How to Grow Vegetables on an A-Frame


Trellising your vegetables allows you to free up space in the garden since the plants grow vertically instead of sprawling over the bed. An A-frame is a type of trellis that consists of two trellis panels connected at the top and set into the garden so each slopes from top joining to the ground. The A-frame resembles a tent when erected. While this type of trellis takes up more room compared to other plant supports, it is particularly well-suited to supporting heavy vegetables such as squash, cucumbers and melons.

Step 1

Set up the A-frame trellis so it runs from north to south in the garden bed. This ensures both sides get equal sunlight, with one side receiving morning sun and the other receiving afternoon sun.

Step 2

Plant your seeds or vegetable transplants 3 to 5 inches from the base of the trellis, following the depth and spacing requirements on the seed packet for the particular plant variety. Plant on both sides of the trellis, growing either the same plant variety on both sides or a different type of vegetable on each side.

Step 3

Guide the main plant vine onto trellis once it grows long enough. Tie it to the trellis loosely with a cloth or plastic plant tie. Wrap the plant tie around the trellis then cross the ends of the tie between the trellis and the vine. Finish wrapping it around the vine and tie in a know to secure. The tie should resemble a figure-eight with the crossover point cushioning the vine against the trellis.

Step 4

Tie the vines in place to the trellis as the plants continue to grow, spacing the ties about 8 inches apart. With plants that self-wind around the trellis, like some squash varieties, tie only where the plant needs added support to remain on the trellis.

Step 5

Pinch off the top of the main vine when it reaches the top of the trellis. Pinching inhibits further vertical growth but leads to more horizontal branching along the plant.

Step 6

Harvest plants as soon as the vegetables are ripe. Cut them from the vine or gently twist them off, as pulling on them can dislodge the entire vine from the A-frame.

Things You'll Need

  • Trellis system
  • Seeds or transplants
  • Plant ties


  • University of Vermont Extension: Grow a Vertical Garden
Keywords: a-frame trellis, plant supports, growing vegetable vines

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.