Last Updated on October 31, 2021 by Phil
Vertical gardens have become more and more popular because homes are getting smaller and more expensive. As such, here are the best vegetables to grow on a trellis for vertical gardening.
This will let you increase the space you already have by being able to get more harvest.
But, they key to a successful vegetable trellis garden is to choose the right veggies to grow.
Benefits of Growing Vegetables on Trellis
Before I continue, you might be asking yourself why even bother growing vegetables on trellis.
Well, here are the benefits.
- Grow more food in less space. You’ll be using the same amount of space. But, since you’ll be able to grow them on a vertical structure you’ll be able to get more veggies.
- Easy to harvest. Bending is one of the bothersome things about gardening. As you spend more time hunched over, you’ll notice your posture curving forward more and more on its own. Harvesting while you’re standing upright is by far an easier task.
- Clean fruits and vegetables. Since they’re hanging on the trellis, the fruits and veggies are nowhere near soil. Thus, no need to clean or mess with dirt.
- Reduce pests, insects and diseases. Diseases come from the soil. Since they don’t touch the soil, there’s less chance of disease. They’re also farther away from pests and insects as well.
Best Vegetables to Grow on a Trellis for Vertical Gardening
Tomatoes are one of my favorite plants to grow in our vegetable garden. That’s because they have so many uses in the kitchen. This lets you enjoy them very regularly.
Tomatoes are vines.
Thus, they need some kind of support where they can attach themselves to grow. They also grow heavy as the fruits bear most of the weight.
As a result, without anything like a trellis or other structure to grow on, you’ll see it get tangled up.
This is why growers will always keep tomatoes in cages, trellises or at the very least stake them.
With cucumbers, you’ll find that there are vining and bush varieties. You’ll want to use the former for trellises because the latter kind won’t need nor will they go up any vertical setup.
Instead, the bush cucumbers will take up space on the ground.
What’s great about cucumbers is that they’re prolific growers. Thus, you don’t need to plant many of them to get a good harvest.
However, if you enjoy cucumbers, I do suggest doing multiple plantings. This will let you harvest one after the other to get more out of them.
Ideally, you can sow during the mid to late spring. Then again around the middle of summer.
Another thing worth noting is that cucumbers come in both male and female varieties. Thus, it won’t make sense to grow all males or all females. Nor should you only grow one plant and expect it to multiply on its own.
Finally, cucumbers are heavy. The more your grow, the heavier they will get. So, the trellis should be strong enough to hold the capacity.
Not all peas are well suited for trellises. Many only grow to 2 to 3 feet high. This means you’ll be wasting your time creating the trellis when all they’ll need is a simple stake or even tree branch for support.
But taller vining peas are good trellis plants. These are the ones that get to at least 6 feet or higher.
Without that support, their vines will get all tangled up in the ground.
Since peas are not heavy plants, you can use a simple trellis. As you’ll see in the next ones like pumpkins and squash, you won’t be able to get away with something as flimsy.
Pumpkins are very heavy and very large. Thus, only use the strongest of trellises. Not doing so will likely cost you the trellis and the time invested in growing the pumpkin as they’ll fall and break somewhere along the way due to too much weight.
You’ll also need to support the pumpkins with some kind of fabric that’s stretchable. This will prevent them falling and will relieve some of the weight from above.
Beans are much like peas, not all of them will need a trellis.
Shorter varieties including bush beans don’t grow more than 2 feet high. As such, there’s no need to trellis them.
But pole beans which easily get between 10 to 20 feet tall need extra support.
Many growers will set up teepee trellises, which are simple for pole beans. All you need are 3 bamboo pols and rest them against one another to form a triangle with the three poles. Then tie them up together on top to keep them together and keep them stabilized.
Melons are close relatives of cantaloupes. That’s why they look very similar.
If you’ve carried a few melons from the supermarket before, you already know they can weigh a bit. In fact, they’re much heavier than most vegetables.
This makes them a bit challenging on trellises. And, to hold that weight, you need to make sure the material and setup of your trellis is really strong.
Another problem you can face is that melons can drop from their vines. Sometimes its just because of their weight. Other times, nature has a hand in it.
But, when they do fall, they’ll crack open wasting your harvest. So, you do need to make some catching mechanism like a net or sling similar to what circus acrobats use to catch any falling melons.
Cantaloupes are very much like melons. While they’re different in looks and flavor, growing them is similar.
And, while their size and heft can take up a lot of space, growing them vertically on a trellis lets you harvest them even if you have a small garden.
Cantaloupes will grow long vines. They’ll typically get to between 4 and 7 feet sometimes more depending on variety.
So, in addition to creating a trellis that’s able to hold the weight of the cantaloupes, you need to make it tall and wide. Ideally at least 8 feet high and about 15 or so feet wide.
They grow best in warm conditions so do pick a good spot.
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Speaking of heavy, squash ranks up there with the best of them. And, it is big as well.
Because it takes up so much space, it is a good idea to trellis squash to save space. Doing so lets you grow more of them without taking up more room in your garden.
But like some of the heavy veggies on the list, you’ll want to do extra work on the supports of your trellis. Make sure you’re using something like bamboo that’s superiorly strong. And, don’t skimp even one bit on structural support.
The worst thing that can happen is if one junction breaks, everything comes crumbling down including your precious squash.
Do note that summer squash is lighter than winter squash. This makes it easier to trellis compared to the latter as you don’t need to reinforce the structure as much.
Jicama will need a strong trellis. While not a big as melons and watermelons, they are still hefty.
Make sure to position them where they get lots of sunlight. They’ll need it because they’re fast growers.
To help them get along, make sure to feed them regularly as well.
Jicama takes about 5 months from planting to harvest. They cannot tolerate cold weather. So, do plant them early enough to harvest before first frost comes around.
If you enjoy watermelons like my dad does, then it might be worth your time to grow them on a trellis.
The thing is, watermelons don’t naturally grow vertically. As such, you’ll need train them to go up your trellis.
Additionally, their tendrils are not strong enough seek out and climb up any vertical structure. Plus, there’s the wind.
So, you’ll need to provide them with some help in terms of support.
The good news is, watermelons grow very quickly. So, once you get the setup right, you’ll see them grow about 1 to 2 feet every week or so.