I have a metal obelisk in my Victorian Kitchen Garden and I’m looking for advice on how to grow vegetables up an obelisk and which vegetables would be best suited to growing up obelisks.



Any type of climbing bean would look great growing up an obelisk as the tendrils constantly stretch up looking for light. Our kitchen garden favourites are runner beans and French climbing beans. Runner beans are both greedy and thirsty plants so a one tier raised bed with organic matter mixed in should create the perfect growing environment.


The tendrils of the sweet and sugar snap peas love to climb a plant support such as an obelisk. Plant your pea plants in good, fertile soil and water well during periods of hot dry weather. We wrap a 50cm roll of rabbit wire twice round the bottom of every pea obelisk to prevent mice damage and protect the young plants until they are tall enough. 


Sweet Potato and Obelisk


Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes have become a firm favourite in our kitchen garden because the heart shaped leaves look amazing grown in a wide, deep raised bed and growing up an obelisk. Sweet potatoes are a tropical crop and love hot temperatures so you need a good summer for them to develop. ‘Carolina Ruby’ and ‘Beauregard Improved’ are our kitchen garden favourites. Strulch was dug into the soil before planting to keep moisture in the soil. Summer visitors to the garden always comment how good they look and they provide a great crop. Sweet potatoes are harvested when the leaves begin to turn yellow, before the frosts arrive usually around mid-October.





Uchiki Kuri, Golden Apple or Tromboncino are 3 small round squash varieties suitable for obelisk training. Keep the soil constantly moist by watering around the plants, not over them. As they need plenty of water its a good idea to sink a 15cm (6in) pot alongside the plants when planting out water into this and it will help ensure the water goes right down to the roots and does not sit around the neck of the plant, which can lead to rotting.

Autumn Display

The late French Bean ‘Cobra’ growing up a Pyramid Obelisk looks great planted up with rows of winter salad around it.  Winter salad leaves are much hardier than summer lettuces and will continue to provide leaves well into the cooler weather of autumn.  Mizuna, Mibuna, Red Mustard & Pak Choi, are great for beginners as they are so easy to grow, look nice and will give a steady ‘cut & come again crop’ of colourful leaves to pick for your dinner plate.