Gardeners have invented or adapted a variety of implements to facilitate vertical gardening. Clockwise from top left: Rigid livestock panels do double duty as a fence and support for tomatoes, plus they can be bent to create an arched entry; saplings or bamboo poles are easy to use for pole bean tipis; pea tendrils love to cling to twiggy brush; and so-called “tomato” cages work better to support peppers and eggplants.
ILLUSTRATION: ELAYNE SEARS
Most tomatoes need tall, sturdy supports; stiff wire used to reinforce concrete works well. Some crops climb using tendrils that can cling to netting or string. Other plants, such as beans, twine their stems around whatever they touch.