Growing Vertically in Small Spaces – Examples of Vertical Gardening Trellis Methods

Growing Vertically in Small Spaces – Examples of Vertical Gardening Trellis Methods


Alright this is John Kohler with growingyougreens.com.
we’re here in a local community garden in Petaluma, California, and I have all these…
there’s six trees here on both sides of me are total of espalier apple. So what that
means is… espalier is a fancy French word means growing the plant, you know, basically
horizontally in one plane all the way down. So the branches don’t extend further than
this, basically, this four by four post right here. So that kind of like, makes, like, literally
a wall of just apples. And as you can see, it’s March, so it’s spring time, and it’s
flowering and… Let me show you the construction on this, cause this could be really handy
to build a trellis for people that are growing in their front yard or back yard where they
need to grow vertical. So, growing vertical is really important.
There’s several really good examples here at the community garden. I’m gonna show
you each one of them, but first let me go ahead and show you this side. I really like…
this is my favorite apple in the world. This is called the pink pearl apple. So actually,
you could see the flower are, like, really a nice vibrant pink color, and the fruit is,
you know, not commonly sold in trade because, you know, it doesn’t ship well and it doesn’t
last too long. But they have almost a translucent color to them. And they have a really good
crisp flavor. I love them. They’re grown locally here.
So this pink pearl apple… oh, so, in, so basically they’re using four by four post.
Looks like, I don’t know, eight feet, and then they basically at the end here, they
use an eyehook. And they use an eye hook, and then at the end of the eye hook they have
a just wrap with a galvanized wire, and if we move down to this other, the middle post
here, you can kinda see, is, in the middles, basically, they just drill a hole through
the four by four post, and the wire runs through that hole to the other end, and continues
down to the other end, where they have on the end, once again, an eye hook.
So, if you do need to tighten up these cables, it’s as simple as, you know, twisting in
the eyehook legs, you know, a little more. And, that’s how easy it is. So, so these
are just, you know, horizontal lines, and you could also, you know, also do some strings
from here down to the bottom as well, you know, if you want to make a grid shape for
your vertical trellis. I’ve been thinking about doing something like this, maybe against
my back fence and going, you know, really tall, and I wanna grow some kiwis that are
trellised up the back fence. Alright, so they’re growing some, looks
like Snow peas here, and this is their trellis design. Literally all they took was some really
thin sticks, and they literally just tied it off with string and tied it to the next
stick. These are probably about, about, maybe three feet, two and a half feet apart. And,
you know what, that’s good enough to support these snow peas or sugar snap peas or other
peas like that. You know, they’re not very heavy.
Now I’d never use a set up like this for something like tomatoes. I’d definitely
maybe use some metal, metal posts and some more high quality string. This is just some
inexpensive twine. But it’s good enough to grow vertically and it’s really important
to grow vertically when you have limited space or growing in a, you know, small space or
grove where you don’t have the space. But, you know, some things also do better when
they’re grown vertically. So let’s check out another part of the garden here.
Alright, so here’s another way to grow vertically. This is basically, like, concrete grids to
help you, basically, sink in concrete. So they would use rebar and a heavy-duty avocation,
and this is using a lighter duty avocation. It’s usually just sunk in concrete. One
of the negative things about this is that it rusts, and you can see the rusted color
here. But these are pretty inexpensive. I think they’re less than $10 per whole sheet
here. And so, you know, they have it secured to their, their wooden raised bed here. Looks
like with some staples, and then it just comes up. They have it folded so it’ll, like,
have some support than if they did it just straight away, they wouldn’t want it to
flop over. So, let’s check out some other supports they have built here in the community
garden. Alright, so here is another example of vertical
growing. These are about, I don’t know, maybe 5 feet tall, or so. And once again,
they’re using the concrete grids that you would lay in concrete before you pour it to
keep it stable. It’s not rebar, but it’s a concrete grid. I don’t know the exact
construction term, but they do rust. But these have a multi function. So, you know, these
are actually strong enough to support a tomato plant. So you could plant one tomato plant
in here. The holes are nice and large, so you can reach in the tomato plant. I guess
in the off-season here, they’re planting, I don’t know, sugar snap peas or snow peas
like that. And, you know, this could easily support the weight of a snow peas. Yeah, they’re
snow peas. So, definitely good, but they will rust. So,
I don’t know, maybe paint them, or not paint them if you like that nice rustic, rustic
look. Alright, so how do you grow up a concrete
wall? Well, basically, they got a brilliant genius here. Looks like they ran a piece of
wire down on the bottom, and then they also, you know, in the top they basically, looks
like they just literally glued on some eyebolts to the fence and then ran some wire along
the top. And they ran a twine up to that wire. And they made a whole trellis here out of
literally wire and string. And they’re growing these beans up this trellis. And this thing
extends for at least 25 feet. It’s amazing. So, you know, you can grow vertically. It’s
really easy. Literally, you just take some wire and some string and you know, figure
out how to do it and how to set it up. Here’s another great example of a vertical
growing setup. Basically, they have these, you know, round stakes they stuck in the ground,
and they have three of them. And they’re using, basically, galvanized fence wire. And,
actually, it’s not even that tall. They’re using, like, three or four foot tall. And
they have a seam here which overlaps, like about two squares. So this could be definitely
really good, cause you have access, you know, from the in… from the middle, you know,
to get all the plants that are growing on the outside… So it looks like they’re
either beans or peas, based on the plants that were still attached here at the trellis.
I love vertical growing. It gets me excited when I see it. Here’s yet another example.
Basically, they have these two poles sticking on the end of their long bed. I mean, this
bed must be at least 15 feet long, 16 feet long. And they basically drilled a hole in
here and have some wire going through it all the way to the other side. There’s actually
a fair bit of tension on this wire. And then basically they, in the bottom of their bed,
their wooden bed, they put a couple staples in there, and then they basically ran this
twine from the bottom up to the top, and then back to the bottom, and just keep looping
it up and down. And then finally they end, and then they’ll start and use a new piece.
So, you know, the peas will end up growing up this twine, literally, and that will be
enough to support it, because, you know, peas don’t weigh too much. So I definitely wouldn’t
do this kind of system with the cucumbers or tomatoes. I’d have something else, or
even with melons. I’d maybe even use a, you know like I did in my episodes at my home
I did nylon trellis. And the nylon trellis is really strong. We did have many winter
squash, you know, on there and it supported the weight with no problem.
Alright, now I’m fully energized in the bamboo, tepee styled trellis. It’s so peaceful
in here. Anyways, this is another excellent way to make a trellis. You literally just
have bamboo poles and string up at the top. It’s really kind of a cool and decorative
design. It’s fairly sturdy, gonna hold ‘em plants. This will probably work best for something
like peas or beans. That’s probably the best thing. Some pole beans, actually, would
probably be really good on something like this since there’s not a… you maybe need
to do some kind of, like, string between them to make more segments if you did wanna grow
something else vertically, like, maybe cucumbers or even something like melons. But this is
actually a pretty dang firm system here. I could probably almost hang on it, but I’m
not cause it’s not mine. Alright, so here’s our last example of vertical
growing here in the Petaluma community garden. This is basically a bamboo trellis, and it’s
kind of like an accordion. It kind of, like, folds up or gets smaller or get really wider,
you know, depending on how long or wide you want it, or how tall you want it. It’s kind
of really cool. I’m using these actually to grow grapes against my house and also,
I grew, using this, with my chayote squash with… against my house. So this works fairly
well. And you’re gonna have to deftly support it with some good fence posts to keep it upright
because it’s a little bit flimsy for growing anything more than peas or beans, something
like that right now. So we’re coming to you from the community
garden at Petaluma, California. I’ve had a great time showing you, and learning myself
on some of the different ways and things, ways to grow things, cause every gardener
has new and different ideas, and I’m always interested in seeing what others are doing.
So, this is John Kohler with growingyourgreens.com, and keep on growing.

