Ashleigh Smith + photo

Ashleigh Smith

Feb 21
2 min read
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Vertical Home Gardening

If you have never tried vertical gardening before, make this your year to try something new. Vertical gardening is a growing method that is becoming more and more popular to make the most out of small growing spaces. Its principles can be used for both home vegetable gardens as well as more complex ornamental designs.

This is not a new trend, it is actually one of the most effective ways to produce more in confined spaces. Vertical gardening has been popular throughout history as a way to beautify any garden space, produce higher yields of food per area, and provide shade in bright locations. 

It doesn’t take much more than some seed and a supporting structure. That structure can be a fence, string, tree, post, etc. If your plants can attach or lean against it, your garden will do just fine. 

This doesn’t have to be a big adjustment from how you usually plan your garden. For a larger harvest simply plant your tallest/longest varieties at the most eastward side of your planting area. This will allow the rest of your garden to get the necessary light it needs without being shadowed by the taller varieties. 

Make sure you have your structures ready to go from the time you plant your seeds or starts. As they grow, you may need to guide their tendrils or tie the plant to your support system. 

One of the best things about using a support for vining plants is better access to your harvest later in the season. Propping your plants up can also help with disease prevention as there is better airflow through your plants preventing molding issues. 

Ashleigh Smith's photo

I'm Ashleigh Smith, a native to Northern Utah. I first gained a love of gardening with my grandmother as I helped her each summer. I decided to make a career of it and have recently graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Horticulture from Brigham Young University - Idaho. My studies have focused on plant production while I also have experience in Nursery & Garden Center Operations.


Lisa Coleman

Last year was the first time I tried vertical gardening. I experimented to see what would grow and what wouldn’t and planted them thickly. Along with peas, beans, tomatoes and cucumbers, I grew small watermelon and cantaloupe (tied up the fruits). I also tied yellow squash and zucchini stalks upward as they grew. But my joy was the butternut squash! I had 4-5 plants and I was able to harvest 22 butternut – and many fruits had still not ripened before the frost! I used 4 cattle panels, each 15 feet long and arched them over (braced at the bottom by raised beds) so that the vines grew up overhead and the fruit hung down. The garden was beautiful and lush, but it became a jungle! This year I won’t grow so many plants or so tightly together and I won’t grow melons this time.

Margo O'Connor

It would be a good thing to list all the type of plants that grow vertically on trellises etc. Those of us who are already growing vertically could use some new ideas…other than the peas and beans we are already growing in our home gardens. True Leaf: what seeds do you have available for this type of growing? Margo