Short On Space? Try Vertical Gardening

Up, up, and away! Squeeze more vegetables into small plots with helpful trellises.

May 10, 2016
woman holding container of tomatoesPhotograph by Dmitry Zimin/Shutterstock

When you grow your vining vegetables upward, you use less ground space. This increases your yield per square foot because you can fit more plants into the vegetable garden, but saving space is just one reason to grow your plants on structures like The Most Reliable Tomato Cages + Trellises. There are plenty of advantages to growing up, such as making pest control and monitoring easier because the critters are right in front of your face. Harvesting is made easier on your body because there's no stooping or hunching over. Harvest waste also becomes a thing of the past, because ripe fruit is no longer hidden under lush growth. 

Related: Make Your Vegetable Patch Worth Looking At 

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So the benefits of trellising are clear. Before you set up a trellis, though, keep in mind these two important points: You must situate trellises along the north side of your garden to prevent shading other plants, and anchor your trellises inches deep to protect them from the wind and to handle the weight of the plants.

For more vertical gardening ideas, check out Derek Fell's book, Vertical Gardening.

Here are some of The 10 Best Garden Crops To Plant This Summer in your vertical garden: 

Tomatoes
Trellis nonbush or indeterminate types, which keep growing and producing fruits until frost—determinate varieties are often bushy. 

Peas + Cucumbers
Grow nonbush varieties on trellises. Bush types don't need trellising because their vines only reach 4 to 6 feet long.

Related: 14 Ways To Use Chopsticks In The Garden

Pole Beans, Gourds, Melons
As a general rule, any variety with fruits smaller than a volleyball can be trellised. Vines will grow strong enough to hold the weight of the fruit, so there's no need to support fruits with individual hammocks.

Squash + Pumpkins
Small-fruited and nonbush types—such as miniature pumpkins and acorn and buttercup squash—are suitable for trellising. 

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