How to build a vertical garden at home

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Collaborator: Brittany Harlow
Published: 08/13/2021, 7:41 PM

(TULSA, Okla.) If you’re a home gardener looking for a way to free up real estate and support a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, vertical gardening is for you. 

“If you have a small garden already and you don’t have much room for expansion, it’s much easier to add plants in a vertical way on some kind of a trellis, some kind of a wall,” AbleVeg owner Laura Koval said. “There’s lot of ways to do it. But it gives you immediate square footage to the space that you already have.”  

Koval said anything that’s vining can go vertical. Pole beans, squash, watermelon. Even pumpkins. 

“Taking pumpkins vertical is a very good idea because they do like to sprawl,” Koval said. “They need lots and lots of space and lots and lots of flowers before you’re actually going to get a few good solid pumpkins.”  

Pumpkins take a long time to grow, typically 90 to 120 days. 

Koval said people will start growing their fall pumpkins at the end of spring. Think mid-June if you want your best chance at October pumpkins. 

The first step to building a vertical garden is taking your seedlings and planting them where you want your vertical garden to be. We used four 1”x4”x8’ boards to build the base for our own, and wrapped twine around the top to secure it. 

Cedar is recommended due to its naturally rot-resistant properties. 

Then, we hammered on three rows of 1”x4”x4’ boards to each side. The next day, we tied twine vertically up the boards to give the vines more to grab onto. When your vines start climbing, you can tie the tendrils to the trellis with more twine. 

We built a trellis that is perfect for pumpkins. But, Koval said, keep in mind different plants will have different vertical garden needs. 

“If you do something like a pole bean, that’s going to need more kind of fine things to grip onto,” Koval said. “As opposed to a larger board, where larger wider pieces of wood are going to be better and more supportive if you have something like a melon or a pumpkin that you’re trying to grow because you’re going to tie it onto there.”  

Once the pumpkins grow bigger than five pounds, make a sling for them out of panty house. Then upgrade the panty house to old tee shirts the bigger they grow for additional support.

We purchased the supplies to build our vertical garden at a local hardware store for around $80. And later found out that’s about the same price Koval charges for her own vertical garden kits (without the hassle).   

Learn more about how Koval helps people create and maintain vegetable gardens at


Ann Marie Worthley
08/15/2021, 6:30 PM

Great idea!!