How to Train a Zucchini Plant to Grow Up a Trellis

Updated February 21, 2017

The zucchini is a dark green vegetable that resembles a cucumber but is actually a member of the squash family. There are many different types of zucchini plants, but they are separated into either a vining variety or a non-vining variety. Vining zucchini plants grow horizontally along the ground but can be trained to grow upward instead to conserve space. To grow vertically, the zucchini must be supported by a structure such as a trellis.

Dig a trench behind the zucchini plants that is approximately 4 inches away from the plant. Dig the hole 5 to 6 inches deep using a shovel or garden spade. Use care when digging so as not to cut through the roots of the zucchini plants. If you have a row of zucchini plants, dig the trench along the entire row and use a single trellis. Otherwise, you can install a separate trellis behind each plant.

Insert a trellis into the trench and fill in the trench with soil. Pack the soil down tightly with your foot to make sure the trellis is secure.

Cut a 6- to 10-inch piece of gardening tape from the roll using scissors. The length of the tape will need to be longer for small plants and shorter for plants that have already grown into a vine.

Hold the zucchini plant up vertically with your hand and loop the piece of gardening tape around it.

Pull both free ends of the gardening tape through the trellis and tie them in a knot at the back to secure them. The gardening tape should not be tight around the zucchini plant. The loop only needs to be tight enough to hold the plant upright.

Examine the zucchini plants on a weekly basis to determine additional placement of the tape. If the current piece of tape gets tight, or cuts into a leaf, remove it and reapply. As the vine grows, place additional pieces of gardening tape higher up on the trellis to secure the vine to it.

Watch for the development of tiny tendrils that will wrap around the trellis. When this occurs, cut off all of the gardening tape using scissors and the zucchini plant will grow along the trellis on its own.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel or garden spade
  • Trellis
  • Gardening tape
  • Scissors
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About the Author

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.