CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to EADT Suffolk today CLICK HERE

Time to grow up

PUBLISHED: 11:13 05 May 2015 | UPDATED: 11:13 05 May 2015

runner beans

runner beans


Belinda Gray’s guide to growing fruit and veg

Patch tomatoesPatch tomatoes

I am taking the cobwebs off all my willow plant supports, stored over winter in the dry of the greenhouse. Growing upwards is not only space saving, but helps avoid some of the pest and disease problems incurred at ground level.

By keeping ripening crops airy they are easier to pick and look pretty too. Cascading sweet peas and a climbing nasturtium like Alaska are truly stunning in full flower, and are important for attracting pollinators and insect wildlife. Building your own wooden supports is a cheap option, and with purple, green or dove grey garden paints they can really add a sense of style.

Height from obelisks, hazel and willow wigwams or rusted iron supports can add a design feature particularly if positioned symmetrically at corners, the start of paths or in the middle of your beds. Aim to achieve 6-8 ft for drama and heavy cropping, pinching out the growing tips once they reach the top. Anchoring supports down is also vital as a windy day could see them half way across the garden with plants ripped out. Metal tent and fleece pegs are ideal stabilisers. Remember to secure well at planting time.

Plug in

If you are now planning what to sow or buy as plug plants, consider some of the excellent climbing vegetable crops and decorative flowers that constitute this group of valuable, vertical growers. My favourite for colour are mini squash and pumpkins. I always select the trailing varieties and not the bushy types, which will never grow tall.

As the trailing vines lengthen you can wind them up supports, tying in with flexi tie, a miraculous garden product of stretchy, brown plastic string that stretches as stems swell, or try coloured garden twine ( for a bit of horticultural chic.

Borlotti beans do well, with their speckled red and cream pods and deep purple or yellow climbing French beans.

The climbing courgette Tromboncino never disappoints with its pale green boomerang-like fruits, and the crunchy, apple-like yellow cucumber called Crystal Lemon, which seems to grow as fast as you can pick it in high summer.

For the more adventurous, tunnels and arches are tremendous features to cover pathways, entry points or seating areas and trailing vegetables make brilliant climbers – what could be more dramatic in a garden than a colourful mixed squash tunnel?

Suffolk-based Harrod Horticultural ( are repeated Chelsea winners with their range of amazing steel structures, highly recommended with a 10-year guarantee and bespoke service to suit your space.

Scour the seed catalogues now for some award-winning (AGM) climbing crops and add some colour and interest to your growing space with these fabulous, vertical growers.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other EADT Suffolk Magazine visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by EADT Suffolk Magazine staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique EADT Suffolk Magazine account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Homes & Gardens

Thursday, December 6, 2018

A converted chapel in the heart of Constable Country makes a spacious, light-filled home . . . and an intimate concert hall | Words & Photos: Tony Hall

Read more
Friday, November 23, 2018

Mark and Jan Haines can’t wait for Christmas to arrive at their home, Billeaford Hall, a restored farmhouse near Knodishall | Words & Photos: Tony Hall

Read more
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Creative couple David and Henrietta Villiers have designed a stunning new home at Aldeburgh | Words & Photos: Tony Hall

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

When it’s frosty outside there’s nothing better than coming home to a crackling open fire - here are 6 great businesses who can help you find the perfect woodburner, fireplace or stove for your home

Read more
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

As we head into Autumn, the change in season is all around us. From the leaves on the trees turning burnt orange and fiery red, to dark mornings and nights bookending our days. As we put the clocks back an hour to battle the darkness, here’s some top tips on how you can keep your home warm and costs down this Autumn.

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Peter and Lorraine Finn have found their ideal place to get away from it all right on their Woodbridge doorstep | Words & Photos: Tony Hall

Read more
Friday, August 31, 2018

Rural energy provider, Calor, gives some top tips for homeowners wanting to make their houses cosy and warm in time for the colder months.

Read more
Thursday, August 23, 2018

When you are next looking to build a brand new kitchen or revitalise your existing kitchen, you should consider these 6 top bespoke designers

Read more
Friday, August 10, 2018

When Jan Packard and Mark Haines were looking for somewhere to share their love of boats they couldn’t resist the unspoilt charms of the Alde and Ore | Words and Photos: Tony Hall

Read more
Sunday, July 1, 2018

Residential property company heylo recently signed the Armed Forces Covenant, pledging its commitment to fair treatment and support to the Armed Forces community, including regulars, reserves, veterans and their families. The signing took place in a ceremony held at Wellington Barracks

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

EADT Suffolk Magazine weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search