Pumpkin & Bean Tunnel Arch

Tunnel of love

Well, pumpkins & beans, but that basically the same right? πŸŽƒπŸ«˜

Back in december 2021 (Christmas in the Netherlands at my folks to be exact) I was dreaming up new plans for more growing space in the Kitchen Garden. And having seen many people growing lots of pumpkins vertical I decided it was time for me to this as well.

Now, naturally I can’t ever do anything simple so the tunnel idea was born. I would use 2 cheapy arches and get some sturdy wire mesh to create a base for anything that climbs. One end of the tunnel would go into the existing big raised bed, the other side would go in a new raised bed that I would make out of the sleeper steps that made my potting bench on the greenhouse. By using this, I also created a hell of a lot of space in the greenhouse where I would put more beds. Win-win right! And in true ‘me’ fashion I started planning what I was going to grow there before anything was build! That first year (2022) I would grow peas and cucumbers (companions to each other – read more about that here), sadly with last year draught neither of those lived very well, as they like a lot of water and I’m not the greatest when it comes to watering to begin with, specially to the plants that are outside πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ

So for this year I wanted to do thing differently. I wanted (envisioned more like) a luscious green tunnel, with beans and pumpkins hanging of them and the odd twinkly light still visible. Que the small pumpkin varieties and beans that you dry on the vine. Perfect! And, so far so good. things are growing well and I think I’m getting close to harvesting my first Uchiki Kuris! πŸ™Œ Others that are growing on the tunnel are Sweet Lightning & butternut squash. Interplanted with them are various legumes to have dry on the vine, ready for winter stews.

 

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Tunnel Bed

The raised bed I made out of the scaffolding boards runs parallel to the greenhouse and provides a narrow growing space. It currently grows various sweetpeas, something I really enjoy picking, Nero di Toscane Kale, and I’ve chucked a whole load of various pea types in; golden sweet mangetout, mangetout shiraz, spring blush peas, sugar snap peas, climbing beans for fresh green beans and blauwschokker peas. Not all of it is coming up and even with direct sowing it’s not all working out as I would’ve liked. I do have some so at least that’s something! What I love seeing most though, is how the beans are climbing up. They don’t throw out little tendrils like peas do and they twist themselves upwards on the nearest support. And they do it anticlockwise! Truly! go check it if you don’t believe me.

Last year I grew beetroot in there as well as the sweet peas and various peas and then too wasn’t a success – that watering thing πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ I think once the sweet peas have gone I might see if I can chuck something in there. maybe I’ll try beetroot again or maybe even carrots! If it’s not too late.

Right, that’s it for now. Best go and tie my butternut squash to the frame since no matter how I plant my squash, they always grow in the opposite directions of where I need them to go πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ (and yes, I use the second leaf direction thing – it does not work for my squash, they’re just as stubborn as I am!)

 

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