Are you looking to grow your own flawless cucumbers but have limited space for the vine to spread? The secret is to grow your cucumbers vertically.
This approach helps us grow hundreds of beautiful, tasty cucumbers on our farm year-round.
This delicious vegetable is an excellent addition to any meal. Nevertheless, growing cucumbers in your backyard can be a bit of a challenge.
However, in this post, you’ll learn our simple process of growing cucumbers vertically, including tips and tricks to ensure your success. Let’s dive in!
Choosing The Right Trellis
The first step to growing your cucumbers vertically is to choose a suitable trellis.
There are loads of different trellises, from cages and grids to A-frames. So it can be pretty tricky to understand which one best suits you and your garden.
Nevertheless, you want to pick a trellis based on where you wish to grow the cucumbers in your garden and how many you plan on growing altogether.
For example, if you grow your cucumbers close to a fence, there’s a good chance that the cukes might be inaccessible if you lean a flat trellis against it.
In short, you want a trellis that is going to be sturdy enough to support the quick-growing cucumbers. It needs to be spacious, as cucumbers tend to fill their spaces faster than you think. You don’t want the vines to be crammed together.
Planting Your Cucumbers
You can think about planting your cucumbers as soon as the soil is warm enough.
Choose a location that receives a lot of sunlight and has enough space to allow you to efficiently harvest your crops. Remember, this location will also determine the type of trellis you use.
Amend the soil with compost, organic fertilizer, and mulch to ensure that it is full of nutrients and protected from the elements. Then set up your trellis.
When you’re ready to plant your cucumbers, you simply want to sow a few seeds about a foot apart, at the bottom of your trellis, ensuring that they are buried at a depth of 1″.
As the seedlings grow, remove the weaker plants, allowing the strongest to climb up the trellis. Ideally, you want one plant per trellis “pole,” about 12 to 18 inches apart.
Caring For Your Cucumbers
When it comes down to it, cucumbers are actually relatively easy to care for. You should have very few issues as long as you water them enough and harvest them when ready.
One of the main things to keep in mind is the amount of sunlight your cucumbers are receiving, as they need about 8 hours of daylight to reach their full potential.
In terms of the ideal temperature, they thrive in temperatures between 60-90 degrees Fahrenheit.
If the ground is still too cold for them even after the frost has long gone, then you should use black plastic sheets to cover the ground, as this will help absorb the heat and keep them warm.
Another critical thing to remember is how often to water your cucumbers. They are an incredibly succulent vegetable and, as such, need a lot of water. 1″ a week is the typical rule of thumb, but you shouldn’t let it dry out, nor should you overwater them.
Try to prevent the leaves or fruits from getting wet while you water them, as this can lead to disease and rotting.
Loam-type soil is the best for cucumbers. Use mulch if possible, as it helps to retain water while preventing weeds.
You should also ensure that your cucumbers receive plenty of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus to grow well!
Finally, cucumber vines will grow and climb well, but sometimes they might need help.
You can do this by tying them to the trellis using wire or zip ties under where the leaf extends from the stem, but make sure your “ties” aren’t choking the vine.
Note: You should also consider removing suckers to allow one main vine. This is optional in home gardens but usually results in healthier plants and fewer issues on a large scale.
Harvesting Your Cucumbers
Cucumbers are easy to harvest. You do not need to wait until they are completely mature. Ensure that they are firm to the touch, smooth on the outside, and crunchy when you bite them!
Most varieties are typically ready between 60-90 days, so keep a note of when you planted them. It is hard to miss the yellow flowers and the young cukes while you tend to the garden.
You can twist cucumbers until they break off from the vine to harvest them. However, I prefer using shears or scissors to make a clean cut.
Afterward, place the cucumbers in a basket or harvesting crate and carry them to the kitchen or post-harvest station to use, package, or store later.
As you can see, growing your cucumbers vertically is an easy process. It has plenty of benefits for both you and the cucumbers.
Vertical Gardening can seem like blasphemy to someone who has not heard about it before. While some may think it’s a recent trend, vertical growing has been used since around 3000 BCE, so it’s a tried and tested method.
There are countless benefits that come with growing your crops vertically. However, arguably the most important one is that it saves a lot of space.
Regarding your cucumbers, it also means that your crops are cleaner, have better air circulation, and have increased sun exposure. So, you can be sure that they are healthy!
It also means you won’t have to bend over to harvest them, so if you struggle with back pain, this is an excellent way of growing them.
Now that we’ve convinced you of the fantastic benefits of growing your vegetables vertically, you should try it out once summer arrives!
The University Of Illinois Extension. Cucumber. extension.illinois.edu. Accessed September 2022
The University Of Georgia Extension. Growing Cucumber In The Home Garden. extension.uga.edu. Accessed September 2022