If you’re looking to conserve space in your garden, try vertical trellis gardening! This article will help you choose the best crops for vertical gardening and how to grow them in your own backyard.
1. “Lazy Wife” Pole Beans
Despite its name, these beans are anything but lazy. This variety of pole bean is known for its large amount and continuous string of production. Once these beans start, you can hardly get them to stop. After planting your seeds, secure a trellis tripod over the area to give the vines support. After 80 days, your vines should be mature enough to start producing beans.
2. “Orient Express” Cucumber
There are actually quite a few varieties of cucumber, and this one, called the “orient express”, is known to do well on a trellis. This veggie is famous for its tender skin and is ready to eat straight from the vine, no peeling required. These cucumbers can be ready for harvest in as little as 60 days, so be sure to keep an eye out.
3. “Dr. Martin’s” Pole Lima Beans
This bean gets its name from a dentist, Doctor Martin, who also was a talented botanist. Thanks to the good doctor, we now have one of the largest varieties of Lima beans today. These vines can grow up to 12ft tall and need plenty of support, so make sure you use thicker poles for your trellis. Make sure to plant in well-drained soil and regularly harvest to get more beans.
4. Sugar Snap Peas
To grow these little guys, be sure to install netting or a trellis for their vines to grow. Given the proper support, these peas can grow up to 6ft tall. You’ll want to sow your seeds in spring and watch your vines throughout the season into summer. During the midsummer heat, these peas might stop producing but will mature in the coming fall. Be sure to give each vine its own room to grow!
5. “Spaghetti” Squash
This veggie is by far a personal favorite. If you’re struggling to cut out pasta from your diet, then this squash is exactly what you need. Once cooked, the flesh of the squash comes out in long, spaghetti-like strings that you can easily toss with your favorite pasta sauce. Make sure to let your squash fully ripen to a warm yellow color before removing it from the vine.
6. “Malabar” Climbing Spinach
The problem with most home-grown spinach is its vulnerability to heat, making it hard to grow this vegetable in certain zones. However, this variety of spinach tastes just like the real deal and is famous for its ability to tolerate high temperatures. Given some netting or a delicate trellis, this plant will naturally begin to latch onto the support – all you have to do is watch, and then eat!
7. “Better Boy” Tomato
Most tomatoes don’t tend to need much support while growing, and aren’t typically used as trellis crops. However, this tomato is known for its flexible vine and juicy fruit. Since this plant will produce heavy hanging fruit, it’s best to secure the vines to sturdy poles or create a tripod shape over the plant. You’ll be seeing ripe tomatoes in no time.
8. “Sungold” Cherry Tomato
This particular tomato is a family favorite, thanks to its amazingly sweet flavor and its versatility. These tomatoes can be grown either outside or inside, and will still produce a ton of fruit. Try seeding this plants indoors until they are 6 weeks old, then move them into your garden giving each plant its own trellis to climb on. This tomato can continue to produce its sweet fruit well into fall, given the right TLC.
9. “Trombone” Zucchini
For the musicians in your life, try planting this strangely shaped veggie in your garden. This heirloom veggie originated from Italy, but you can grow it easily in your own garden. These vines will also naturally climb once given any kind of support, but be aware – these zucchinis can grow to be almost 2ft long, so don’t let those delicate vines fool you!
10. “Charentais” Melon
This melon is perfect for vertical gardening thanks to its relatively small fruit, growing not much larger than a common grapefruit. However, these melons can be a bit touchy with cold weather and can stop growing if the temperature drops below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to harvest these melons while their ridges are still a green color.
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featured image credit: Friends of Cora Garden