Zucchini plants take up a long portion of your garden with their sprawling leaves. If you have a garden with limited available space, you have to worry about the zucchini vines taking over other plants. Surprisingly, you can learn how to use a zucchini trellis to conserve space and keep your plants healthy.
Zucchini plants require air circulation and maximum sunlight. Zucchini trellis allows the plants to stay healthier. Plants that are off the ground are less prone to diseases, mildew and rotting. Taking care of your plants are easier when they are on a trellis. When you want to economize your garden space, training your vines to grow vertically in the earlier stage of development makes sense. However, training a zucchini plant to grow up a trellis does take some time.
Items You Need
- Two or more six feet tall posts
- Four posts to create an “X’ shape
- Post digger
- Chicken wire
- Nails or stapls
- Fabric strips or wire
- Zucchini plants, seeds or seedlings
Steps To Create A Zucchini Trellis
1. You need to create a strong trellis to support the weight of the zucchini plant.
Six-foot stakes or wooden posts provide a sturdy frame for the plant. You will need more than one post to secure the trellis, at no more than six feet away from the first post. You also need to think about the location of your trellis. It cannot block sunlight from other plants. Make it, so the trellis is at the top of the garden.
2. Using two other poles, create an X shape in the bottom section of the posts. You want to make sure the posts are secured to the support poles buried into the ground.
3. Unlike other plants, zucchini will do best if you use chicken wire for the trellis. The small holes give plenty of areas for the zucchini to grasp as it grows upward. Make sure that you firmly attach the chicken wire to the posts with nails or staples. If you use metal posts, you will need to use wire or zip-ties to attach the wire. Make sure there is no slack in the wire!
4. Before planting your zucchinis, you need to take a look at your soil. It is a wise idea to add a few cups of water soluble fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 NPK. You could also add a few inches of compost. Work the fertilizer and compost into the soil and water deeply before planting.
5. Now it is time to plant the zucchinis! Put them just a few inches in front of the trellis. Bury the plants just like you would normally. Zucchini plants require plenty of water in the early weeks of planting. Because zucchini grows so large, you want to space them two feet apart.
PRO TIP: If you are planting zucchini seeds, put them one inch deep. You can plant a row on each side of the trellis. The seeds should be at least three to four inches apart.
6. Soon, your zucchini plant will start to sprout vines. Attach them to the trellis as soon as they are long enough to reach. You can use strips of fabric or wire to tie the vines to the chicken wire gently. If you tie it too tightly, you can damage the plant. Securing the vines to the trellis helps to “train” the plant to grow vertically.
PRO TIP: It is highly suggested that you mulch your zucchini plants with two inches of wood chips, shredded leaves or other types of organic mulch. However, keep the mulch an inch or two away from the stems of the plant. Make sure that you pull all of the weeds in the area. Zucchini plants don’t like competition from weeds.
7. Over the next few weeks, the vines are going to grow taller. You may have to continue to tie the zucchini vines. Eventually, the plant will do the job on its own but pay attention to its growth development. You can move the vines in and out of the chicken wire holes every few days to encourage growth.
8. As the zucchini plant continues to grow, pick three to five healthy vines to grow up the trellis. Prune off the extra growth.
9. Once you think your zucchini plant is growing up the trellis appropriately, you can untie the strips of fabric that you used in the beginning. Make sure that you pay attention to its growth and the size of the fruit.
Zucchini on a trellis cannot get too large, or you risk breaking the entire plant. You can also use fruit slings to cradle the zucchini, preventing the weight from breaking the zucchini off the vine. One of the best choices for slings is pairs of pantyhoses!
PRO TIP: If you want to have maximum flavor and delicate skin, pick the zucchinis when they are six to eight inches long. Many people let their zucchini get much longer, which is fine. Zucchini can grow over a foot long! However, their seeds are much larger, and the skin is tougher.
Zucchini plants can be huge! They can grow and spread across your entire garden. If you accidentally plant a zucchini plant with other vegetables, the plant can overtake the entire garden and other plants. You don’t want that to happen, leading to the death of your plants. At the same time, your zucchini plants can die due to pests, mildew, lack of sunlight or no air circulation.
Building a zucchini trellis is easy, but it does take a bit of manual labor to make it happen. After you build the trellis, you have to make sure to pay attention to the growth and development of your zucchini plants. If you forget to check and twine the vines around the wire, all of your hard work will disappear. You have to make sure that you tie the vines to the chicken wire for security!
Have you ever tried a zucchini trellis? Let us know your results in the comments!