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Trellis Recommendations

square foot garden trellis
My favorite cucumber trellis.

A trellis is really useful for any kind of climbing or vining crop such as peas, cucumbers, tomatoes and pole beans. The picture on the left shows my favorite cucumber trellis. You can read about different trellises for different crops over at the Seed Savers Exchange blog.

Sunflowers As A Living Trellis For Beans

Mongolian Giant Sunflowers
Mongolian Giant Sunflowers grow over ten feet tall.

Speaking of pole beans. Why not grow a living pole for the beans? Inspired by the three sisters method of growing corn, squash and beans together, I will be experimenting with growing beans on a sunflower stalk. This gentleman proved that is was possible.

This method appeals to me because I already like to grow tall sunflowers. I also notice that when I cut down the stalks at the end of the year and pile them up, they take a few years to decompose. Why not leave the poles standing and grow beans on them the following year?

Organic Cucumber Beetle Control With Neem Oil

cucumber beetle
I will be deploying neem oil in the war on cucumber beetles.

Cucumber beetles devastated my crop last year. I have been researching using organic control methods to combat these pests. In particular, I plan to use neem oil to spray the little buggers.

In a bad infestation there are a lot of these small flying insects. ThisĀ  makes it impractical to hand pick them all. That is where this tip on luring cucumber beetles into one location may come in handy.

As a back up plan for cucumber beetles and a primary plan for squash bugs, I will be using diatomaceous earth. DME needs to be dusted on the plants and remain dry to be effective.

I already keep some DME in stock for the purpose of dusting the chicken litter after a change to keep pests out of the coop. The only draw back that I can see for DME is that it is indiscriminate and may kill beneficial insects as well.

Growing Peppers in the Square Foot Garden

Finally, what if you want to grow a lot of peppers in your square foot garden? Check out Mel Bartholomew’s advice.

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