Growing Zucchini Vertically!

Today I moved my zucchini from the greenhouse to the garden and I have to admit I am more excited about zucchini this year than most.  To be honest, I don’t really love zucchini. We grow it because it is good for you, is super versatile and has high yields which makes if fun for the kids to grow.  Anyways, the reason that I am so excited is that I am going to try to grow it vertically this year.  There are a couple of reasons for this so let me explain.

First, zucchini takes up quite a bit of space in the garden so growing it vertically would be a great space saver in my little garden.  Remember my garden is only 124 square feet and there are lots of things planned for that space this year.

The second reason is that last year there was some kind of creature that ate my zucchini blossoms.  I got these big beautiful blossoms that were then eaten during the night.  I would wake up in the morning and all the blossoms were gone. I never have figured out what was eating them. 😦 I think that growing off the grounds should solve this.

The third, and possibly most important reason, is because I just really want to grow it vertically :).  I am determined this year to see what I can grown vertically and zucchini seems like it will be very doable.  This should be easier than the vertical sugar baby watermelons I am attempting to grow.

So here is where I am at so far. My little seedlings are about 4 inches tall and when I transplanted them today I planted them each at the bottom of a 6 foot wooden garden stake.  My intention is to loosely tie it to the stake every 6 inches as it grows.  I read on another blog that it is best to remove the leaves below the zucchini and only keep leaves at the top end of the vine. This means removing all the leave between the zucchini and the ground.  Here is the link for the website that explains pruning zucchini perfectly.  I also love how easy it makes it to see the zucchini growing.  Obviously, I am not even near this point yet, but that is where I am headed.  If you want to go on this journey with me now is the time as your zucchini plants are still likely very small.  So go ahead, put a stake in next to your zucchini and let’s grow our zucchini up, up, up!

Have you ever tried to do this before?  What veggies have you grown vertically?  I would love to hear about your adventures in vertical gardening.  


12 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Heather said,

    I’m currently training my cucumbers to grow up tomato cages. It’s working pretty nicely. They were stubborn at first, but they’re catching on!

    • 2

      Kelly Y. said,

      Awesome. I am growing pickling cukes in tomato cages and it is working great. I did it this way last year and had a great yield. Thanks for sharing.

  2. 3

    Kristen said,

    I grow all of my vining plants up. If you use panels from Menards that are used for in cement around 6.oo each and metal stakes used for fences. Zip tie the panels to the stakes and now you have huge trellis’s. Currently in my garden I have cucumbers, peas, beans, watermelon, cantelope, honeydew, eggplant and pumpkins. I also use these for my tomatoes and use old nylons to tie them up. Good Luck

    • 4

      Kelly Y. said,

      Wow that is AWESOME! I would love to see a picture if you have one bc I am not sure I understand what the panels look like. Thanks so much for commenting!

  3. 5

    Claudia Caldwell said,

    I love zucchini. Can’t wait to come to your house and eat it!!

  4. 6

    Todd said,

    My wife and I are growing our zucchini plants vertically this year, also. It should save on space and hopefully allow better air circulation to avoid or lessen powdery mildew.

    We had the same problem this year with our flowers being eaten (and it was not simply the male flowers falling off after opening). All the flowers, both female and male were being eaten by early morning. Sometimes it was only part of a flower, sometimes pieces were left behind and it got so bad, something was even eating the flowers way before it was even time for them to open – very frustrating to say the least. Four zucchini plants, but only a few zucchinis that made it past the flower bandit.

    Well, we think we have figured it out. One evening I looked out to see a cardinal hopping up onto the large zucchini stems and another morning it was underneath the plant. I cannot say for 100% certainty because I never saw a flower in its beak, but since I installed my deterrent, none of the flowers have been eaten. For now, all we have done is taken long 2 inch strips of tin foil and loosely spiraled it around the end of the vine where the flowers are currently growing – so far so good.

    I could not find the reason for our problem anywhere on the internet, so hopefully this helps others that have the same, very aggravating problem. It was worse than cucumber beetles and vine borers combined, which says a lot.

    Good luck with your vertical zucchini – I think it will be well worth it!

    • 7

      Kelly Y. said,

      Wow, cardinals??? I have not heard of that but certainly anything is possible. You are right on about the powdery mildew. I always have a problem with powdery mildew and since growing vertically I have not had any…not even one little spot. It is amazing. Please keep us posted as to how this deterrent is working. It is a great idea. How did you come up with the idea? Thanks so much for posting this. I am sure it will be very helpful to people. Thanks!

      • 8

        Todd said,

        Well, it has been about a week since we spiraled the top section of our zucchini plants with the tinfoil strips and there has only been one blossom that was half eaten and that was because I missed it and it was sticking out in the open. The tinfoil was just a temporary fix I came up with to test my theory. Yesterday we went with our permanent and less labor intensive solution which was to simply buy some garden bird netting to put over the zucchinis. They are back to blossoming daily and the birds have not eaten a single bloom. Growing them vertically is working great, too and I guess it is time to start making room in the freezer.

      • 9

        Kelly Y. said,

        I am so glad to hear that you have determined what was eating your blossoms. Who would have thought that it would be birds. Crazy! The tinfoil was such a great creative solution. I wonder if it would work on berry bushes? I am so glad your zukes are doing well. Vertical growing is going really well for me this year too. You should see my vertical watermelons. It just blows my mind. Keep me posted.

  5. 10

    Paige said,

    To help with the powdery mildew spray with 1 part milk to 9 parts water. Can use this on zucchini, squash, & cucumbers.
    This year I’m also going to try growing my zucchini vertical. Can’t wait to see how that turns out!

  6. 12

    […] Growing Zucchini Vertically! | Learning As I Go – July 30, 2012 @ 9:04 pm My wife and I are growing our zucchini plants vertically this year, also. It should save on space and hopefully allow better air circulation to avoid or lessen powdery mildew. […]

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