Cucumbers are the second most popular vegetable grown in a home vegetable garden based on the United States Department of Agriculture. Who can argue? They’re a fantastic veggie to eat and easy to grow. They have but one disadvantage. They need a lot of space should you just let them grow and vine out (indeterminate varieties of course).
You are in luck however. Cucumbers will grow anywhere you direct them and if you are limited with horizontal space this means you can send them vertically. Below are four methods you can use to ensure that you have plenty of room for all your other vegetables. Surprisingly using a cucumber trellis is not the only technique available.
Most people do not realize they can use a tomato cage for growing their cucumbers. You can pick up tomato cages at your local home or garden center for just a dollar or two. These work very nicely because not only can you get them to grow up, but by directing their growth you will get them to grow in a spiral upward direction. The cucumbers will latch on the cage and after that you simply point the vine to go where you want it to grow.
Pole/Stake with Fencing
One other good strategy is to take a garden stake or pole at least fifty inches in height and wrap it with some fencing. Poultry fencing has a tendency to work best. As the cucumbers grow they’re going to latch on the fencing and keep growing upwards. You might have to do a little directional help here but not as much as with the tomato cage. This method will demand taller poles for the cucumbers, but is a great space saver.
The cucumber trellis technique, is probably the most popular of the four. You can build or purchase a wide variety of different trellises for the garden. Do a Google search on the word “trellis” and you will see what I mean. Just put a trellis near your cucumber plants and they’ll take it from there. Depending on which type of trellis you go with, the amount of work you put into it might be as little as none to as much as the tomato cage. Most likely it will be somewhere in between the two.
String and Poles
Finally, this is the method my dad used always and that was to have two poles at each end of the garden row that the cucumbers were in and then tie several rows of string to each end of the pole making sure each row was very tight. As the cucumbers would grow he would point them back and forth and up the rows of string. It worked very well for him and kept the row of cucumbers in their own rows.
These four methods aren’t anything new and have existed quite awhile. If you’re a new comer to home vegetable gardening I would suggest experimenting with all four of them to discover the one that best suits your needs and growing style. You will be amazed how much room you’ll save by growing vertically.