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Having limited space I would like to drape various plants down off the top edge of my garage roof.

The plants I have in mind are runner beans, peas, grapes and cucumbers.

If I do it this way would I encounter any issues at all? Are there any particular measures I need to put in place? - and, can you think of any other edibles I could do this way?

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  • Have not (deliberately) tried it, so just a comment, but they all want to grow upwards, and will keep trying to do so, rather than cooperatively hanging downwards. The growing tip will keep turning up, rather than going down where you want it to go.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jul 16, 2023 at 1:52
  • @Ecnerval good point but in nature the body of the plant would be happy in the horizontal and would have to spend energy pulling itself up with it's tentacles. Each leaf might want to keep itself erect to maximize sun capture but it can still do that if body of plant draping down and there's going to be little motive to rally up when the whole plant will have continuous full sun as no competition this way. I put a cucumber plant up there the other day and no obvious problems so far. Jul 16, 2023 at 6:22

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As mentioned the plant will keep trying to bend up and grow upwards. But you can coerce it down with ties. It will be a continual job though.

Also note that fruits of plants such as cucumbers and melons can get heavy and are supported by the ground in nature.

Why not plant at the bottom and train upwards? You dont necessarily need a lot of width, length will compensate for it somewhat.

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I don't know enough to say all, but I think most climbers would do fine draping down. My father planted strawberries and ivy on the roof of his garden shed which definitely got the idea and grew over the walls like he wanted. I have also seen neighbors with grapes in hanging baskets, which sent me looking for the other plants you mentioned in hanging baskets online, and I found plenty of examples of each. I also learned that it can help your cucumbers grow straighter!

Image of a cucumber vine in a greenhouse hanging down with straight cucumbers growing on it

image from Food Gardening Network

As to other edibles to try this with, I can't really think of any not to try it with. Please write an answer here with your results if you do try it! So long as they are supported enough that the plant doesn't physically break I think most plants can grow in some pretty wild orientations.

A fig bush growing upside down from a crack in the mouth of a masonry archway

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