When you lack garden space, you still have plenty of vertical space. There are plenty of vegetables you can grow vertically in small areas. Vertical gardening is growing plants on a support such as a stake, trellis, cage, or fence. Pole beans, peas and tomatoes are commonly grown this way. But other vining crops such as cucumbers, squashes—both summer and winter, and melons can also be grown vertically. Not only does it add a visual aspect and beauty to your garden, but it also helps increase air circulation and decrease pests and diseases. Healthy vegetable plants produce larger harvests, so you can expect quite a bounty from these plants.
Not all vegetables grow vertically, so I picked the best choices to add to your garden.
Types of peas – snow peas, snap peas, and garden peas – grow well vertically. They don’t require any fancy kind of support system. It can be as simple as a twin trellis. Pea plants have tiny, delicate tendrils that carry the vines upwards, gripping onto any support type. It doesn’t take much work from you, and pea plants are vigorous growers. My kids love to eat garden peas off the vine, but pea plants can cover an entire arch with long, delicate vines filled with blossoms and pods.
You should know that pea plants are a cool-season crop, so they should only be grown in the spring and fall times. In the summer, you can replace them with pole beans or any other vining crop.
Green beans, wax beans, and French filet beans grow vertically, climbing up any strong trellis that you can create. Some plants easily reach 8-10 feet high. The bonus of growing pole beans rather than bush beans is that pole beans produce all growing season.
Try growing small pumpkins vertically, , such as baby pumpkins, on different support systems. You do need to make sure whatever vertical support you select is strong enough to handle the weight.
Vining tomatoes can be trained to grow up a vertical structure. Unlike determinate or bush tomatoes, these types continue to grow from the tip of the plant, and they handle structures like cages or poles.
Summer squash plants, like zucchini, love to spread out and take up valuable space in your garden. They tend to spread over to neighboring plants and choke them out.
Many summer squash varieties are bush or semi-vining plants, which can be hard to train on a trellis. A few types produce more massive vines that can be grown vertically. Remember that these plants aren’t natural climbers, but they’re natural vines. You will need to weave the vines around whatever support system you use regularly. Twine can be used to secure the vines.
These are a few veggie plant ideas to start your own vertical garden, be creative and find something that works for you and your unique situation. Growing a vertical vegetable garden is the perfect way for urban gardeners and others to still enjoy a bountiful harvest of freshly grown vegetables without taking up their already limited space.