Most people are familiar with tomato cages but other crops can also be trained to grow up a structure. Crops that can be grown vertically include pole beans, peas, and the vining crops such as cucumbers, melons, squash and gourds. Edible-pod and snow peas are better adapted to growing vertically than English (shelling) peas as they have longer vines. Also, avoid growing “bush-type” vining crops vertically as they are bred to produce short vines. Another thing to keep in mind is that large fruit from vining crops may need to be supported so they don’t damage the vine.
So what can be used as a structure? Bamboo poles are often used to form a teepee to support pole beans. Supports can also be made from cattle panels. These are often 16 feet long and may need to be cut in half for better fit. These two half-panels can then be tied to together at the top to form a “pup tent.” Crops can then be planted at the base of each panel. Another way to support a cattle panel is to tie the panel to T-posts so that it will stand upright. If you have a small garden, growing vertically can allow more crops to be grown. (Ward Upham)