Any kitchen garden can benefit from growing cucumbers. They are a staple for any salad, however, for many gardeners, they may lack the space for happy gardening and let cucumbers spread across the floor as they grow.
However, it can be a great idea to pick vining varieties, and rather than grow across the floor; you can use vertical space.
In our guide, you can learn how easy it is to grow these vining types of cucumber, and all you need is a sturdy structure for them to grow up.
By the end, you’ll find many helpful tips on things to use as a trellis for cucumbers and how to offer them the best growing conditions. It won’t be long before you have your vertical structure full of mouthwatering cucumbers for summer salads. (Read Why Are My Cucumbers Bitter)
How Tall Should a Cucumber Trellis Be?
You may wonder how tall your vertical support needs to be for your cucumbers. Ideally, they should be around 5 to 6 feet in height, although you have to consider picking your cucumbers for harvest time.
Before heading off and converting your garden space to grow vertically, you need to know the difference between the types of cucumber plants, namely bush and vining cucumbers.
Bush cucumbers offer more compact growth and will only grow to two to three feet in length. It is this type that there is no need for trellis or cucumber cages.
Vining cucumber plants grow four to six feet long and deliver generous harvests of fruits. It is these you will choose when growing cucumbers vertically using anything from unused tomato cages to twine. (Read Dog Digging Under Fence Solutions)
Benefits of cucumber trellis
It is handy to know why you want a trellis rather than a bush.
- Cucumber leaves have more access to sunlight to boost fruit production.
- The foliage doesn’t get as wet and spread disease as they dry quicker than being overcrowded on the floor.
- You save lots of garden space, or you can grow vine cucumbers in a smaller area such as a balcony.
- You can spot pests easier on trellis cucumbers
- Growing cucumber plants vertically means you get fewer misshapen fruits.
Cucumber plants that healthy produce the most fruit, so you need a location offering optimum growing conditions. Cucumbers are hot-weather vegetables and need 6 – 8 hours in the direct sun per day. Rich soil is also advisable, and to get this add a decent amount of well-rotted manure.
Here are some types of trellises you can use rather than building something specific.
A cucumber trellis can be simple to make and can come from anything that makes a vertical structure. One of the simplest being bamboo poles. (Learn Do Cucumbers Need to Be Refrigerated)
DIY cucumber trellis ideas:
Metal Mesh Cucumber Trellis
Use metal mesh sheets as used in construction and fasten to pieces of lumber with staples or zip ties. The spacing is ideal for cucumber plants, and you get the sheets in sizes of 8×4 feet. You can place these frames at the back of a raised beds and still leave the front accessible for other crops.
You can make an A-frame trellis using these if you connect two sheets. Your cucumber plants can climb up on either side.
For a simple and cheap trellis, using string is among the easiest you can get. Just make a wooden frame around your raised bed and use eye hooks top and bottom to thread through.
Make sure you feed it at an angle so the plants can climb and choose strong material as growing cucumbers are heavy and could snap the string. (Learn How Far Apart Do You Plant Tomatoes)
Chicken Wire Trellises
Chicken wire or any other kind of fencing wire is suitable. Even nylon betting you hang on a frame or between supports is suitable. It is advisable to make sure you can fit through as you may need to pick your cucumbers from the far side.
Do Cucumbers Grow Better On a Trellis?
When cucumbers grow on the ground, they take up 10-20 square feet of space. In addition, the smaller bushier types produce fewer fruits.
Climbing cucumbers are more productive and produce more in a smaller footprint. Cucumber vines need training upward before they spread on the floor.
Once you train your vines to climb the trellis or garden netting in a vertical garden, they are less prone to soil-borne fungal disease and pathogens.
Growing cucumbers vertically free’s up garden space for other plants and offers them more air circulation and more sun than they would get when on the floor.
Vertical vines on wire panels dry quicker, following rainfall or heavy dew, which could otherwise make them prone to disease.
Prepare your trellis-ready planting area by tilling the soil to 8 inches deep minimum. Add in a thick layer of compost as you till and mound your soil following the line of your trellis to raise the garden bed by around 2 or 3 inches over the regular garden level.
Sow seeds when the soil temperature is over 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and plant three to four cucumber seeds around 1 inch deep in your raised bed. Space your hills around 12 inches apart. (Read White Spots on Cucumber Leaves – What to Do))
As they start to grow, you would then train your cucumber vines to grow straight up the support by helping them twist around the support. Many cucumber varieties tend to cling to the support, although you can tie them using cloth if they need extra help.
Ensure you water cucumbers frequently, so you have an even soil moisture; you need to water to the amount equal to an inch of rainfall every three or four days.
You may find it increases if you have sandy soil or are in a dry area. If you use a container and tomato cages, make sure you have drainage holes, so the water doesn’t get too wet.
How to Grow Cucumbers Vertically
- If growing cucumbers in containers, use large containers over 12 inches deep and 18 inches in pot size.
- The number of cucumber plants you can grow in a container will vary based on variety. A vining variety grows tall and has longer roots than other types.
- Choose a 5 to 6 feet tall trellis, an A-frame trellis type, so cucumber vines climb easily and won’t fall over.
- When you plant cucumbers means covering them with about an inch of soil until seedlings germinate and start to get a few true leaves.
- Transplant the healthiest into a larger pot or your raised bed in spring or summer when the soil temperature is 65 F or more.
- The cucumber plant is a heavy feeder, a tomato plant, so the soil needs lots of preparation and adding well-rotted manure and lots of compost.
- A Cucumber plant will be ready to harvest from your garden in 60 to 90 days. You can pick them from the vines once they are firm to the touch.
What is vertical gardening?
Vertical gardening is a great idea for any garden. Planting cucumbers to grow vertically is a simple way to get started with vertical gardening. Pole beans, peas, and tomatoes are other vegetables to grow using the same methods.
Keeping vegetables off the ground saves space and protects them from decaying wet ground and contracting fungal diseases.
Planted cucumbers can be grown vertically in large pots and your garden. Growing cucumbers vertically outside means they can grow quickly, and it is only a couple of months before you’re harvesting cucumbers in your vegetable garden.
Cucumbers should be planted closely to the base of your garden netting or support structure. Plants or seeds could be used and allowed to grow for several weeks.
A healthy plant from the store most times isn’t tall enough to reach a tomato cage or trellis in the beginning. You’ll be able, to begin with, your vertical vegetables once they send out tendrils.
Cucumber training is significantly easier than training other plants to grow vertically. Cucumbers on a trellis and other vining plants stretch out to attach themselves to the closest thing to them. When you grow cucumbers vertically, training cucumbers can mean using anything around the garden that offers them purchase and is sturdy.
Cucumber prefers a warm, sunny site that isn’t too windy, yet air circulation isn’t restricted. Many cucumber varieties prefer well-drained soil, loose, rich in organic content, and pH neutral. Use your potting mix combined with good grade compost or cattle manure when growing in pots. (Find the Best Potting Table)
The secret to growing cucumbers vertically is regular and deep watering. It’s because fruits have high water content. Just avoid soaking foliage during watering as this can cause fungal diseases.
Anthracnose, powdery mildew, downy mildew, and leaf spot are all common diseases that affect these when growing cucumbers vertically.