Climbing Vegetables That Are Perfect for Compact Gardens
The best trellis vegetable plants for your garden
If you’d like to grow your own vegetables but have limited space, why not try growing your vegetables vertically?
Climbing vegetable plants are great for growing on trellises, arbors, pergolas and fences.
Here are 10 easy to grow climbing vegetables to maximize your garden space.
10 BEST CLIMBING VEGETABLE PLANTS
Tomatoes are one of the easiest vegetables for beginner gardeners to grow and they look great growing up a trellis or wire frame.
There are many different varieties to choose from including small cherry and grape tomatoes to large beefsteak tomatoes.
The large varieties will need sturdy support because the plants will become heavy when they’re laden with fruit.
Cucumbers are popular climbing vegetables that are ideal for a vertical garden.
Growing cucumbers on a trellis makes them easier to harvest and they’re less likely to be affected by pests and diseases.
It’s a good idea to harvest cucumbers regularly to avoid the plant becoming too heavy.
If there are too many fruits left on the vine, the plant will stop fruiting.
Beans are an easy vegetable crop to grow vertically on a trellis.
Runner beans are a popular choice or you could also try yard long beans or golden wax beans.
It’s best to pick beans while they’re small and tender, because they can become stringy and tough if left on the vine for too long.
Snow peas are a cool season vegetable that are fairly frost tolerant.
They can be grown on a trellis, wire or netting and produce an abundance of vegetables.
Snow peas can be added to salads, lightly steamed or added to stir fries.
5. Bitter Melon
Bitter melon is from the same family as cucumbers, squash and watermelon.
They’re an easy to grow climbing vegetable that is great for a trellis or pergola.
Bitter melons grow best in tropical or subtropical climates and they need full sun.
Bitter melons grow to about 8 inches (20 cm) in length and each plant produces about 10 to 12 fruits.
Chayote, also known as choko or mirliton squash, is a small pear shaped climbing vegetable.
Chayotes are best picked when they are young because the skin toughens as the fruits grow larger.
Chayotes can be steamed or boiled and taste similar to marrow.
Small pumpkins can be grown on a trellis but they’ll need a sling or hammock made from pantyhose or an old piece of clothing to support their weight.
Some pumpkin vines can reach up to 20 feet (6 metres) long but they can be pruned to keep them manageable.
There are many different types of gourds including ornamental gourds, edible gourds and vegetable sponge gourds.
Gourds grow best in warm areas and can take up to 5 to 6 months to mature.
The vines can grow up to 40 feet (12 metres) long but they should be pruned back when they reach 10 feet (3 metres) long to encourage them to spread out.
9. Luffa (Luffa aegyptiaca)
Luffa, also known as loofah or sponge gourd, is an interesting climbing plant that has many different uses.
The fruits can be eaten when they’re young and tender or they can be left to mature on the vine to create natural sponges.
Once the fruits reach maturity, the skin is peeled off to reveal the fibrous tissue inside which can be used to exfoliate the skin.
10. Malabar spinach (Basella alba)
Malabar spinach, also known as climbing spinach, is a creeping vine that is ideal for growing on a trellis.
It’s a popular leafy green vegetable in Indian cuisine and it can be propagated from seeds or cuttings.
Malabar spinach can be grown as a perennial in warm climates or treated as an annual in areas that receive frosts.