7 Best Vertical Growing Vegetables to Plant That Won't Take Over Your Backyard


'A classic choice for a vertical garden, tomatoes thrive when grown up stakes, cages, or trellises,' explains Tony O'Neill of Simplify Gardening. 'They need plenty of sunlight, regular watering, and occasional fertilizing.'


Like tomatoes peas are also vining plants, making them perfect for a patio or balcony. 'They're natural climbers that do very well when given a trellis or netting to scramble up,' says Lina. 'Vertical growing keeps the plants upright, improving air circulation and sun exposure while making harvesting a breeze. Peas are also relatively compact plants, so they're perfect for small-space gardening.' Tony notes that this dinner-time favorite is ideal for cooler regions. 'They prefer colder temperatures and moist soil,' he says. 'Support them early on to encourage vertical growth.' Lina adds that you should amend the soil with compost or aged manure before planting but avoid excess nitrogen fertilizer as they're light feeders.


As the name suggests, pole beans are made for vertical gardening, so these upward growers won't take over your backyard. 'As vining plants, they naturally want to climb, making them perfect candidates for a trellis or pole support system,' Lina explains. 'Pole beans are also prolific producers, so training them to grow upwards allows you to harvest a sizable crop from just a few plants in a compact space.'


'While not natural climbers, peppers can be successfully grown vertically with a little support, saving valuable space,' Tony says. 'They require warm soil, full sun, and steady moisture, and you should use small stakes or cages to keep them upright.' To grow them, Lina suggests using pots or containers hung from a railing or wall-mounted planter. 'This keeps the plants up off the ground, allowing better airflow to prevent issues like blossom end rot,' she says. 'It also puts the peppers at a more convenient height for tending and harvesting. They need at least six hours of direct sun per day and fertile, well-draining soil.' The beautiful jewel-colored peppers will add visual interest to your container garden once ripe.


While not a traditional vertical grower, cucumbers are another vining vegetable that thrives when grown upwards. 'Allowing them to climb a trellis or cage keeps the fruits off the ground,' Lina notes. 'It also makes harvesting much easier since the cucumbers dangle within easy reach. The vines can get quite long, so vertical supports let you take advantage of their climbing habit without taking over your whole patio.'


You might not think of a small garden as a suitable space to grow the likes of squash and melon, certain varieties will thrive even in limited spaces. 'Some varieties of squash and melons can be trained to grow up vertical supports,' Tony explains. 'Look for compact or "bush" varieties that are more suited to confined spaces.' He goes on to explain that they need a lot of sunlight and well-drained soil. 'You may also want to use slings to support the weight of developing fruits,' he adds. We love this planter and trellis combo from Target for the job as it makes it easy to tie slings or alternative supports to your growing system. It also comes in three different colors to suit your space.


Finally, salad leaves make a great vertical allotment idea as they can easily be grown on a wall, where the planter is fixed to the wall itself. For a vining leaf variety, you could also use climbing spinach. 'Also known as Malabar spinach, this plant is a great leafy green for vertical gardens, thriving in hot weather when traditional spinach might wilt,' explains Tony. 'It requires a trellis to climb and enjoys partial shade to full sun, along with regular watering.'

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