Kitchen Gardening

New Ideas in Vertical Vegetable Gardening

Vining vegetables, from pole beans to tomatoes, need a strong trellis to keep the fruit growing up.

A vertical hanging garden can fit on a fence, wall or any small sunny space that can support the weight. Fill with a planting mix and add herbs and flowers.
Photo/Illustration: Jodi Torpey

Vining plants offer interesting opportunities for creative DIY gardeners. Pole beans, runner beans, peas, cucumbers, tomatoes and even squash grow best if their vines are trained to grow up.

The benefits of vertical vegetable gardening include healthier plants and flawless fruit. Besides that, vegetables are much easier to harvest when grown at eye-level. 

Fortunately for gardeners, there are more products on the market for vertical vegetable growing than ever before. From classic arbors to lean-to lattices; pocket planters to expandable trellises, there are loads of options for getting big harvests from the smallest of spaces.

Pre-made vertical gardens offer convenience at a good price. These gardens can be made from plastic or fabric and are easy to hang on a sunny outside wall or fence. Fill with a high-quality planting mix, add vegetable or herb plants and keep them watered. By the end of the summer, the green wall will be as attractive as it is delicious.

A triangular vining vegetable trellis will fit in a small sunny space for growing three different kinds of vines. I saw the plans for building an unusual trellis on the Lowe’s Creative Ideas website and built one of my own.

If you look closely, you can see the trellis is made from three white fan trellises that are turned upside-down and tied together with white cable ties. The fancy top is actually a standard six-inch painted clay pot with a post cap final attached to the top with adhesive.

This trellis gives gardeners the chance to plant at least three different kinds of vining veggies, starting with peas in spring and fall; and beans, tomatoes and cucumbers in summer.

An entire garden can be planted in a hanging basket, too. I repurposed a flower basket from last season and filled it with fern-leaf dill, a cherry tomato plant and two kinds of calibrachoa flowers. This is a perfect solution for gardeners with small spaces or those who want to make the most of every square inch of their patio garden.

What creative ideas do you have for vertical growing? Please share!

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