Advantages of Growing Vertically
Every gardener strives to make this year’s garden better than the last. Learning the invaluable skill of growing zucchini vertically can be advantageous in achieving a more productive garden. Here are some advantages:
- Saves space for other crops
- Prevents growing in garden pathways
- Allows better air circulation
- Allows squash to be more visible preventing overgrowth
- Keeps squash off ground reducing pest infestation
- Keeps squash off ground reducing fungal disease
Squash Varieties to Grow Vertically
Most zucchini varieties are considered bushing varieties; although, some have a slight vining nature. Even the bush varieties can vine a few feet under the right growing conditions. If a vining variety is desired, try these varieties:
This Italian heirloom zucchini variety, also called Italian Ribbed Zucchini, is considered a semi-bush variety that matures in about 52 days from germination. The fruit is medium gray-green with pale green flecks and ribs that are prominent. The flavor of this zucchini exceeds the hybrid varieties.
This hybrid zucchini was designed to be grown in a greenhouse. The vertical growing of the Black Forest zucchini is ideal for this climbing plant that produces a medium-sized (about 6 inches), green zucchini.
Courgette Shooting Star
The Courgette Shooting Star hybrid was bred in Britain. This golden skinned zucchini produces good yields of fruit that is less watery than most varieties. The vines grow to about 47 inches.
How to Grow Zucchini Vertically
The heavy fruit of zucchini plants needs a sturdy structure for support; in addition, the structure needs to be in the ground deep enough to prevent toppling over. There are a few ways to achieve this:
The best trellis is made of rigid fencing such as cattle panel fencing. The fencing can be made into a circular cage or flat-paneled trellis attached to stakes or pipes.
As the zucchini plant grows, it will have to be trained to weave in and out of fencing. Old nylons or fabric should be used to gently tie the plant onto the fencing. Sometimes a cloth sling should be used to support larger fruit.
Some gardeners stake bush zucchini varieties. Simply drive a sturdy wooden stake or pipe (length of at least 4 feet) into the ground before planting. Then plant the zucchini seed near the stake. With old nylons or knit fabric, tie the plant to the stake as it grows. Also, prune the lower stems and leaves leaving just the main stalk.