Posted 31st May 2016
What kinds of plants actually need this kind of ‘crutch’?
Runner beans, for instance, climb by using their clinging shoots. They can be trained as young plants to grow in the desired direction. Wind the shoots by hand around the structure. When they reach the top, pinch out the tips of the shoots. Other types of climber, such as peas, form tendrils at the end of their leaves. They use these tendrils to hold onto the frame. The sweet pea too is a brilliant climber thanks to its tendrils. It clambers up wrapping its shoots around the support. For best results, set up the supports before sowing. That way, the plant knows from the start which direction it should take. And the climbing frame gives it a helping hand as it grows.
1 Make a mini-pyramid for sweet peas – all you need is an old metal bucket with drainage holes in the bottom, soil, sweet pea seeds and some willow rods.
2 First sow the sweet pea seeds in the bucket. When the seedlings reach one or two centimetres high it’s time to make the pyramid. Stick eight willow rods around the inside edge of the container at equal intervals.
3 Carefully bind the rods together at the top with twine.
4 Make a ring with more willow stems and bend it around the frame. So that the ring does not slip, weave it in and out of the upright rods and attach the ends together. Continue with more rings in the same way.