Updated: Jun 28
Cattle panels make the best trellis'. They're sturdy, easy to install and only cost around $40. Not to mention they'll last a life time. I always grow multiple vines on my trellis'.
Cattle Panel Trellis with loofah, passionvine and cucamelon.
The trellis in my vegetable garden has loofahs, passionvine and cucamelon.
Loofahs are a long season crop that means it takes a long time to mature. Once they turn brown on the vine, I bleach and dry out the loofahs at the end of the season. I use the sponges for everything! They're perfect for my cast iron pans. Tough enough for the gunk but gentle enough that they don't scratch. I've even used them in my hydroponics system to start seeds! They're one of the few crops that thrive in Florida heat. If you don't want the sponges, grow them for the pollinators because this vine is always swarmed.
Nonnative passionvine & loofahs
Passionvine grows delicious fruit and has the most heavenly aroma. Not to mention there are native passionvines such as passiflora suberosa and incarnata. What makes this vine special is it's a host plant for Gulf fritillaries and Zebra Longwing Butterflies. It's a must have for every garden
This is the first year I've grown cucamelon. I've never had them before but now that I have, they seldomly ever leave the garden. They are my favorite garden snack with a fresh cucumber taste with just a hint of sweetness. It took a little while for them to take off but boy are they taking off!
Another note about growing up a trellis is that it makes it easy to see fruit and identify any issues such as pests or diseases early on.
Moonflower, Wooly Dutchman’s Pipe, FL milkvine, Muscadine Grapes
The newer trellis in my flower garden is just getting going. I am so excited to watch it fill out over time. For a quick filler I planted moonflower. Which in my opinion, is an under appreciated native species. It attracts moths with their beautiful large night blooming flowers and the bats follow. If you didn't know, bats can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes in an hour!
First Moonflower of the season
Next on the same trellis, I have native vines including; Passionflower suberosa, Muscadine grapes, Twinevine, Wooly Dutchman's Pipe and American Wisteria. All of these vines besides the muscadine grapes, are host plants for various butterflies in Florida.
I tend to "chaos garden" or "cram-scape" in my own yard where I like to put things but then watch how they grow. If it doesn't work out, I reassess and make changes as necessary. My train of thought here is, the trellis will still look full with all these vines, even when it's being munched on. I follow the "do as I say, not as I do" mentality so others can learn from my mistakes when it comes to gardening. I don't recommend cramming all these vines on one trellis, but just like hegdes and anything else, diversity is key. So adding a few different vines is a great idea. Gardens always change and I am always making changes. And afterall, that's what makes gardening fun.
Plant Native My Friends. Happy Gardening.