What Vegetables Can You Grow Vertically?

Gardeners who are planning their plots generally think in terms of two dimensions. Drawing everything out on graph paper is a good beginning, but savvy gardeners who want to use all the space possible think in three dimensions. Instead of sprawling over 3 feet in every direction, many vining plants can be trained on fences and poles so that they take only minimal space on the ground. Wasted ground that was once under vines and leaves can become useful soil that will hold many other plants.


Cucumber vines can grow as long as 6 feet; growing them vertically will save a lot of soil for other plants. Cucumbers can be a bit heavy, so plant the vines near a chain-line fence or inside a wire cage. When the vines first begin to run, you may need to train them to the fencing; after a week or so they will grasp onto the wires and pull themselves up farther every day.


Pole beans are one of the two varieties of beans grown. Unlike their bushy cousins, pole beans grow on slender vines that wander for long distances. These light, thin vines can grow up almost any vertical structure. Set up bamboo poles into a tepee shape or run a series of strings between poles to get the vines off the ground and the beans in the air.


Tomatoes grow much better when they are caged or trellised vertically. The tomatoes have less chance of splitting and rotting from being in the dirt, the vines are up in the air so that pests can be spotted and taken care of easier and the fruit can be supported, so larger tomatoes can grow. Install classic tomato cages around the seedlings when they are planted, and gently tie tomato vines to the cages to train them.

Keywords: vertical vegetables, vegetable trellis, tomato cage

About this Author

Anne Baley is a writer and photographer living in Southeast Michigan. Her degree in public law and government began a lifetime love of research, and has served her writing well. Baley has written articles for EndlessSunday.com, GardenGuides.com and hundreds of articles for eHow.com.