29 thoughts on “Growing Vertically in Small Spaces – Examples of Vertical Gardening Trellis Methods

  1. As usual, great video John! Stock panels (for livestock containment) come in a variety of heights and grid spacing, are 16' long, won't rust, are heavy duty, and retail for about $24 each. I've grown squash and melons on mine — they would easily support tomatos as well. You can find them at Tractor Supply Stores (TSC), and other farm stores.

  2. I agree. the "hog fencing" or livestock panels are the best, but get expensive. Thats what I use and reccomend the most..

  3. ok im not jealous anymore im pissed i kid i kid like the other comments say this is the best garden channel i have found. HEY JOHN have you ever heard of mike adams the health ranger?????

  4. Thanks James. Sometime I dont know all the technical names. I bought them once, I personally didnt like how they rusted.

  5. I've been wanting to see a video about different trellising, thanks! If you come to my place, please don't shake my trelises.

  6. hey john, have you ever juiced the chayote leaves? i buy the tips at the market but i was wondering how the big leaves tasted.

  7. how do you spell that french word of growing a tree flat, i'd like to see if i can do that with a meyer's lemon tree.

  8. I was told that only the tips can be eaten raw. I didnt think the whole leaves tasted that good. I dont know if I would juice a large quantity of them.. I would prefer to juice other greens.

  9. That rusty wire grate that you were referring to can be painted with rust or plastic paint. Use a little roller for a quick application. I use green for my moss planters and it lasts – might use some bright colours this year just for fun… It really doesn't use much paint. Thanx for all your great videos!

  10. Hi John. How about doing a video on kiwis. I live in los angeles and I have only found one place in temecula that sells kiwi plants and I have tried without luck to start the seeds from store bought kiwi. Also, there is not a lot of info out there on kiwis. Thanks

  11. @mreisma good idea – if you use the method to create a tree 'espalier' against a warm, sheltered south-facing wall you can avoid early blossoming trees like almond or peach losing all their petals and pollen on the first cold blowy day after a warm start to spring!

  12. my goodness, you are all over the place with these videos! great job.

    do you have any episodes on year round gardening in a greenhouse.
    i have heard that if you can keep them warm enough tomatoes will live all year round … don't know if that is true.

    there are also quite a few videos on permaculture and aquaculture, growing fish and using their waste to fertilize the plants.

  13. These trees totally remind of the same ones in George Washington's garden at Mount Vernon. They replicated his gardens to something like he would have had – he reportedly did a lot of work in his garden planning and it is beautiful.

  14. I really admire your video! Methods are very applicable and I have learned so much and enjoyed watching your video.

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