There’s an old joke about lock your car or else you may find a zucchini inside from your gardening neighbor! It’s hilarious, but in some cases, it doesn’t speak to the fact that zucchini can sometimes be trickier to grow than others. First of all, do zucchini need a trellis?!
Known to be hardy and vigorous growers with bountiful harvests, it makes sense that zucchini plants could use a little support.
However, in most of my experiences so far, I’ve grown bush zucchini, which produces fruits from the center of the plant and never really grows that tall.
So, what is this vine zucchini I’m hearing about?
Apparently, there’s an Italian zucchini that grows about 5 feet tall! Not to mention other types that vine and grow 3 feet or 4 feet tall.
And, as it turns out, even if you grow bush zucchini, you can still help it up a trellis or tomato cage for a little extra support and a more compact garden.
Let’s dig into growing zucchini vertically!
Do zucchini need a trellis?
Growing zucchini up a trellis is optional. If you have the space, it is not necessary to give zucchini plants a trellis to climb. Let them ramble! However, if space is limited, keep your zucchini plants more compact by training them up a trellis vertically.
How do you grow zucchini vertically?
Growing zucchini vertically begins with choosing a zucchini that grows long or tall in a vining habit. Next, choose a trellis or other climbing structure like a tomato cage. You can use plant ties or string to train the zucchini plant up the supports.
You can even train zucchini up lattice, a fence, deck rails, or other structures that suit your needs.
How to Trellis Zucchini
Follow these tips to learn how to trellis zucchini in your home garden.
- Place a tomato cage or trellis nearby the zucchini planting site.
- Plant zucchini in your garden or even in a large container or flower pot. You can grow from seed or use zucchini starts.
- Water the zucchini seeds or seedlings.
- Watch for growth. As the zucchini gets tall enough, gently train it up the trellis or tomato cage. You can use Velcro plant ties, twist ties, string, or whatever works best for you. Twist or tie it loosely around the plant and part of the trellis.
- Continue to check on the plant’s height as you care for it. Keep it connected to the trellis as each new length of vine or stem gets tall enough.
More Tips on Trellising Zucchini or Squash
If you choose to trellis zucchini plants, keep in mind that you may also be able to better protect your plants from common squash pests.
Try growing zucchini up a tomato cage and then place an insect netting plant cover over the tomato cage. This can help protect the zucchini from vine borers and squash bugs.
If you cover your zucchini plants, you will need to hand-pollinate the flowers since bees can’t access them. You can do this using a paint brush to collect pollen from the male flower. Then, dab it onto the female flower (the flower with the tiny zucchini on the end).
Benefits of Growing Zucchini with a Trellis
Trellising zucchini can provide numerous benefits.
- Keep the garden tidy. Plants grow up instead of out!
- Use less space! Growing vertically allows more room for other plants in a small garden.
- Protect plants from pests. Growing on a trellis may make it easier to see the problems as they develop.
- Keep good airflow. Plants growing up a trellis can often enjoy a better breeze.
Growing Zucchini Vertically
All of this being said, this year is my first time trying to grow zucchini vertically. I’ve often wanted to, but finally got around to trying it.
I didn’t start my zucchini from seed this year, though, so it will be interesting to see how tall or long the varieties are from the garden centers.
Do you have any thoughts, experience, or questions on growing zucchini vertically up a trellis? Shout at us in the comments – we’d love to her from you!