Many gardeners cultivate their vines and leave them lying on the ground, simply because it is the habit and they have always done it. People are discovering, however, that vertical cultivation of garden plants, such as cucumbers, squash, and watermelons, has many benefits. Not only do your plants have a smaller footprint, but they are less susceptible to disease and fungal growth due to the additional airflow; the fruits are cleaner, more uniform in shape and easier to harvest.
Follow these six fantastic tips to start growing your cucumber plants vertically on trellises!
1. Variety of cucumber
There are two varieties of cucumbers: a shrub and a vine. In order for your plant to grow and cover a trellis, you need to choose a variety that grows the vine and attaches to the structure. Another interesting advantage, according to Bonnie Plants, is that vine cucumbers have higher yields than Bush varieties.
2. Lattice design
One of the first things to consider for your trellis is the shape or design you want to give it. When choosing a design, keep in mind the space limitations you work with, the aesthetics you want to keep in the garden and the functions that are important. In small spaces, you can use a simple vertical wall trellis, but cucumbers will be more difficult to find and harvest. If space allows, an arch or an A-frame may be a better option to facilitate harvesting. Get Busy Gardening has detailed instructions on how to build your own cucumber arch trellis.
3. Lattice strength
Take into account the materials on which your trellis is or will be built. To prevent it from warping or even breaking under the weight of fully formed cucumbers, you need a trellis capable of supporting this weight – for example, a solid wooden frame. Use metal fences or PVC pipes if you are building them yourself.
4. Height of the trellis
If you’re building an A-frame or curved trellis – or even buying one – keep in mind the height of the final trellis. You don’t want it to be so short that you have to bend down to harvest ripe cucumbers, or so large that you have to step out of a staircase to reach the fruit!
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