Fruits on a vine typically induce thoughts of grapes, while vegetables on a vine often call to mind images of tomatoes. But there are many other vine-growing fruits and vegetables gardeners do not think of at first blush. These fruits and vegetables are tasty, fun to grow, and can really expand your gardening experience.
Muscadines (or also called scuppernongs), Vitis rotundifolia, is from the grape family. They are drought-resistant vines that attract birds. These woody vines get 6 inches wide and can be 100 feet long. The fruits have black, bronze or deep purple skins in clusters.
Fruits are used for wine and jellies. Plant a muscadine vine in full sun for the best results and water regularly. Propagate via softwood cuttings, seed or by layering.
Cucumbers, Cucumis sativus, are from the pumpkin family. It is an easy growing annual. Cucumbers have hairy leaves and the size of the fruits will be varied depending on the cultivar. Plant a cucumber plant in full sun with regular waterings. Propagate via seed. Pick while the fruit is young before it turns yellow.
These three vegetables are from the Cucurbita (pumpkin) family. They are annuals. Leaves are large and simple. Vines typically are from 10 to 30 feet long. Bell-shaped flowers are yellow and 3 to 6 inches wide. These vegetables are actually berries. Winter squash, summer squash and pumpkins are all from this family of plants. Plant these in full sun to partial shade with regular watering. Propagate via seed.
Lima beans, Phaseolus lunatus, are from the bean family. They are easy to grow perennial grown as annuals. Bush types will get 2 feet tall while pole types will get 12 feet or longer. Leaves are 2 to 5 inches per leaflet. Yellow or white flowers are under an inch long. Plant a lima bean plant in full sun and water regularly. Propagate via seed. Limas are ready for harvest when dried or while fresh when the pods start to bulge.
Runner beans, Phaseolus coccineus, are from the bean family. They are perennial vines that will attract butterflies and hummingbirds. These will get 12 feet long approximately with 4- to 5-inch leaves. Most flowers are red and an inch long. Bean pods are 6 to 12 inches long. Plant runner bean plants in full sun to partial shade with plenty of water. Propagate via seed. Flowers are good for salads and immature bean pods are eaten like green beans.