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Vegetables to Trellis in the Home Vegetable Garden

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Do you want to grow a thriving vegetable garden that produces bountiful harvests? If so, it’s time to think vertically. By incorporating trellises into your home vegetable garden, you can unlock the secrets to healthier plants and bigger yields.

Imagine plucking perfectly ripened tomatoes or crisp cucumbers from vines that gracefully climb towards the sky. Let’s explore the top vegetables that benefit from trellising and reveal the best techniques for vertical gardening. Get ready to transform your garden into a space-saving, high-yielding oasis. Let’s dive in and discover how trellising can take your vegetable garden to new heights!

Why Use Trellises in Your Home Vegetable Garden

Trellises aren’t just a decorative addition to your home vegetable garden; they serve a practical purpose that can greatly enhance the success of your vegetable crops. By using trellises in your garden, you can promote healthier plants, optimize space, and increase yields.

Let’s delve into the top vegetable plants that benefit from trellising, and explore how this technique can transform your garden into a thriving, productive oasis. There’s also great info on what to consider when adding a trellis to your garden space and how to care for any plants that use a trellis. Let’s get started!

Top Vegetables That Benefit from Trellising

By understanding which vegetables thrive when given the support of a trellis, you can make the most of your gardening space while also improving the health and yield of your crops. Here are my favorite vegetables to trellis each year in the garden:

  1. Indeterminate Tomatoes: Did you know tomato plants are actually vines? It’s true! Tomatoes tend to sprawl and take up a substantial amount of space in the garden, but by training them to grow vertically on a trellis, you can maximize your growing area. Not only does this save space, but it also allows for better air circulation around the plants, reducing the risk of diseases and promoting healthier growth. Additionally, trellising tomatoes can make it easier to harvest ripe fruits and helps prevent them from rotting on the ground. (See my full post on How to Grow Indeterminate Tomatoes.)
tomatoes ripening on a plant
  1. Cucumbers: Another vegetable that thrives with the support of a trellis is the cucumber. Cucumber plants have long vines that tend to spread out if left unsupported, making it difficult to harvest the fruits and missing some until they become too large. By trellising cucumbers, you not only save space but also ensure that the fruits grow straight and are easy to reach. Trellising also helps improve air circulation around the plants, reducing the risk of diseases and promoting healthier foliage. (See my full post on How to Grow Cucumbers Vertically.)
grow cucumbers vertically
  1. Garden Peas: Peas are yet another vegetable that benefits greatly from trellising. Many pea varieties, such as snow peas, are natural climbers, and providing them with a trellis allows them to grow vertically, making the most of limited garden space. Trellising peas keeps the pods off the ground, preventing rot and making harvesting a breeze. The vertical growth also promotes better airflow, helping to prevent diseases such as powdery mildew on the pea vines. Note: there are some bush varieties of peas, so be sure to find this on the seed package. See this helpful article from NC State University all about growing peas.
  2. Pole Beans and Runner Beans: Green Beans, whether they are pole beans or scarlet runner beans, are perfect vegetables for trellising. Just like peas, beans are climbers and can quickly grow up a trellis. Trellising beans not only saves space but also makes it easier to harvest the abundant crops that these plants produce. The vertical growth provides better air circulation, reducing the risk of diseases and allowing sunlight to reach all parts of the plant, leading to healthy growth and higher yields. As with peas, note if you’re purchasing bush beans, which won’t grow vertically like pole beans. 
How to Grow Peas
  1. Malabar Spinach: ​This was a new variety for me in the garden a few years ago, and it is a heat-loving variety of spinach that grows upward! It has beautiful foliage and is delicious to include in the spring or summer vegetable garden.
  2. Sweet Potatoes: While the potatoes themselves grown under ground, sweet potato vines will grow extensively on the surface. Sweet potato vine is a beautiful addition to the garden, but they can begin to take over if not pruned back and/or trellised. These vines could benefit from some trellis support. 
  3. Winter Squash: Actually planted in late summer in most areas, winter squash, such as acorn, small butternuts, and even small pumpkins can be grown vertically on a support system. This is a great option for those who are gardening in smaller spaces or containers. 
butternut squash growing vertically

By trellising these vegetables, you can transform your home vegetable garden into a highly efficient, space-saving, and productive space. However, to ensure the success of your trellised crops, it’s essential to choose the right trellises for the job.

The Best Trellises to Use for Vegetables

So what type of garden trellis will work best for your vegetable garden? It’s essential to choose the right trellises for the job. 

When it comes to selecting the best trellises for your vegetables, there are a few factors to consider. 

