Certain types of fruit and vegetable plants tend to keep growing and growing. Many of these sprawling plants can benefit from a good support. Tomatoes, melons, beans, cucumbers, squash, and peas are examples of plants that can be grown vertically. This allows the plant to grow up some kind of support instead of outward, meaning they will take up less garden space and may make them easier to harvest. There are a few kinds of fruit and vegetable support options:
Cages: The idea with this kind of support is to keep the plant somewhat enclosed and keep vines from spreading, forcing them to grow up instead of out. There are many different kinds of plant cages designed for specific vegetable plants. For instance, you can find wire tomato cages that are shaped like a cone, or pepper/eggplant cages that are more rectangular. Some of these cages are more like ladders, triangles, or cylinders. It doesn’t necessarily matter what shape the cage is, as long as it is strong and can handle the weight of the plant and fruits/vegetables it produces. The more heavy-duty the cage is, the better.
Stakes: Stakes make it easy to prune your plants while still giving them adequate support. Instead of reaching through a cage to get to ripe fruits, stakes leave the plant a bit more accessible. Stakes may be made of wood, plastic, or metal and come in various shapes and lengths. Stakes can be straight, y-shaped, or spiraled. Be sure to use garden twine or something else that won’t dig into the plants as they grow to attach them to the stakes.
Trellis: A garden trellis offers an attractive and effective way to wrangle plants. There are many kinds of trellises. Some can be attached to the side of your house or other structure. Others are free-standing and can be placed just about anywhere. Trellises may be expandable, zig-zag, A-frame, paneled, or a simple rectangular grid with stakes to keep it stable. You can find these most commonly made of wood or metal. It is usually easy to harvest and prune plants that are grown on a trellis.
Fence: This might be the cheapest way to give plants support, since it could already be in your yard. The right kind of fencing can provide great support for your vegetable plants without costing you anything. Just be sure that the fence happens to be in an ideal planting location, or else your plants might not get enough sun, good soil, etc.