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Growing Up: 7 Vegetables that Climb

Whether you are looking for an effective way to maximize space or wanting to create a more beautiful garden, it’s good to familiarize yourself with vertical gardening. Once I started utilizing trellis systems in my garden, I found that the productivity and health of my plants improved dramatically. Wondering where to start? Let’s explore 7 vegetables that climb and thrive when grown vertically.

Benefits of Vertical Gardening

Vertical gardening offers several benefits. Here are some of the main advantages that I’ve seen in my experience:

  • Maximizes Space: Instead of sprawling all over the ground, plants can grow upward maximizing your garden space and allowing room for other vegetables.
  • Easier Maintenance and Harvesting: Vertical gardening makes it easier to maintain the plants and harvest the vegetables with minimal bending over and rummaging through vines.
  • More airflow and sunlight: Climbing vegetables get better airflow and sun exposure, which promotes healthy plants.
  • Helps to Prevent Fungal Issues: By having the vines off of the ground, the plants have a much better chance at fighting fungal issues.
  • Offers Visual Interest: Vertical gardening offers variation in height which creates a full, aesthetically please look.

7 Vegetables that Climb

1. Sugar Snap Peas

Peas are natural climbers, making them ideal candidates for trellis gardening. They have little tendrils that reach out, wanting to wrap around an object and climb. Sugar snap peas, snow peas, or shelling peas work beatifully for trellising.

My kids love sugar snap peas! One of my favorite garden activities and jobs for kids is to have them harvest peas. With a trellis system, they can easily see and pick the juicy ripe pods, and I don’t have to worry about the plants getting trampled on in the process.

2. Cucumbers

Cucumbers are another natural climber. If you introduce them to the base of a trellis they will start climbing right away. As the plant grows, you might have to train the it to go in the direction you want or use a jute string for support in some places. I like to make sure that my cucumbers stay in their lane so they don’t choke out other plants.

Gherkins, slicers, and pickling cucumbers all love to be grown vertically!

3. Tomatoes

Indeterminate and determinate varieties of tomatoes can equally benefit from a trellis system. While tomatoes are not natural climbers, they do best standing vertically, with lots of support. To do this, you can stake them or train them along a trellis. The more space you give a tomato plant to grow, the more tomatoes you will get!

This is my first year using a trellis for my tomatoes and it has been a game changer. Usually by the end of the season my stakes are leaning and they look like a mess. This year, they are all twined to the built-in trellis and have the full support and airflow they need to thrive.

Growing tomatoes this year? Learn how to create a salsa garden, for fresh salsa made from all home-grown items!

4. Mini Pumpkins

You know those small, adorable white, green, or orange pumpkins that we place around our house for the fall season? These guys love growing vertically! And since they are so small you don’t have to worry about creating a sling to hold their weight. You can enjoy the color that they offer on the vine, then harvest them to bring the autumn color inside!

5. Pole Beans

Pole beans are excellent for trellis systems, allowing them to reach their full potential. In fact, you can get more beans from a pole bean plant than a bush bean, simply because the plant has more space to grow. Trellising not only saves space but also makes harvesting easier and keeps beans off the ground, reducing the risk of rot and pest damage.

6. Squash: 

Certain varieties of squash, such as Zucchini, Acorn, Summer, Pattypan, and Butternut Squash, can be grown vertically with the help of trellises. Choose varieties where the fruit will not be too heavy. If not, you will need to provide a sling to hold the weight of their vertically growing squash.

I love going vertical with squash, because it saves so much ground space, and I’m not competing with mold or slugs for my final harvest.

7. Melons 

Surprisingly, melons can also thrive when grown vertically on trellises with proper support. Varieties like Cantaloupe and small watermelons can produce large, sweet fruits when supported off the ground. The use of slings or nets to cradle developing melons will help to successfully grow melons vertically.

Gardening with trellises opens up a world of possibilities for maximizing your vegetable garden’s yield and aesthetic. I hope this post inspires you to try your hand at vertical gardening while conserving space and fostering good plant health. Happy Gardening!


Vertical Gardening Q & A

1. What is vertical gardening?

Vertical gardening is allowing plants to grow upward rather than outward, utilizing trellises, or other structures to maximize space, productivity, and aesthetics in your garden area.

2. How does vertical gardening save you space?

Vertical gardening allows plants to grow upwards, freeing up ground space for other crops or pathways. Instead of spreading vines all over your garden area, they can be trained to grow upwards, maximizing your available area.

3. What are the benefits of vertical gardening?

Growing vegetables vertically improves air circulation and amount of sunshine while reducing risk of mold and disease. It also allows for easier maintenance and harvesting, giving you a higher yield of produce. Trellising plants also provides visual interest by varying the heights of plants in your garden area.

Keywords: Vertical gardening, trellis gardening, vegetables for trellises, maximize garden space, garden efficiency, grow vegetables vertically, trellis systems, trellis gardening tips.

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