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gtarman

Most useful vine plants for wire fences...

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Hey folks. Looking for some suggestions - I'm about to kill a weedy vine that takes up most of my wire back fence, and I want to grow something useful on it that still acts as a decent screen.

Current goal is to get plants growing that provide lots of calories rather than just micronutrients, if that helps. Ideally it would be a plant that grows edible tubers or fruits and edible foliage to maximize the utility of the space.

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You can hardly beat the old choko for all that. Edible shoots, roots and frooots. As long as you have adequate sunlight for it. Only problem is that it drops it's leaves in winter. But you could also co-plant the choko with something like a passionfruit for extra screenage, or even use some shadecloth or brushwood fencing in conjunction with the vine.

I have a heap old shadecloth and brushwood fencing that I salvaged for free at the local dump, but I'll be using it for the same thing myself. I'll be putting up an open-sided greenhouse to achieve privacy, (open along the front side, and shadecloth only on the back side that is up against the wire fence).

It's under a big tree where is too dry and shady to grow a vine dense enough for privacy. I may even use a double layer of shadecloth, or a combo of the shadecloth and brushwood for perfect privacy.

Dry shade is a bugger of a place to grow anything much at all.

What are the growing conditions like at your wire fence gtarman?

Edited by Halcyon Daze
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yay welcome back

oh yeah passiflora caerula is a lovely screening climber to fill in any gaps later

and flowers so prettily, can get very powerful though but not too offensively

Edited by ☽Ţ ҉ĥϋηϠ₡яღ☯ॐ€ðяئॐ♡Pϟiℓℴϟℴ
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Sweet potato. Leaves & shoots are delicious cooked, pretty much like English spinach - I just made a great palak dal outta them. The vine grows like crazy in all the warm months (~9 mths/yr in Sydney), and will start sending down tubers wherever the vine touches the ground. I've heard that any sweet potato with edible tubers will produce theoretically-edible leaves, but some of the purple varieties I've planted the leaves have come out a little bit tough or hairy - I'd recommend the regular ole orange ones. It's an attractive vine with soft heart-shaped leaves and purdy morning-glory flowers, and you can harvest as much as you like while it's actively growing - it'll grow back in a few days! My plants die back somewhat in winter (less if you leave some tuber for them) & the remaining leaves become tough, but they might not do that in warmer areas.

I'm also experimenting with growing groundnuts (apios americana) as a similar multipurpose crop - edible tubers & beans, pretty red pea-flowers. It's only the first year, but they're looking ok too - apparently they'll go nuts in warmer climes.

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Awesome, thanks guys. HD - I saw your post on chokos in the survival gardening thread and have bought myself a couple to plant out.

I didn't think sweet potato was a particularly great climber? I've only ever seen people grow them along the ground mostly. I'm thinking of just chucking in a bunch of different plants and seeing what happens - have some seeds for New Guinea Beans, Angled Luffa, and hopefully some Dioscorea alata to grow if I can find somebody willing to trade me some/send me some. Might try a sweet potato plant or two and see how it climbs as well?

Cheers!

Gman

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Oh and jicama...I have jicama too.

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Passionfruits! And grapes.

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I didn't think sweet potato was a particularly great climber? I've only ever seen people grow them along the ground mostly.

It'll definitely climb. You know morning glory? Yeah, pretty much like that - same genus. It's dark now, but here's an old pic from my yard (you can see the shoots trying to climb up the brick wall at the back) - & that was only a few months of growth - it's twice that lush now. I don't usually bother training the vines as they seem to manage just fine on their own, but it's not difficult to do - they seem equally happy growing up or cascading down. Commercial crops aren't usually grown for their leaves, so there's no reason to try to keep them off the ground. Also, to get a maximum tuber yield, you have to limit the plants nitrogen, which also limits leafy growth. I assume that commercial growers all do this, which might account for their small bushy-looking plants. I have to cut mine back sometimes to stop them smothering my trees, but otherwise I don't interfere, and they've totally overgrown the fences, shadehouse, sections of yard, and I often have to wrestle my garden furniture back from their grasping tendrils.

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