Zucchinis are one of the most popular summer squash varieties, and many people around the world grow them in their gardens. However, it is widespread to desire an alternative vegetable growing method compared to the traditional planting method in the ground. This dilemma causes people to wonder what alternative ways are available, such as growing their plants on a trellis, in a pot, or a cage.
Can you grow zucchini on a tomato cage? It is possible to grow zucchini on a tomato cage and can be done with minimal supplies. Growing zucchini and other vine plants on a tomato cage is an easy way to conserve space while growing healthy and nutritious vegetables.
Although many hobby gardeners are hesitant to grow zucchini on a tomato cage, the steps are pretty straightforward. As long as you follow the directions below, you can grow many different vine plants using a tomato cage.
Can you grow zucchini on a tomato cage?
Many gardeners are curious about the idea of growing vine plants using a tomato cage because it is similar to growing plants with a trellis. The simple answer is that it is possible in most instances to grow zucchini on a tomato cage. Although it may seem complicated, growing zucchini and other vine plants such as gourds and cumbers on a tomato cage is fairly simple.
Another vine plant that can grow on a tomato cage is squash. It is a similar species to zucchini. However, squash tends to weigh more than zucchini, so it is important to be vigilant about their growth because if they are too heavy, the many break a flimsy tomato cage.
There are also many benefits to growing zucchini vertically, which will be addressed later in the article, as well as some things to look out for when you grow zucchini this way. Zucchini is one of the many types of plants that will need support as the vegetables mature and grow.
How can you grow zucchini on a tomato cage?
There are a few easy steps to plant zucchini or other varieties of vine plants on a tomato cage. If these steps are followed, your vegetables will likely grow to be large and healthy.
- Gather the needed materials: The items needed to grow zucchini on a tomato cage are a tomato cage and zucchini seeds. The tomato cage’s ideal size would be two feet by two feet, although other sizes that are slightly larger than two feet by two feet would work as well. Zucchinis are fast-growing, so a smaller cage might not be suitable.
- Plant the seeds: Plant the seeds as you would normally do. If you plan to plant multiple vine plants using a tomato cage side by side, you will need to provide enough space between your plants and the tomato cages. The recommended amount of space between each plant should be at least 28 inches apart.
- Place the tomato cage: Place the tomato cage upside down so that the largest area is on the bottom while the smallest area is on the top. It is unnecessary, but it is recommended to use stakes on the bottom of the tomato cage for extra stability. This allows the cage to stand upright even after the plant has massively grown.
Another similar step to make sure that your tomato cage is made of high-quality materials. A metal tomato cage will be able to hold more weighty plants such as zucchini, squash, and gourds while a plastic tomato cage is best suited for smaller, less heavy plants such as tomatoes, peas, and some varieties of herbs.
- Guide the zucchini: It is recommended that you should help guide the plant along the correct path vertically as it grows. If you notice any of the zucchini are falling out of the planter, gently guide them back in. This step is important if you want to conserve space in your garden because zucchini plants can become unruly if they are not tended to.
- Add fertilizer: Another tip is to add any extra mulch, fertilizer, or nutrient-rich soil mix as you would with regularly-grown plants. This tip is important if you would like to grow a high quantity of vegetables because fertilizer provides helpful nutrients for plants that allow the growth process to happen quickly.
Benefits of growing zucchini vertically
While some people wonder if there are any benefits to growing zucchini and other vine plants vertically, there are many benefits of growing plants this way. All of the factors mentioned below, when combined, can be very helpful in aiding the growth of plants. Some of the benefits of growing zucchini vertically include:
- Allowing more space: Growing zucchini on a tomato cage will help conserve garden space compared to growing zucchini on the ground, which takes up more horizontal space.
- Harvesting made simpler: Bulky stems, leaves, and unpickable zucchini make the average zucchini plant hard to harvest. However, because the plant grows upwards, the zucchinis themselves are easier to pick.
- Less chance of overgrowth: Heavy overgrowth of stems and leaves can ruin zucchini, so having more space for the zucchini will allow the plant to prosper.
- More light is accessible to the plant: Light is essential for successful plant growth. Having more light available for your zucchini plant will allow the zucchini to grow and be of higher quality.
- More air circulation: Having the zucchini grow vertically allows for more space per individual zucchini, which means that every zucchini will have more opportunity to stay dry and rid itself of harmful bacteria.
- More access to water: While not needing to be watered nearly as often as some other species of vegetables, zucchini needs watered weekly. Because of how the tomato cage is set up, the zucchini will grow upwards and have less overgrowth near the bottom. This allows for more water to get to the base and roots of the plant.
If you pay attention to all of these factors, your zucchini or other similar vine plant types will likely grow vertically successfully on a tomato cage.
Challenges when growing zucchini vertically
One of the most difficult aspects of growing zucchini vertically is avoiding overgrowth. Heavy overgrowth will weigh down the plant, which could damage and rot the vegetables. To avoid this, make sure to trim off any excess overgrowth, including heavy leaves, heavy stems, and damaged or rotten zucchini. This allows the other zucchini on the plant to get more water and more sun exposure, which is vital for quality vegetables.
Another important way to maintain your vertically growing zucchini plant is to make sure that you guide the zucchini through the tomato cage. Due to the tomato cage’s shape, the zucchini will likely start to spill out of the cage. However, this can be fixed simply by tucking the zucchini back into the planter by hand.
Best tip for growing Zucchini vertically: Once a Zucchini fruit starts to develop, consider supporting it with a piece of cloth to distribute the weight equally.