A vertical garden vegetable is simply one that grows straight up, sometimes with the help of a trellis. Climbing and vining vegetable plants are vertical garden vegetables. They work best for gardeners with limited space or those who grow vegetables in pots.
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Tomatoes are an example of a vertical garden vegetable that is easy to grow. As a young tomato plant sprouts from the ground, push a garden stake or wooden dowel into the soil next to it. As the tomato vine grows, tie it gently to the stake with garden ties. Tomatoes also can be grown upside down through the use of hanging kits.
Peas and Beans
Peas and green beans are vertical garden vegetable plants. Green beans come in both pole bean and bush bean varieties. Peas grow in a similar fashion to pole beans. Grow pole beans next to a trellis and they easily will climb up it. This makes picking green beans easier because you don't have to bend down. It also saves garden space because the green beans will not spread horizontally. Bush beans also grow in a vertical fashion but do not grow as tall as pole beans. Bush beans at harvest time resemble full bushes, and you must reach in to pick the beans.
Vining cucumbers also will grow up a trellis. There are newer, bush varieties of cucumber, so read the label carefully when you buy seeds. Vining plants grow small, sticky a "fingers" that reach out and curl around whatever is available. They grab grasses, other plants, stakes and trellises. When the vining cucumbers are young, check daily to make sure that they find the trellis. You can tie young vines to the trellis, but it is not always necessary to do so.
Squashes and Melons
Squashes and melons usually are vining plants, and therefore will grow up a vertical trellis. Some varieties of squashes produce large, heavy fruit such as pumpkins. When choosing squash or melon plants to grow along a trellis, look for varieties that produce smaller fruit, such as mini-melons or acorn squash. A heavy pumpkin can bring down a trellis.
Samantha Hanly is an organic vegetable gardener, greenhouse gardener and home canner. She grows a substantial portion of her family's food every year. After receiving her bachelor's degree, Hanly embarked on a career teaching dramatic arts, arts and crafts, and languages. She became a professional writer in 2000, writing curricula for use in classrooms and libraries.