Garden Plans for 2012: Vertical Garden

Except for the annual & perennial herb gardens and the areas with flowers, this is the end of our garden plans for 2012. As I am writing this post, the Ditch Witch is making quite a racket outside my window digging out where the drain lines will go.

This is our second year of doing a “vertical” garden of trellises. We will be using the same cattle panel trellises that we used last year. While we probably could have fit 6 trellises into the garden, we decided to stick with only 5 so that there is more space to get between the trellises to work.

We also originally planned that this garden would be to trial a bunch of different cucumbers. However, we decided that a whole garden of cucumbers was likely to be a little much. So, we ended up with half the garden planted to cucumbers and the other half to a mixture of squashes, melons, and pumpkin.


We chose to grow 2 types of long, slicing cucumbers, 2 types of mini snack cucumbers, and 1 pickling type. (The Family of 4 Garden is also trying another type of pickling cucumber, so we decided that would be our comparison with our pickler.)

The two slicing types are ‘Suhyo Cross’ and ‘Sweet Success.’ If you’ve been following the blog for a couple years, you might remember that we grew ‘Suhyo Cross’ in the Asian Garden 2 years ago. It was extremely productive, but the fruit were a bit ugly because we didn’t use a trellis that year. ‘Sweet Success’ is an older All America Selection that has an excellent flavor, although the cucumbers aren’t always the most beautiful, uniform shape. I’ve grown it before, but we haven’t had it in the garden here.

The two mini snack cucumbers are ‘Cucino’ and ‘Rocky.’ Both produce cucumbers that are 3-6″ long at maturity with thin skins. Both varieties are new to the garden and to me. ‘Rocky’ is seedless and doesn’t need pollination. It is also supposed to be an early and prolific producer.

Our pickling cucumber is ‘Salt & Pepper,’ which is a white cucumber with black spines. It is definitely our “novelty” cucumber for the year. We will be comparing it to ‘Homemade Pickles’ in the Family of 4 Garden.


We chose two winter squashes for the garden, ‘Pinnacle’ Spaghetti Squash and ‘Sunshine’ Kabocha Squash. The spaghetti squash variety is supposed to be a “personal sized” squash, weighing in at about 3 lbs. The kabocha squash is a bright orange-red that almost looks like a pumpkin. It will be a little larger at 3-5 lbs each. The vine is supposedly a “short vine” compared to some squash, but it should still do well on the trellis.


Neither of the two melons are average cantaloupe this year. (We will be reprising the ‘Tasty Bites’ cantaloupe in the Mexican Garden.) The Kazakh melon is an heirloom that I have grown in the past. It is a small, yellow-skinned melon that has very sweet, floral, white flesh. The ‘Honey Orange’ Honeydew Melon is an orange-fleshed honeydew that I have tasted in the past, and it is also very sweet and flavorful.


We decided to try a pumpkin this year, since they don’t have to be any larger than squashes or melons. (No, we’re not going to try a giant pumpkin on a trellis!) ‘Lil’ Pump-ke-mon’ is a small novelty pumpkin that could be used for decorating or eating. The pumpkins are about 5″ in diameter and 3″ high, with white and orange stripes.


About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on March 8, 2012, in Around the Garden and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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