What do you see when you look at a chain link fence, Portland residents? Just a pile of intertwining fence materials Portland homeowners use to keep out others? Or a good place to grow climbing vegetables?
We see both. That chain link fence can provide the support your plants need to grow. Below are four vegetables and fruits you can grow on your chain link fencing – one of the most utilitarian types of fence materials.
Portland Edibles to Grow on Chain Link Fencing
1. Pole beans.
The darlings of canning aficionados everywhere, pole beans are easy to grow on a chain link fence. Portland flower lovers can even find varieties with gorgeous scarlet flowers, and some varieties have striking yellow leaves. From a production standpoint, you can’t beat pole beans. As long as you keep picking the pods, pole bean plants will continue to grow, flower and fruit.
2. Gourds, winter squash and melons.
Squash, gourds and melons usually take a full season to mature, so you may want to start your seedlings 3-4 weeks before the last frost date. Once freezing temperatures are gone for good, transfer your young plants outdoors, right along the fence. Their 10- to 25-foot long vines will grow vertically or horizontally. You may need to use gardening rope or other soft tying material to train vines along the fence. Portland, Oregon’s misty summer mornings are good for squash and melons; they need slightly moist soil and six hours of sunlight per day.
We’re not talking about the newer bush variety of cukes; instead, go for the old-fashioned vine cucumbers, which will grow up a chain link fence. Portland typically has about a week of temperatures in the 100s – just imagine enjoying a refreshingly cool cucumber soup fresh from your garden on those torrid days!
When it comes to early-season crops, you can’t beat peas. Edible-pod or snow peas usually have longer vines than shelling or English peas, so you may want to choose the former to grow along your fence materials, Portland gardeners.
[ photo by: apple_pathways ]