There are two ways you can grow cucumbers, depending on the variety you invest in. There is the vining style and the bush style. Vining types of cucumber plants are great for vertical gardening, with the plants growing upward naturally with vertical support.
When you grow your cucumbers vertically, you actually get to reap a lot of benefits in the long run. But what are these benefits and how can you make sure your cucumber plants grow vertically successfully? Read on to learn all about it!
How to Make Cucumbers Grow Vertically
As mentioned, you can reap a lot of benefits when you choose to grow cucumber vertically, such as:
- You get to save a lot of space in the long run, since traditional gardening takes up a ton of room, and it’s more hassling managing a sprawling and spread-out garden that would cover more ground. No more bending over and breaking your neck and back tending to your plants, since you remain standing in a good position as you care for your cucumber plants.
- It’s easier to water plants from the main stem, keeping the plant leaves drier to prevent fungal diseases. They are also protected from pests, keeping your plants healthier.
- You get to harvest plants easier since they hang near eye level and are easier to find. Besides this, the prickly stems and leaves are hidden, so it lessens the risk of scratching.
- The fruits won’t touch the dirt, so they are cleaner and without light spots from resting on the ground, keeping a uniform color, and less misshapen fruits.
With these in mind, you’re probably already convinced to start growing cucumbers vertically! But before you do so, make sure to follow these steps and tips:
There are many kinds of supports you can use when growing cucumbers vertically. But before you choose one, keep these factors in mind:
- Make sure that you get a 6-foot long support, as cucumber vines would grow very long. You’ll want something tall enough for the vines to have space to grow while still being able to reach the tip when harvesting cucumbers.
- The trellis should be strong to support your plants’ weight. While the vines are lightweight, the mature fruit can weigh it down.
- The support you choose should be open, giving your vines the airflow it needs so they don’t grow in tight clusters. This would keep it away from fungus and diseases while making it easier to harvest.
- You may want to grow it on vertical supports in large containers, which should be 12 inches deep and wide.
You can choose among the following vertical structures:
- Chicken wireframes
- Grid trellis
- Tomato cages
The Basic Requirements of Planting Cucumbers Vertically
Here are the requirements when growing cucumbers vertically:
- Cucumbers want warm and sunny exposure that’s less windy, with optimum temperatures between 60-95 degrees F. Select the sunniest location you have and plant your seeds indoors early in the spring, to be transplanted to the trellis when they grow adequately.
- Plant cucumber plants in well-drained and deep soil, which is loose and rich in organic matter with neutral pH levels. It’s best to grow them in loam-type soil with a lot of nutrients, rather than clay soil.
- Mulch around your plant base to improve the soil’s moisture-retaining ability and place all-purpose slow-release fertilizer. Once your cucumber plants begin to flower, side-dress your plant with aged manure and balanced liquid fertilizer.
Trellis Your Cucumbers
Climbing cucumber varieties would grow vining tendrils from the ground. These are side shoots growing from the plant’s main stem, with the tendrils reaching out and grabbing onto whatever they touch. This is why you won’t have to worry about the vines finding and hanging on to your trellis or support.
Vining cucumbers would climb the support, but they won’t be great climbers on its own usually, requiring your help to find the support they should climb.
Since gravity works against you, some vines want to grow along the ground or even climb onto nearby plants that their vertical support. To prevent this from happening, you have to check on your plant and vines regularly to train them to grow vertically. This isn’t time-consuming and can be done while tending to your other plants or when watering the garden.
Training Them to Climb Your Support
Once you have a solid foundation for growing cucumber plants vertically, the next step is to train your growing plants and vines. Fortunately, it isn’t difficult, you just have the straighten any unruly vines and attach them to the support properly.
You won’t have to tie all the vines to the support, though. What you should do is to gently wrap or weave the cucumber plant stems around the support, with the tendrils grabbing on to it when they grow.
However, you can also add more support to your vines by tying it around the support with twine, metal twist ties, flexible plant ties, or even plant clips. Just make sure that you tie them very loosely to prevent strangling your vines when they become thicker.
Do you want to learn more about how to make cucumbers grow vertically? This cool video can help you out, too:
Wrapping It Up
Growing cucumbers vertically on tomato cages, trellises, or other gardening equipment are actually easier than you’d think! Besides that, it offers a ton of great benefits for any gardener, provided that you also think about other important factors, such as watering and soil quality. With all this in mind, you can expect good fruit development and harvest in the long run!
Hopefully, my methods on how to make cucumbers grow vertically will help you as you train your cucumber plants, whether on a trellis or tomato cage. So don’t wait any longer and start using any of my tips for more successful cucumber plant growth and development!