Garden Types: Caves are Best!
Garden types fall into two general categories when it comes to vine vegetables: Horizontal or Skyscraper. Horizontals should not be used for vine because as they grow during the season, they start over-lapping creating what can be called a "dreadlock" as the vines lock together. Vine plants are ever harder to investigate for pests and vegetables as the dreads take over. Invariably, the gardener gives up because of the time find vegetables along with rotten goods that were not found previously. Also, it is hard to spray for infestations since the undersides of the leaves are only a few inches off of the ground. Please note that the comparisons and criticisms of horizontal gardens applies to raised bed gardens which only delays the problems of dreadlocks.
Some people, for tomatos, use cages which only elevate the problem if one has planted the vining indeterminats. At a certain point, the length and weight of the tomato plants cause the cage to bend over. And, cages cost between $3.50 and $6,00 depending on size. Cages are good for determinants which don't grow more than four or five feet in height. (One should plan on staking the determinants or use a cave to hold the cages up.)
A cave approach is better.
One can and should rotate crops around the cave--see Crop Rotation. Also, with a cave one can plant companions in the middle or outside walkways. Marigolds, the best overall companion, can be planted that are short and tall for maximum pest repelling.
In 2012, caves were used for tomatos and cukes. In 2013, the use will be expanded to beans, winter squashes and beans.
Raised bed gardens: All the criticism of horizontal gardening applies to raised bed. If one has a raised bed garden, one can enhance one's bed garden by building a cave for those plants that benefit from a cave.
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