Square foot garden beds are great for making the most of your garden space. Using trellises to grow vining plants allows you to make more use of your garden space allowing you to get an even larger harvest from your square foot garden.
The benefits of using a trellis in your garden
The use of trellises in your square foot garden is a great way to maximize your growing space. Even though most plants you would grow on a trellis in your square foot garden have bush varieties or can be planted with the vines trailing on the ground, using a trellis will allow you to produce more by leaving room in each square for another type of plant that will complement the others. Green beans can be cultivated in the same square as tomatoes using your trellis to hold beans at the back of the square. Your green beans will help your tomatoes grow, and the two plants work together very well.
Plants you can grow on a trellis to fit more in your square foot garden
To have a successful harvest in your square foot garden, you must choose the right plants for your trellis. As a result, you can add more plants and companion plants in your garden, making the most of each square. Some plants grow amazingly well on a trellis in your square foot garden.
You can never go wrong with green beans when it comes to crops that grow well on trellises in a square foot garden. By growing these nitrogen-fixing plants like green beans in a garden bed, you will greatly benefit other plants that require nitrogen. Those broad green beans leaves can reflect the sun’s rays onto the plants growing in front of them for even more growth in your garden.
Peas are a great addition to your square foot garden because they will grow out to the side on a trellis at the back while also allowing you to maximize the space in the square by including another plant. In order to make the most of every square inch in your garden, peas can be a great addition if your family loves them.
Zucchini is an excellent trellis plant. Because these fruits can grow quite large, you will need to watch them carefully after they have formed to help support them. My best friend once grew one the size of her forearm. Many people find that this is an ideal food to grow for beginning gardeners as they can produce a lot. These are an important addition to your square foot garden if you want to get the best yield possible.
A trellis is also a good choice for growing cucumbers. These are a favorite of canners and gardeners alike as they can be eaten fresh or preserved for winter. Cucumbers can be grown on a trellis in your square foot garden to maximize the space. It is best to avoid growing these next to zucchini since they cross-pollinate, producing a unique and sometimes disappointing result.
What not to grow on a trellis in your square foot garden.
Some plants that can be grown on a trellis are better suited for other areas of your garden outside of your square foot garden beds. Due to the fact that they are usually very heavy feeders or very picky about their growing conditions, they are better suited to old-fashioned gardening methods.
Your square foot garden bed should not contain any plants that require mounds to flourish. Melons, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and potatoes require mounds to thrive and need much larger space than a square foot though you can use trellises to fit them into tighter spaces. These plants cannot be trained up a trellis without great difficulty, and they also require a lot of ground space, preventing you from growing another crop in the square.
Here are some tips for planting on trellises in your square foot garden
1. Place trellises on the north side
When planting sun-loving plants, place your trellises along the north side of the square foot garden bed. Making the most of your garden trellis is a great idea. They won’t block light from reaching your plants, but instead, they will reflect it back into your garden bed. This will enable you to get more light and increase your garden yield.
2. Use garden hoops as a trellis
As a trellis, you can use garden hoops that run from one garden bed to the next. The idea here is to trellis two garden beds at once and create a shady space for potted cold-weather plants that need to stay cold in order to extend their growing season. Growing cucumbers or zucchini on trellises in your square foot garden beds is a great idea, because you can go under the hoops where the fruits fall to tie them to the trellis after they form. You can weave a cord around and between these to create more of a trellis than a hooped pole.
3. Keep your trellises in reach
Place your trellises where you can easily reach them. It will be necessary to reach over and around other plants to harvest from your trellis, so be mindful of this in your placement in your square foot garden. If you can reach the entire trellis from the short side of the garden bed or the ends of the larger side, this is the best place.
4. Succession plant your trellises center first
As you are succession planting on your trellis, place the first plants as far from the outside as you can. This will allow you to place the newer plants closer to you without having to reach around them. This will be useful when planting and harvesting.
5. Be mindful when attaching plants to your trellises
Keep your ties loose when you use them to help attach your plants to the trellises. Due to location, it is hard to adjust these when other plants are growing around them or if you have to reach around other plants on the trellis to get to them.