When space is tight, you'll want to use every inch you can to grow crops. And when you've run out of room on the ground, sometimes the only way is up. Edible climbing plants are an excellent addition to any garden or outdoor space, providing not only beautiful greenery but also delicious food. These plants are a versatile and low-maintenance way to grow your own fresh produce, without taking up too much space or requiring complex gardening skills.
Find edible climbers at Rushfields
Edible climbers do everything ornamental plants do - lush foliage, spectacular flowers, and often good autumn colour – but with the added bonus of a generous harvest. Here's a selection of the best from the range in our garden centre in Poynings, Sussex.
- For a unique and flavorful addition to your garden, consider growing climbing beans, which produce tasty pods that can be eaten fresh, canned, or used in a variety of recipes. These plants are easy to grow and can be trained to climb up trellises or poles, making them a great choice for small gardens or urban spaces. Runner beans are straightforward to grow and incredibly generous, producing several pounds of long beans from every plant. 'Painted Lady' has bicoloured red-and-white flowers.
- Loganberries are loose-stemmed shrubs, easily trained against a fence. The sweet, juicy berries look like oversized raspberries.
- One of the most popular edible climbing plants is the grapevine, which produces succulent grapes that can be eaten fresh, turned into wine, or used to make preserves. Grapevines are hardy and can be grown in a variety of climates, making them a great choice for many gardeners. Grapevines drip with fruit when trained over arches: 'Boskoop Glory' has sweet, smoky purple dessert grapes, and its leaves turn brilliant scarlet in autumn.
- Lablab beans are a recent arrival but are fast catching on for their handsome purple leaves and plum- coloured beans: sow from seed in May in a sunny spot.
- Another popular edible climbing plant is the kiwi vine, which produces fuzzy, vitamin-rich fruit that can be eaten fresh or used in a variety of recipes. Kiwi vines require a bit more maintenance than some other climbing plants, but their delicious fruit is well worth the effort. Kiwi fruit are very hardy, despite their exotic-looking fruit with brown fuzzy skins and succulent bright green flesh. Choose a self-fertile variety like 'Jenny' or 'Solo'.
Please ask the staff in our Poynings, Sussex garden centre for more information and advice about growing edible climbers.
Rushfields' tip on Edible Climbers
When growing edible climbing plants, it's important to choose a location with plenty of sun and well-draining soil. Many of these plants also benefit from regular pruning and training to ensure healthy growth and maximum yield. With a little care and attention, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of fresh and flavorful produce from your own backyard.