QUESTION: Does zucchini need to climb? I did not set up a trellis, and now I’m wondering if I have made a mistake. – Mary L
ANSWER: In short, the answer is no. Zucchini doesn’t need to climb to grow properly. It’s an easy crop to produce in a home garden. The plant grows well in containers or in traditional garden plots. However, some gardeners choose to grow this plant vertically for a few reasons.
The first reason some choose to grow the plant, using a trellis, is it makes for easier picking. Anything which grows up equates to less bending when harvesting.
Another reason you may choose to grow the crop vertically is it decreases the plant’s width when growing in compact spaces.
The final reason why some choose to grow zucchini vertically is to increase airflow around the plant. Zucchini is susceptible to some fungal diseases such as powdery mildew. By increasing airflow, it can help dry moisture which might otherwise be trapped inside the plant.
Any plant that grows in warm conditions, and traps moisture, is creating the perfect breeding ground for fungal issues.
If you choose to grow zucchini vertically, you must train it to climb. Therefore, plant your seedlings in the proper growing conditions.
Add a trellis that’s approximately six feet in height, and place it one foot behind the plants. As the plants grow, begin weaving them through the trellis. The plants will grow where trained.
This all comes down to personal preference. If you’re growing zucchini in a compact space, or you don’t want to bend down to harvest your crop, consider growing this plant vertically.
Yet, if you’ve grown zucchini for years in its natural state and want to keep it this way, you can. Training zucchini to climb isn’t a requirement for growing this crop well.