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Vertical Gardening: 10 Vegetables that Love to Climb

Vertical vegetable gardening saves space, helps avoid pests and disease, makes harvesting easier, and adds beauty to your garden. But, which vegetables are best grown vertically?

In this article, I share 10 vegetables that love to climb (in no particular order… a gardener can’t play favorites).

Vertical Gardening: 10 Vegetables that Love to Climb

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Vertical Gardening: 10 Vegetables that Love to Climb


#1 – Peas

Vertical Gardening: 10 Vegetables that Love to Climb

Peas tolerate cooler weather and are often the first vegetable planted in the garden each spring. The tendrils on peas seek out the trellis and happily climb, often needing no help climbing as high as you will let them.

Vertical Gardening: 10 Vegetables that Love to Climb
Sugar snap peas

Read this article to learn more about how to grow peas.


Vertical Gardening Vegetable #2 – Tomatoes

Vertical Gardening: 10 Vegetables that Love to Climb

Growing tomatoes vertically keeps the plant upright, and prevents the stems from breaking from heavy fruit or wind. Trellising tomatoes also keeps the leaves off the ground which helps reduce diseases. Fruit is easier to harvest when it is off the ground as well. 

Tomatoes grown on a trellis need attention from time to time. Young branches easily bend and can be wound through the trellis. As the stems thicken and age, they are more likely to break. It’s best to spend a little time every few days helping your tomato plant climb up the trellis. These plant clips from Amazon are helpful when clipping them to the trellis.

Vertical Gardening: 10 Vegetables that Love to Climb
Celebrity tomatoes

Read this article to learn more about how to grow tomatoes.  



#3 – Loofah

Vertical Gardening: 10 Vegetables that Love to Climb

Loofah gourds grow on a vigorous vine (over 10 feet long). Be sure to give them plenty of room to grow and a trellis for support. Growing loofah vertically keeps fruit up off the ground and encourages the fruit to grow long and straight. Loofah climbs a trellis easily on its own. 

Vertical Gardening: 10 Vegetables that Love to Climb
Luffa

Read this article to learn more about how to grow loofah.


Vertical Gardening Vegetable #4 – Melons

Vines from melons can easily sprawl all over the garden, taking up valuable space. Growing these fruits up a trellis helps you grow more in less space. Vining melons grown on the ground are also more susceptible to pests and soil-borne diseases. Larger melons such as watermelons require a sturdy trellis and some sort of hammock or melon holder

Vertical Gardening: 10 Vegetables that Love to Climb
Cantaloupe

Read this article to learn how to grow cantaloupe.

Read this article to learn how to grow watermelon.


#5 – Tomatillos

Vertical Gardening: 10 Vegetables that Love to Climb

Large and sprawling tomatillo branches are somewhat brittle. Trellising tomatillos makes harvesting easier and broken branches less of a problem. The branches do not have tendrils, and I’ve had success clipping the branches onto the trellis with these plant clips from Amazon.

Vertical Gardening: 10 Vegetables that Love to Climb
Tomatillos

Read this article to learn more about how to grow tomatillos.


Vertical Gardening Vegetable #6 – Yardlong beans

Vertical Gardening: 10 Vegetables that Love to Climb

Also called asparagus beans, the long vines climb easily up a trellis that reaches 6 feet or more. Growing yardlong or asparagus beans on a trellis keeps pests (like potato bugs) from enjoying the fruits of your labor. Growing this vegetable vertically also makes harvesting easier because the beans hang down and are easier to spot among the leaves. 

Vertical Gardening: 10 Vegetables that Love to Climb
Kentucky Wonder pole beans

Other beans that love to climb are pole beans and lima beans. Read this article to learn more about how to grow beans.


#7 – Malabar spinach

Vertical Gardening: 10 Vegetables that Love to Climb

A summer spinach alternative for warm climate areas, Malabar spinach vines can reach 10 to 20 feet or longer. The vines grow best on a sturdy trellis. Once it reaches the trellis, Malabar spinach has no problem growing up the vine without guidance or additional support. 

Vertical Gardening: 10 Vegetables that Love to Climb
Malabar spinach

Read this article to learn more about how to grow Malabar spinach.


Vertical Gardening Vegetable #8 – Cucumbers

Vertical Gardening: 10 Vegetables that Love to Climb

Cucumbers grown vertically are healthier, straighter, and easier to harvest. Guide cucumber vines through the trellis when it begins to grow, and its tendrils will reach out and climb. Trellising the plants also gives other crops room to grow as cucumber vines can quickly take over a raised bed.

Vertical Gardening: 10 Vegetables that Love to Climb
Armenian cucumbers

Read this article to learn more about how to grow cucumbers.


#9 – Cucamelons

Vertical Gardening: 10 Vegetables that Love to Climb

This tasty vegetable has an abundance of fine-leaved vines and does best grown vertically. Once the delicate vines reach the trellis, the tendrils climb it easily. The miniature watermelon fruit are easy to harvest when cucamelons are grown on a trellis. 

Vertical Gardening: 10 Vegetables that Love to Climb
Cucamelons

Read this post to learn how to grow cucamelons.


Vertical Gardening Vegetable #10 – Winter squash

Vertical Gardening: 10 Vegetables that Love to Climb

Vining winter squash can sprawl 10 to 20 feet or more. Growing the vegetable vertically saves space, prevents disease, and keeps the bugs from hiding under the large leaves. Spend time every day or two wrapping the vines through the trellis, and the tendrils will latch on and support the growing vine. Most winter squash fruit can be supported by the vine. However, larger fruit will benefit from some sort of hammock or melon holder.

Vertical Gardening: 10 Vegetables that Love to Climb
Mini Jack pumpkins

  This post tells more about how to grow winter squash


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If you enjoyed this post about vegetables that love to grow vertically, please share it:


L.Rice

Tuesday 16th of February 2021

I planted patio cucumbers last year in a half barrel container on our east patio. The plant grew like crazy and had a lot of blossoms. Unfortunately the blossoms never produced cucumbers. Any idea why?

Angela Judd

Tuesday 16th of February 2021

They may not have been pollinated. Keep an eye out for the female flowers (they look like small cucumbers) and pollinate them with a male flower (flower on thin stem, not bulbous). I usually remove the male flower and gently pass the pollen onto the female flower if I'm finding fruits aren't developing.

Monica

Monday 4th of May 2020

Thanks so much for all of your awesome info here! I have an approx. 4 foot trellis that I would love to use in my garden. is this too short for malibar spinach? or would it be better off used for something else?

Angela Judd

Monday 4th of May 2020

You're welcome. Four foot is fine, you may need to keep it trimmed or cut back a little, but it should cover the trellis fine and give you plenty to harvest.