In a small garden, space is at a premium. Growing vegetables vertically up trellises and supports or hanging down from baskets increases the amount and varieties of vegetables for the home garden. Save the beds for root vegetables, flowers and fruits that don't vine. Expand your garden by growing vine vegetables vertically.
Cucumbers are a favorite summer salad ingredient. Sizes range from tiny 3-inch cucumbers to those more than 24 inches long like Armenian cucumbers. The vines attach themselves by tendrils much like peas. Cucumbers grown on trellises are straighter than those sprawled on the ground.
Tomatoes are fruits botanically but considered vegetables by gardeners and cooks. They are frost-tender perennials that would grow all year long in warm climates. Tomatoes come in a variety of colors including red, yellow, orange, pink, chocolate, purple, striped and green when ripe. The lighter colors are usually less acidic than the darker colors. Shapes include currant, grape, oval, round and ribbed. The tomatoes may be tiny and weigh less than an ounce or weigh up to 2 pounds. Grow tomatoes in a cage to keep them off the ground and to take up less space.
Beans come in a bush variety that grows to 2 feet or a pole variety that vines up to 6 feet. The vines attach themselves to a support by twining around them. They will easily twine around poles, which is why they're called pole beans. The beans may be eaten fresh including the pod, such as string beans or green beans, or saved, removed from the pod and dried such as pinto, kidney and navy beans. Some beans go by other names like black-eyed peas and chick peas.
Peas grow to 6 feet tall. They send out tendrils that wrap around a support rather than the plant itself winding around the support. Peas won't grow up poles. However they will twine around string that is attached to the poles and pull themselves up that way. Snap peas, sometimes called snow peas, have edible pods and may be harvested before the peas are fully developed. English pea pods are not edible. The peas are removed from the pod when mature. Peas are eaten fresh or may be dried for storage.
All squash is grown during warm weather, even though some are named winter squashes. Winter squashes have a hard shell that protects the inside flesh from deteriorating quickly after harvesting. Stored in a cool dry place, winter squash may last through the winter. Some squashes, such as spaghetti squash, are more of a vinelike plant than others such as zucchini, which seems more bushlike. Toward the end of the growing season, it becomes more apparent that the bushes of a zucchini are really more like a vine with huge leaves.