How To Grow Cucumbers Vertically?
Cucumber is one of the most refreshing summer vegetables and it is called a water bottle as 95 % of its composition is water. It is so low in calories, rich in antioxidants, and so beneficial for your overall health. It can be added to almost any salad or meal and you can even pickle it!
You can grow cucumbers with no difficulties, they just need regular watering and sun exposure and they are a very productive plant!
If you grow them vertically in your garden, this can help you with saving space. Moreover, you will avoid one big gardening problem, the fruit rot. Fruit rotting is a fruit infection that fruits get from the moisture soil when they stay in it for a longer time period. (1)
Actually, cucumbers are natural climbers, but they sometimes need some help, to learn how to climb up the trellis.
They also need good growing conditions and requirements, so you need to:
- Choose a nice, not windy spot to keep the trellis or pergola sturdy
- The spot should be sunny as it doesn’t like minus temperatures as it originates from South Asia
- The soil should be loose and deep, rich in organic matter, and neutral in PH. It should be well-drained as well.
- Apply a balanced slow-release fertilizer as needed
- Regular watering is the most important when it comes to nice cucumber production and a good harvest
Choosing The Right Method
There are different vertical gardening ideas so you choose from the pergola to trellis or an interesting and very stable A-frame.
So, you can choose one of these 5 vertical gardening ideas:
- Teepee – it is a structure very easy to move, the structure is easy to make and can be used in a greenhouse and containers
- Trellis is one of the most popular methods and you can buy the trellis or make them yourself. You can choose from one of the trellises:
- A-frame that gives a sturdy structure, but may take a lot of space as it is big
- Grid trellis- that can be attached to a fence or wall so you can save space
- Tomato cages – that are rather small, but are cheap and easy
- Pergola – that looks great in your garden and can provide a nice shade
- On a string
- In a container that allows better control in the moisturizing and fertility
How Do You Train A Cucumber to Climb?
When we speak about training your cucumber to climb, this doesn’t refer to an actual training technique, but they need support when they are young and need to grow in the right direction.
They need flipping or weaving around the trellis so they can find it more easily and climb on it.
The training consists of:
- When cucumbers are young, and don’t have enough tendrils for support, but are quite big in size and can fall on the ground, you can pick them up and lean them on the trellis
- Make regular checks on your cucumbers, to see if they climb in the right direction and if needed, tie their trunks on the trellis
- When the tendrils begin to get a shape and are grown, you can weave or lean them on the trellis, so they can start weaving and leaning on it naturally as a vertical cucumber.
- Now, they will start growing independently on the trellis but it can happen occasionally to grow out of it through the gap and you should weave it back very carefully on the trellis.
Cucumbers In Containers
One of the best methods to grow cucumbers is in a container as they get the extra heat they need. This is one of the easiest methods, but you need to choose a suitable container that needs to:
- Hold 5 to 7 gallons of potting mix
- Has adequate drainage and must have a drainage hole
- Choose a large container (at least 12 to 14 inches in diameter)
- Do not use ordinary gardening soil that doesn’t drain as it is needed and check it regularly with your finger before watering.
The cucumber likes the sun, so you need to wait for the last spring frost to pass and plant it two weeks after.
Why grow cucumbers in containers?
- They have better airflow and this prevents many diseases
- It is easier for harvesting the fruits
- Keeps your garden tidy and
- Saves you space
- You can use the vining methods such as strings, netting, or trellis
How To Grow Them In Containers
It is very important to place the container where the cucumbers will be exposed to sun and watered regularly and you will need to:
- Water the plants even more, as they need more watering when in containers than planted in the ground
- Every 3 to 4 weeks you should apply liquid fertilizer as a supplement to the slow organic one so they get a regular feed. You can add a compost tea as well.
- Check them regularly for any potential problems as they are quite often attacked by pests such as slugs, squash bugs, or beetles. What is more, they can be infected with diseases such as bacterial wilt or powdery mildew. Be always on alert for potential problems so you can solve them before they get out of hand.
- To prevent problems, have good air circulation and change the planting location in every 2 to 3 years.
- When you harvest them, never pull them out from the plants, as you can damage them. Use pair of pruners to clip them.
Growing Cucumbers Vertically On String
If you decide to grow cucumbers on a string, it is very similar to growing tomatoes and it is a great growing method. It is inexpensive and you don’t need much material.
You will get rid of growing them on a trellis and it requires nothing more than a string to support their growth. The plants grow as high as 8 inches and it gives them better circulation and is disease-free.
The best time to train them is when they are planted, but you can train them even when they are sprawling on the ground.
How To Use The String Method With Cucumbers
- You should begin by running sturdy pipe, wire, or board up 7 feet tall
- On every 12- 18 inches tie a string so it can hang down towards the ground and plant your cucumbers
- You can use a garden pin to secure the string on the soil by winding it around the pin or wrapping the string several times around the base of the plant
- When the first flowers appear, twirl the cucumber around the string
- Continue with twirls once a week and remove the formed suckers
- Cucumbers have suckers as tomatoes, but they are rather sneaky and you should always inspect them to pinch them out