One of the best ways to ensure a healthy, productive crop of cucumbers is to give them the support they need with a great trellis system.
It doesn’t have to be fancy, nor does it have to be expensive. It can be tall, long, wide – or as you will see below, something that is already in place such as an old fence or a wall. But no matter how you support your plants, doing so will give them their best chance at maximizing their growth and yields.
So why is trellising so important for cucumbers? First and foremost, it keeps your plants neat and tidy in the garden. It also makes cucumbers more accessible and easy to pick. But did you know it can also help with preventing disease, pollination, pest control and more?
It’s true! Trellising your cucumber crop can be a huge factor in their overall success – even for smaller compact bush cucumbers that grow lower to the ground. With that in mind, here is a look at the many benefits trellising can have, and at some of the best options to support your cucumbers this year.
Why Trellis – The Benefits Of Supporting Your Cucumbers!
The stems and vines of cucumbers are quite fragile and weak. Because they are mostly made up from water, they can snap and break easily. But by growing them vertically, it keeps them out of harm’s way, all while making your plants easy to navigate around.
If allowed to sprawl on the soil, the tender vines can easily be trampled by foot traffic. Not just just by a gardener, but by small animals that might take a stroll through the garden patch.
Trellising also plays a huge role in keeping insects from finding an easy ride up onto plants. Thick foliage laying on the surface of the soil is an open invitation for pests to both hide and attack plants. When leaves lay on the ground, it also allows them easy access to climb and crawl wherever they want.
But having your vines up also helps keep the foliage and fruit off the ground – which not only helps keep pests away, but also minimizes the chance for disease and other health issues to occur.
Cucumber plants are highly susceptible to mildew. When the foliage gets wet and lays on the ground, it has a difficult time drying out. Especially in the often rainy, cool spring weather – or in the summer when high humidity levels keep the moisture trapped in. And when leaves stay wet – mildew can set in quickly.
The Importance Of Air Flow – The Benefits Of Supporting Your Cucumbers!
When plants are allowed to climb up and away from the ground, air can reach the foliage much more efficiently. This of course, can help the plant’s leaves dry off better, which significantly decreases the likelihood of mildew. But that air flow has even greater benefits for the plant!
Plants need CO2 from the air to use the photosynthesis process to grow and gain energy. But when leaves are on the ground and crowded, it hampers air circulation. When airflow is hampered, plants get limited CO2 and it can stagnate growth. Plain and simple better air flow – better growth!
If that wasn’t enough, all of that air flow happens to aid greatly in pollination too. Having stems, foliage and blooms up and off the ground makes it easy for bees, butterflies and other pollinators to find flowers. And with the improved air flow, the plant will produce more flowers than ever!
Listen In Below To Our Podcast On The Secrets To Growing Great Cucumbers
Last but not least, growing your cucumbers vertically frees up space below for more plants. When cucumbers sprawl over the ground, they can take up enormous growing space. But by training them up, you can plant more vegetables than ever in the same space. See: The Best Companion Plants For Cucumbers
With all of those benefits, it’s easy to see why trellising is a must. And luckily, there are a lot of great methods to give your cucumbers the support they need!
The Best Ways To Trellis Cucumbers
Wood lattice is a great choice because it can be part of an existing fence system, or you can install it quite easily on a stand alone basis. The diamond-shaped design ensures the cucumber plant gets proper support. Apart from that, lattice design usually provides a larger surface area, helping multiple plants grow vertically.
Installing the lattice against an exterior wall is also a good option if you don’t have existing fence posts. Use twine or ties and tie the cucumber plant to train them up to grow vertically on the lattice.
Rather than installing a trellis against a fence, why not make it the trellis? Existing fence lines are one of the easiest and quickest methods to allow your cucumbers to get off the ground.
If your fence is to large or the fencing between is too big to support easy growth, you can zip tie a mesh or grid panel to the fence and let your plants roam! And if your fence isn’t near the garden – no worries, just amend the soil and plant your cucumbers wherever the fence might be. It will free up even more growing space in your garden!
Welded Wire Fence Panels
Welded wire fencing is strong and durable and wonderful for supporting cucumber plants. The dense mesh helps cucumber plants grow easily, reducing the need to use additional twines. Additionally, the welded wire mesh keeps plants sturdy, even with strong winds and the weight of cucumber vines and fruit.
Welded wire fencing can be installed easily using wood stakes or metal T-stakes. They can also be quite decorative if using the vinyl-coated styles that can come in green or black.
Looking to purchase a ready-made trellis that can add a big decorative look to your garden? An obelisk trellis is the perfect solution! Small sizes are suitable for container gardening, while large sizes can support big vines growing in the garden.
With a small horizontal footprint and a large vertical footprint, they free up space on the ground, break the monotony in the garden, and can be installed almost anywhere. Product Affiliate Link: Obelisk 6′ Metal Trellis
An A-frame trellis occupies little space on the ground and can be slightly dug into the soil with ease. It also happens to support a lot of vines! Along with all these features, it allows plants to grow on both sides, saving space.
A-frames can be easy to build from lattice panels or even pallet boards. They are also readily available for purchase in a wide range of sizes and materials. Product Affiliate Link: 46″ Wide Metal A-Frame
Looking for a quick, ready to go cucumber support that you might already have on hand? Tomato cages happen to work really well for cucumbers. The tendrils of cucumbers attach easily to the cages and the cage supports the vines with ease.
Here is to supporting your cucumber crop this year with a trellis, and growing your best crop of delicious cucumbers ever!
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