Be sure to utilize at least one garden trellis in your overall garden plan. There are many benefits to growing a least some of your vegetables vertically.
Garden trellis’ are such a great idea for utilizing space. You’ll be surprised how many plants can be grown vertically instead of on the ground.
Growing your own food can be very rewarding, and even people living in the smallest apartment can be successful by growing pots of herbs on their window sill. Join in the magic of gardening by starting a few seeds in a pot and watching them sprout and grow into something that is actually edible.
In addition to a window sill garden, you can utilize other ways to make the best use of your garden space. One of the easiest to implement is vertical gardening by adding a trellis to your garden beds. All it takes to implement vegetable garden trellis ideas is a little creative thinking.
You may not realize it, but for every square foot of ground space in your garden, you actually have additional valuable gardening space right above it. Really! If you take advantage of all that untapped vertical space, you can grow so much more than you ever thought possible.
Add Space with Vertical Gardening
Vegetables trained to grow up instead of out, use up a lot less ground space than those that are left to their own devices. In fact, a single climbing vegetable only needs the width of a couple of square inches of dirt to thrive. Here’s the problem though, if that same plant is not offered vertical support to train it upward, it will quickly cover several feet of your valuable – and limited – growing area.
Some of the common ways to provide vertical support for your plants include trellises, tepees, arbors, hanging baskets, stacked containers, and fences. If you have it, take advantage of unused wall space along your house or garden shed by adding, hanging planting pockets, or turning old gutters into plant containers.
You can train your plants to grow up existing structures on your property without needing to build or buy anything new. Look around for existing split-rail or chain link fencing, which are particularly useful for this purpose. To use this for a simple garden trellis idea, clear an area at the base of the fence of any weeds and grass, add soil for a raised bed, and plant your seeds.
For another inexpensive option that can be placed in any existing garden bed, wire together 6 foot long wooden poles or tree limbs to form a tripod (tepee style. This is fabulous for growing pole beans or other vining vegetables.
Garden Trellis Ideas for Vegetable Gardening
Crops to plant vertically include cantaloupe, honeydew melon, cucumber, tomato, small watermelon varieties, nasturtium, small pumpkin, and squash varieties, pole beans, snow and snap peas, and many others! There are many varieties of fruits, vegetables, and culinary herbs you can grow in your newfound vertical gardening space.
Pole beans are excellent climbers. Plant them in May or June as soon as the weather starts to warm. To grow them in containers, put two or three posts in a large 10 to 20-gallon pot and tie some twine between them. In the garden, you can plant four to five plants in rows four to six inches apart. Use a strong trellis, teepee, or heavy reach through garden netting (Amazon link), since they can grow to reach 10 feet high or more.
Bush and pole peas are cool weather crops and can be planted as early as March. Arrange the seedlings an inch apart and stake these pole peas as you would beans. This cattle panel trellis idea from Oak Hill Homestead (below) could be put together in less than 30 minutes. Peas are lighter in weight than beans and don’t need as strong of a structure.
Tomatoes can grow six to eight feet tall but need to be staked up to keep them off the ground. Once the harvest comes in, the plant will become heavy, so choose a sturdy cage or trellis when the plant is still young. This sturdy idea from Learning and Yearning is my favorite. It’s made with wood and the arch makes it extremely easy for harvesting.
Cucumbers, Winter Squash, and Melons
Cucumbers, winter squash, and melons are natural climbers and can be trained to keep them off the ground. Push a couple of stakes into the soil and lace them with twine. As the plant grows, weave its vines through the twine. Plant two to three seedlings per 6-inch row. For the best success, choose light, small varieties like Acorn, Kabocha, Blue Ballet, and Hubbard. Suitable melon types for trellises include Alvaro, Sugar Baby and Charentais.
A garden trellis does not need to cost a lot of money. Take this example below from Attainable-Sustainable. They are using cinder blocks and tree branches harvested from their property. Smart!
Not Convinced? 7 Reasons to Try These Garden Trellis Ideas
- They keep your garden and food tidy by bringing the harvest off the ground
- Trellises bring food up to your level, so you can reach them for easy harvesting
- Garden trellis’ add interest and dimension to your overall garden
- Trellises help you grow more food in less space
- They are easy to make with netting and metal fence posts, cattle panels, or even bamboo poles.
- Easier to manage pests because the vegetables and plants are more accessible
- Less vegetable waste because it’s harder for the fruit to hide
As you can see, using at least one garden trellis in your overall garden plan will bring many benefits, making your garden both visually appealing and allowing you to grow your vegetables vertically in less space. Give it a try!