arch composite

Pardon the bad grammar, but it is just my way of introducing the topic of vertical gardening.  Living in a city, or anywhere for that matter sometimes means working with limited garden space.  On our little, patch, we only have 40X118 feet to work with and that includes a house and a garage.  That also includes, the front yard (although we are sneaking new edibles in that area every year). However, that doesn’t stop us from wanting to grow more and more things.  Using vertical space is the best way to grow more in a smaller footprint.

Last year, I employed twig fencing to train my scarlet runner beans up the side of our house, a trick we will use again this year.  What is new, is a simple arch we built with simple materials to span the two new garden beds we added late last fall.

For many of us, Pinterest is a total time suck of projects and ideas we will never get to or if we do, will fail spectacularly.  I am no different in that I want to do ALL the projects!  But one that caught my attention was the creation of a metal arch for growing vegetables.

The arch couldn’t be simpler to put together (once you get the materials home).  A friend of mine graciously took me to our local Tractor Supply Company to procure one special item for the arch.  This arch employs a feedlot panel designed for sheep.  It is 16 feet long, 4 feet wide with even, equal 4X4 openings.  The beds we put in are also 4X4 feet, with a 4 foot gap between them.

We bought (and had cut) four eight foot galvanized lengths of ½ inch conduit.  We will use the selvage for another project.  We hammered the pipes into the soft ground at the four corners of the beds where we were going to place the arch.  We drove the pipes down about two feet to ensure they would remain solid in the ground.

Next we formed an arch with the feedlot panel and rested it against the poles on the inside of the gap between beds.  Once positioned, we fastened the panel to the poles with thick, durable plastic strapping.

This arch will be home to tomato vines, perennial sweet peas as well as perhaps a miniature Queen Anne Pocket melon.

We are reconfiguring the primary vegetable garden this year to accommodate another arch (perhaps arbor is a better term since it will be rectangular rather than curved that will span the two main vegetable beds…more on that later.

It can be easy to add vertical gardening to your existing plot.  It raises vining crops off the soil, provides light and air, looks great and conserves space…you’d be mad not to try it!


Happy Gardening!

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