  • Durable Materials: First and foremost, you want a trellis that provides sturdy support for the plants as they grow and mature. Look for trellises made from durable materials such as bamboo, wood, or metal, ensuring they can withstand the weight and pressure of your climbing vegetables. I purchased a cucumber trellis from Lowe’s a few years ago, and the wood wasn’t very durable, and it only lasted a year; however our Garden Obelisk from Amazon has been going strong for four years!
  • Design and Use: The design of the trellis is also important. Opt for a style that allows easy access for harvesting and maintenance tasks. Types of trellises with wide spacing between the slats or openings will provide ample room for your hands to reach through and gather the vegetables, while also allowing sunlight to penetrate and reach all parts of the plant. Also, consider a trellis with adjustable height options (or plenty of height at the start), so you can accommodate the growth of your vegetables as they reach towards the sky.
  • Size of Trellis: Another vital component to consider is the size of your trellis. Ensure it is tall enough to support the maximum height your vegetables will reach. For example, pole beans and malabar spinach can grow quite tall, so you’ll want a trellis that can accommodate their vertical growth without hindrance. On the other hand, if you’re trellising smaller vegetables like cucumbers or tomatoes, a shorter, wider trellis may work.
  • Easy Set Up: In terms of installation, choose a trellis that is easy to set up and can be securely anchored into the ground. A sturdy trellis that stays in place even during strong winds or heavy rains will provide the necessary stability for your climbing plants. Consider using stakes or brackets to firmly attach the trellis to the ground, ensuring it won’t topple over under the weight of the plants.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: When selecting the kind of trellis to use, keep in mind the aesthetic aspect as well. Look for trellises that complement the overall design and theme of your garden. Whether you prefer a rustic wooden trellis or a sleek metal one, choose a style that adds to the visual appeal of your vegetable garden. This is also true for whether to use an arch trellis where tomatoes or peas could hang over the opening, verses an obelisk, which is perfect for garden beds or places with more limited space. 

With the right trellises in place, you’ll be well on your way to creating a productive and visually stunning vertical garden!

beans growing in a vertical garden

Maintaining and Caring for Trellised Vegetables

With the right care and attention, your vegetable garden with trellised vegetables will not only provide a bountiful harvest but also become a stunning focal point in your outdoor space. Let’s explore how to maintain and care for your trellised vegetables, further ensuring their success and productivity.

As with most plants, regular monitoring and maintenance will help you identify and address any issues before they negatively impact your plants. Here are a few key steps to keep in mind:

  • Inspect for Wear and Tear: First and foremost, it’s important to regularly inspect your trellises for any signs of wear and tear. Over time, the weight of the plants can put stress on the structure, so make sure to check for any loose or damaged parts. Reinforce or repair as needed to ensure the stability of the trellis and prevent any accidents or collapses.
  • Consider supports and ties: In addition to the trellises themselves, you should also regularly inspect the ties, clips, or garden twine that secure the stems of your climbing vegetables. Replace any worn-out or damaged ties to ensure that the plants remain securely attached to the trellis. This will prevent the risk of bending or breakage, which can hinder their growth and also make sure to check that the plants aren’t becoming too large for the ties or clips. Tomatoes especially develop thicker stems as the season goes on. Make sure your ties aren’t cutting into the plant itself.
  • Watering: Watering is another important aspect of maintaining trellised vegetables. While some plants may be able to obtain sufficient moisture from rainfall alone, others may require additional watering. Be mindful of the specific watering needs of each vegetable variety, as plants grown on trellises may have different water requirements compared to those grown on the ground. Monitor the soil moisture regularly and adjust your watering schedule accordingly. (See my full post on The Best Watering Systems for Gardens to find a system that works for you and your space!)
  • Pruning: Regular pruning is essential for trellised vegetables, especially those that tend to grow vigorously. Trim away any dead or diseased foliage to promote airflow and prevent the spread of diseases. Additionally, pruning can help manage the size and shape of your plants, ensuring they do not overwhelm the trellis or shade out neighboring plants.
  • Feed Your Plants: Lastly, ensure that your trellised vegetables receive adequate nutrients throughout the growing season. Consider applying a balanced fertilizer to provide the necessary nutrients for healthy growth. This can be done through compost dressing or a good quality organic plant food like Espoma’s Garden Tone

By following these maintenance and care practices, you can ensure the long-term success of your trellised vegetables. Keeping a watchful eye on your plants, providing adequate support, and addressing any issues promptly will help you reap the rewards of a thriving, productive vegetable garden. Stay tuned for the next section, where we’ll delve further into maximizing the potential of your trellised vegetables.,

Incorporating trellises into your home vegetable garden is a great way to improve the health of your plants, but it also saves precious space and boosts your harvest. By utilizing vertical gardening techniques, you can witness the magic of bigger yields and enjoy the taste of healthier vegetables straight from your garden. 

So why wait? Start trellising your favorite vegetables today and witness the joy of a thriving garden that knows no bounds. Happy trellising!