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Vegetables & Spiraclimb

Spiraclimb's greatest innovation is that it effectively replaces fixed trellis which got the Spiraclimb team thinking about using it to grow vegetables as well as climbers! Two varieties we thought would be particularly well suited are tomatoes and runner beans. Tomatoes make great conservatory plants they love the sun and warmth and with Spiraclimb they need not take over but be an attractive (and tasty) feature.

PLEASE NOTE that these varieties will be slightly heavier and more demanding of your Spiraclimb climbing plant support than flowers! Extra care should be taken to ensure the Spiraclimb is firmly attached to the cane and that the cane is well supported by the soil.

Support for Climbing Plants

Runner Beans

The key to success, as far as getting them to grow onto the Spiraclimb, is to start them early! From seed they rapidly grow up to their first set of leaves. By the time they are on their third or fourth pair of leaves the roots should be sufficiently well developed to withstand replanting. This is particularly the case if they have been grown individually in a pot (rather than a seed tray as I did) since you will avoid overly disturbing the roots.

Runner beans grow rapidly once they get going so regularly training & twisting on the fresh growth is essential to get the best "look" from your Spiraclimb. Beans are also "hungry" for nutrients so supplying them with feed from an early stage is a good investment. However, check that you get the right balance to avoid leaves at the expense of veg!

Runner Beans are by no means an unattractive plant to grow on a Spiraclimb, even within a traditional flower bed. The red flowers produce a good display against lush foliage and planting other flowering plants nearby (sweet peas or antirrhinums for example) will both add colour and greatly aid pollination by attracting insects. Cropping from a Spiraclimb is also very straightforward with 360 degrees of accessible veg to choose from! Since the space used is much less than on a traditional frame or trellis support you can either obtain good crops from less space or increased crop from the space you would normally allocate.

Climbing Plant Support

Tomatoes

There are a great variety of tomato plants to choose from and they are generally happy to be trained up in a spiral with encouragement! Spiraclimb does not change the growing requirements of the tomato plants but it does offer a very attractive alternative form of displaying them! Smaller varieties can be tucked into a corner of even a relatively small conservatory where they will thrive in the sunlight with care, feed and watering to produce a healthy crop of tomatoes that serve to brighten up the conservatory up until the time you eat them.

Again, as far as training goes, starting the tomato plants relatively early will get you the best results as you can twist the new growth on while it is still supple without risk to the plant. Remember that the plant can always be trained back down again when it reaches the top!

General Tip

If your plant is in a location where the light source is from one direction, any plant will naturally orientate towards that light. Rotate the pot or tub a little each day and your plant will be encouraged to grow up the spiral and produce leaves all around rather than on just one side.