How to Grow Big Plants in a Small Plot

If you want to grow taller plants, like tomatoes, climbing beans and peas, or even climbing squashes, and you only have a small plot, then there are two simple ways to do it:

1. Plant into deep window boxes against a wall

Choose a deeper window box, eg 30cm deep and 30cm wide, and you can actually grow any of these taller plants really well.

Fill the window boxes with multipurpose compost, mix in a handful of wormcast fertiliser and plant the plugs. The wormcast fertiliser will help to keep them nourished when they use up the nutrients in the compost. It’s also worth giving a fortnightly liquid feed once the plants start to produce flowers to keep them well fed.

For Cordon Tomatoes: Prod a tall bamboo cane (2m) in alongside the tomato plugs and tie the plants in with garden twine as they grow.

For Climbing Beans and Peas: You can also use bamboo canes, but stretch some twine or jute netting in between the canes to make a loose kind of trellis that the plants can scramble and climb.

For Climbing Squash: These will need a slightly sturdier frame, and we’d recommend a wooden trellis up against the wall.

2. Grow at the back of a Bed/Planter

If you’re growing veggies in a small raised bed, or in a planter, then it’s fairly simple to make a trellis support to run along the back – by ‘back’, we mean the northern edge of the bed, so that the taller plants don’t shade out the smaller plants at the front.

For Cordon Tomatoes: Again, you can simply prod a tall bamboo cane (2m) in alongside the tomato plugs and tie the plants in with twine as they grow. Be sure to push the bamboo canes deep into the ground to make them sturdy enough.

For Peas: The easiest thing is to stretch a jute net or some chicken wire between evenly spaced bamboo canes being sure to push the canes deep into the ground to keep them steady on windy days. Mangetout peas grow taller, so choose thicker bamboo canes for these to give a little extra strength.

For Climbing Beans & Squash: Without having a wall to back onto for added support, and hence being fairly sensitive to blustery days, it’s a good idea to put something sturdy in place for the plants to climb. Try thick posts at either end of the row (perhaps with one in the middle depending how long) and wire suspended horizontally at intervals.