Vertical gardening is a method of gardening using trellises and fencing, in order to train plants to grow upward instead of sprawling over the ground. When plants grow vertically, they generally produce more crops, are less subject to pests and have cleaner food due to them not laying in the dirt. Vertical crops are grown from vining plants, but not all vining plants are ideal for vertical crops.
Green peas or English peas are one of the first crops to be harvested in the garden each spring. Plant the seeds as soon as the frost is gone. Plants can be trained up "pea brush", which is a collection of dead sticks and branches that has been pushed into the soil around the pea seeds. The pea vines will grow up these sticks and keep the peas off the ground.
Tomatoes are the most popular crop for the home gardener in the United States. There are dozens of types of tomato, from giant hybrids that can slice larger than your hamburger to tiny cherry and grape varieties, perfect for a salad. Tomatoes can be trained up a fence, or can be grown in a tomato cage, which is a tube of chicken wire that is pushed into the soil to surround the tomato seedling when it is planted.
Cucumber plants are naturals for a vertical garden. The vines send out tendrils all along their length, grabbing on to anything that is standing up. Tomato cages, fencing, wires or anything else that you can stand up in the garden is good to hold cucumbers, as long as it is strong enough to hold up the fruit when they are growing. For this reason strings are not recommended.
Beans come in a number of varieties, from fresh green and wax beans to the many types of dried beans. All beans come in either pole or bush varieties, and the pole beans are what will grow in a vertical garden. Pole beans will grow well up a fence, but a fun way to grow them, if you have children, is to set up poles in a teepee shape and plant beans around the base of each pole. The plants will make a tent for the summer and keep the beans clean and off the ground.