Grow Up, Not Out

To create more space in your garden


When you think you've run out of room in your garden, don't panic, just grow up instead of out. You can create a lot of new garden space by putting up a trellis and growing vines up that trellis.

How to Get More Space in Your Garden by Growing Up

Also, if you think your garden is missing something, usually adding height in the garden can help solve that problem and help to create a focal point.

Whether you are growing flowers or vegetables up a trellis, it's easier than you think to grow up.

Things You'll Need:

  • vining plants
  • trellis

Research plants that are suitable for growing on a trellis that will grow well in your location. Some plants I really like for sun include, clematis, climbing roses, native honeysuckle, native wisteria, passion vine, trumpet vine, vinca, morning glory, and cardinal climber. Some good choices for shade would be boston ivy, climbing hydrangea, Virginia creeper, akebia and porcelain vine. Some vegetables that grow well on trellises include climbing cucumbers, beans, peas, gourds, and tomatoes.

Once you have picked the plant, then decide on the best location in the garden for that plant. In addition to sun exposure, consider the type of soil you have and the amount of water the plant will need when choosing the location.

How to Get More Space in Your Garden by Growing Up

Now it's time to choose your trellis. Make sure the trellis you choose is sturdy enough for the plant you are growing. An annual vine, will probably not need as sturdy of a trellis as a perennial vine. Think outside the box when it comes to your trellis. Old metal porch posts make great narrow trellises that fit in almost any location and garden decor. Old metal headboards also make great trellises, as do metal fence sections turned on their sides. Make a trellis from tree branches or copper pipe. I have a plan for a copper pipe trellis as well as other ideas here.

Make sure your trellis has been anchored in the ground so that it will not fall. Attaching rebar to the bottom of a trellis can help hold the trellis in the soil in case your trellis does not have long "legs". Just wire two 24" pieces of rebar to the bottom of your trellis and then pound it into the ground at least 18".

Once your trellis is securely in the ground, dig a hole for your plant a couple of inches in front of the trellis. It's best to start with smaller plants, as they will be better able to adapt to your trellis.

As the plant grows taller, you may need to tie the plant to the trellis at first to help train it to grow up the trellis. Use a flexible material like panty hose or stretchy plant ties made for this.

Tips & Warnings

  • Think about the overall style of your garden when choosing the trellis materials. You wouldn't want a rustic trellis in a formal garden setting.
  • Choosing a lighter colored trellis will stand out more whereas a green or brown colored trellis will blend in to the landscape better.
  • Choose the right sized trellis for the plant you are growing.
  • Other ways to grow up besides trellises; fences, tepees, pergolas, arbors, cages, and trees.
  • Make sure your trellis is anchored securely in the ground so that it can support the full weight of the full grown plant.

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