With the limited space of a community garden plot growing UP is a great option. Not only will you produce more food crops per area, but you help keep the food out of the reach of rodents. For many crops keeping them off the ground increases air circulation and lessens the chance of diseases and rots. Cucumbers, runner beans, peas, and pumpkins are examples of crops that can grow up. Going vertical means you will need support in the way of a trellis.
These two trellises are simple – posts with wire or string between. Adding a beam across the top will help stabilize the structure. This is helpful for lightweight crops such as beans or peas. Make sure the posts are deeply placed in the plot so they will be secure and not easily blown over. Also, make sure your wire or string is strong enough to hold the weight of the food crop.
This teepee shape is popular for trellising runner beans. In most cases string or wire is woven between the posts. If the tee-pee is large enough it can even be a nice hideout area for a young child. Just trellis the beans on two of the three sides leaving one open.
The trellises in this picture are a bit more complicated. They are engineered for the posts to lean on each other for partial support. Posts across the top help with stablization.
Here the chain link fence around the community garden is used to support pumpkins which appreciate the air circulation of growing UP.
Notice how this larger pumpkin has the support of a mesh sling. Heavier food crops will need support so gravity doesn’t separate them from the vines.
Gardening in a small space often requires creativity. Growing UP is one way to be creative! Visit other gardens of your local UGA Extension office for more ideas. After all, these aren’t your grandfather’s row crops.