It’s a common misconception, but you don’t have to have a large garden space to incorporate vertical gardening in your garden plans. In fact, growing “up” can maximize the small space you do have for growing more and more vegetables and fruit.
The bigger challenge, instead, may lie in the space between your dreams of vertical garden and actually putting it into place.
You see all the beautiful trellis designs in Pinterest and your mind spins with possibilities. But how do you decide what to tackle first? How do you put a plan in place that you’ll be happy with? Where do you start?
In this episode of the Beginner’s Garden Podcast, I give you these plans to begin incorporating vertical garden concepts into your space, no matter if you have a large garden space like I do or just a couple of raised beds. Listen or read the highlights below.
6 Steps to Add Vertical Gardening to Your Garden Space
List Which Crops You Want to Grow
Before you start buying supplies, you want to decide which crops you want to grow vertically. You have lots of options, including (but not limited to!):
Consider the Space You Have
Do you have a decent amount of space? Then you probably have room for a sturdy A-frame trellis that will last you from season to season and will provide support and space for several crops.
Do you have two raised beds next to one another? You might look into buying a vertical cattle panel to arch between them.
Do you have a small area where you’d like to build an easy teepee-style trellis for pole beans or peas to climb?
Is your garden next to a fence where peas and beans could use the extra support?
Those are just some ideas to get you started, but only you can evaluate the space you have and what options might work the best.
Write Down Ideas You Want to Explore Further
Peruse Pinterest and Instagram, and garden trellis ideas will keep you busy for days. When you come across ideas, save them. You could create a special board in Pinterest or save Instagram pictures in your saved section. Or you could simply write ideas in your Simple Garden Planner. The purpose is to create a space to aggregate all of your ideas. You don’t have to use them all this season or even ever. The point is to dream and brainstorm and create a space to return to when you’re ready to plan.
Need a place to start? Check out my Pinterest Board: Garden Trellis Ideas
Prioritize Based On Your Current Season
With the ideas you’ve pinned or written down, you may find yourself overwhelmed with all the possibilities. That’s why it’s wise to consider your present season to know where to start.
Spring or early summer: Focus on summer crops like beans, cucumbers, and squash. Unless you have a very short growing season, you still have time to erect trellises for these crops and plant them for a summer or early fall harvest.
Summer: Prioritize crops that you can grow in the late summer to fall, such as snap peas, cucumbers, and squash.
Fall and winter: During the off-season and with fewer garden chores, you have time to strategically plan and build. Focus on the most important projects first. If you only could incorporate one vertical element in your garden next season, which one would it be? Then, list others in order of importance.
Estimate Price & Plan Logistics
For your first trellis, make a list of the materials you’ll need. For example, if you want to build my A-frame trellis, take the list from my plans and write down what you’ll need to buy, such as lumber, screws, and possibly tools if you don’t already have them.
Then, visit your home supply store or price these items online. Ensure you have the budget for this trellis.
Next, plan the logistics. Using the A-frame example, you’ll likely need a truck or trailer to haul those large boards. If you don’t have one, could you ask a friend to borrow a truck? Or does your home supply store deliver?
Before you start building, plan ahead and make sure you have the supplies and the logistical details taken care of. It will save you much time and frustration on building day.
Plan & Build
Finally, set a time to build your trellis. Many structures you can do yourself, but with others, you’ll need an extra set of hands. Though you can feasibly build the A-frame trellis on your own, you’ll need someone to help you put it into place. If you’re crafting a livestock panel into an arch, you’ll need help securing it or it can spring out of your grip, causing injury. So, when you set a time to build your structure, make sure you have help on-hand if needed.
Finally, set aside plenty of time for construction. Remember, it’s not uncommon for projects to take twice as long as you think they will. You want this to be an enjoyable process, not a stressful one! Many of these ideas will serve you for seasons to come!
Do you get overwhelmed with garden planning?
Subscribe here for my best tips to plan your garden in just 7 days -- all for FREE.
Plus, I'll send you my "In the Garden E-mail" on Fridays, periodic updates on garden resources relevant to you, and you'll receive access to my entire bank of free garden downloads!