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How to Grow Zucchini on a Trellis

Growing vegetables on trellises is an effective way of extending your garden space. Vine plants like zucchini are excellent candidates for trellising. Not only are you saving space by lifting the plants off the ground, you are protecting the plant from disease and pests. Trellising also makes zucchini easier to pick.

Cross two poles in an X shape with the bottom section larger. Secure the tops by weaving twine where the two poles form the X, going over and around and up and down the four sections made by the poles. Weave until it feels secure to you when you push or tug on it. Expect to use up to a foot of twine to secure each X.

Bury poles at least 3 inches in the ground to help with support.

Continue Steps 1 and 2 with your other poles, placing each X about 6 inches apart.

Use your last pole to combine all your X's into one structure by running it the length of your X's. Place it in flat on the crook of your X's and, using the same weaving pattern, secure it to each X.

Run the chicken wire mesh along one side only of your support system from the ground up. This is important so you can reach crops growing on either side of the wire mesh. Staple taut in place.

Plant zucchini seeds along the base of your trellis about a 1/2 inch underground and 2 to 3 feet apart.

Water and keep ground moist until plants begin to germinate. Thin weaker seedlings if needed. As the seedlings begin to reach your mesh trellis, they should start weaving their way through the wire as they grow. A little encouragement to grow in the pattern you wish may help, but is not necessary.

Mulch heavily between seedlings after germination to help combat weeds. Zucchini are heavy feeders that require a lot of nutrients.

Tip

Large branches, 1-by-2 pieces of wood and bamboo poles work just as well as commercial trellis poles in building your trellis.

This garden trellis design can easily be taken apart and stored for winter, to be reassembled in spring.

Ready-to-use commercial trellises are also available.

Put your trellis to work by planting other climbers like beans, peas or cucumbers to climb and grow through the same space. Give each plant enough leaf room for sunlight and enough root room so they aren't fighting for water and nutrients.

Pick zucchini before they reach 8 inches long for best flavor.

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