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If your vegetables need some help up: two simple trellises.

Running out of room to grow sprawling, vining vegetables such as melons, cucumbers, beans, and peas? Go up: the two portable trellises shown here let you do it simply, easily, and inexpensively.

The first is a simple A-frame, hinged at the top. For vines with heavy fruit cucumbers, gourds, melons, or luffas-use concrete-reinforcing wire for plants to climb. With beans or peas, you can use twine instead of the wire; run it vertically. If you plan to grow cucumbers, run twine horizontally, too, at 6-inch intervals.

In the Sunset test garden, we used a 7foot-high by 6-foot-wide trellis for vigorous plants (beans, gourds). For smaller vines (cucumbers), 5 feet high is enough. The vertical trellis is ideal for lighter, twining vegetables, such as peas and beans. Taken apart, it stores compactlybut moving the heavy footings may take two people.

How to grow vegetables vertically

Prepare the soil along the base as you would for any vegetable planting. Position your trellis with ends pointing north and south so both sides will receive sun. Then, using a hoe, dig a shallow trench about 6 inches deep along the trellis base. Plant seeds or transplants in the trench; keep it as a furrow for watering.

At first, most vegetables will need a little help getting attached to the trellis. Simply place wayward branches on the supports or gently twist them around the wire or string. Melons and cucumbers may also need help staying on the trellis; support them with slings as needed.
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Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Mar 1, 1989
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