Trellis Gardening, Vertical Gardening, and Why You Should Try Them

Trellis Gardening, Vertical Gardening, and Why You Should Try Them

By Michael Jenkins

Trellis gardening and vertical gardening have exploded in popularity over the last 10 years or so—and with very good reason! These gardening techniques offer some real advantages over conventional gardening, especially for folks with patio gardens or indoor spaces. Even established gardeners with larger outside gardens can benefit from incorporating trellis gardening and vertical gardening into their gardens. It’s surprisingly easy, but there are a few things you should know before launching into trellis gardening. Here at Gardzen,we love to explore new ways of enjoying all that gardening has to offer, so let’s dig in!

Trellis gardening and vertical gardening aren’t exactly the same thing, but they work in much the same way. Both are a way of growing plants vertically, rather than horizontally across the ground. Trellis gardening is just that: using a trellis—an upright structure with cross-bars or latticework—to support plants as they grow upward. Trellises are typically used for vining plants, but there are other plants that can benefit from trellis growing. Vertical gardening can take many forms, from trellises and upright supports to stacking container and hydroponic setups, but the goal is to arrange the garden in an upright plane rather than across the ground.  We’ll be focusing on trellis-style gardening, as that’s more accessible for most gardeners.

Why should you try a trellis garden? What are the advantages of trellis gardening or vertical gardening? There’s a host of good reasons to give trellis gardening a go—here are a few of them:

  • Trellis gardening/vertical gardening lets you do more in less space! For gardeners with smaller space, or those working with patio or windowsill gardens, a trellis garden might allow them to grow plants that would otherwise take up too much room.
  • Trellis gardening increase air circulation around your plants! This, in turn, can promote soil health by reducing the odds of a fungal infection, discouraging some garden pests, and keeping foliage and fruits off the ground to reduce the chance of rot.
  • Harvesting and maintenance is easier with a trellis garden or vertical garden! Weeding, adding compost or fertilizer, clearing away debris, harvesting fruits and veggies, and many other garden tasks are just easier with a trellis garden. When grown vertically and arranged well, it’s easier to reach around the plants and access them as needed.
  • Vertical gardens add visual interest to any space! Whether vegetables or ornamentals, growing plants upright can create an interesting and engaging feature in any size garden. Flowers spreading upward on a patio or a lovely cucumber vine sprawling down a trellis can add beauty to your garden in a new and exciting way!

These are a few reasons to try a trellis garden, whether indoors, outdoors, in containers or in the ground. As you experiment you may find other advantages to a vertical garden in your own space, and that’s all part of the journey.

Whether you’re gardening in containers or in the ground, a basic trellis garden is easy to implement. Just install a trellis or plant cage over your plant, and train the plant to grow up it! Many popular vining plants, including garden veggies like cucumbers, will grow up a trellis on their own with some gentle training in that direction.  Here’s a partial list of plants that take easily to trellis gardening, just to get you started:

  • Cucumbers of all sorts
  • Armenian cucumbers—technically a different species!
  • Vining beans
  • Peas
  • Vining tomatoes
  • Climbing nasturtiums
  • Petunias
  • Mandeville
  • Cypress vine
  • Canary Creeper

This is a partial list, but these are some easy plants to grow in a trellis garden. Most of them will do well in either containers or in raised beds/in-ground beds, so don’t be afraid to experiment!

There’s a lot more to be said about trellis gardening and vertical gardening, and we’ll include some of it in future blogs. For now, this should get you started with your own journey into trellis gardening, and we hope it works well for you!

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