I was more than a bit skeptical that a large indeterminate tomato plant could be grown in 1 square foot on a vertical frame. Well…I did it and it was great! The plants grew without disease and were easy to manage. My favorite part was picking the ripe ones. I no longer had to “dive” in the green to get the red. I grew three plants in side by side squares with a basil plant on the end nearest the path.
This is a Cherokee Purple on the Vertical Frame
The construction of the frame was easy and inexpensive. All the materials you need to build a vertical frame are usually available locally. I picked up the 1/2″ conduit, 1/2″ rebar, and elbow connectors at the home improvement store. The nylon trellis netting is available at Wal-mart or Amazon.com.
I will be adding a vertical frame to each of my boxes next year. Place them on the north end of the box so you do not shade any of your other crops. This simple addition to a square foot garden allows you to grow more kinds of crops. I plan on doing tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, zucchini, and maybe even a small watermelon on mine next year.