Growing cucumbers on a trellis has several advantages to the home gardener. Cucumbers that grow above the soil are of higher quality because they do not contact the soil. Cucumbers that grow above the soil also experience fewer diseases and pest problems and a gardener is able to harvest the cucumbers more readily because they are easier to find growing on a trellis.
Prepare the growing area when the soil temperature is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Work the soil with the garden spade down to a depth of about 6 inches. Add 2 inches of compost to the top of the soil and work this in with the spade. Rake the soil surface smooth to finish the soil preparation.
Create rows for the cucumber seeds that are 5 feet apart. Set up a trellis at each row for the cucumber plants to grow upon.
Plant each cucumber seed 8 inches apart and cover with a half inch of soil. Tie a length of twine onto the bottom wire of the trellis at each point where a cucumber plant will grow. Extend the length of twine vertically up to the top wire to create a vertical support for the cucumber vine to climb.
Water the cucumber seeds regularly to keep them moist during the entire growing season. Ensure the cucumber plants receive at least 1 inch of water each week.
Train the main stem of each cucumber plant to climb the trellis. Move the main stem to the trellis and gently wind the stem around the trellis to encourage it to grow up the trellis. Repeat this as often as necessary to make the cucumber vines climb the trellis.
Fertilize the cucumber plants with approximately 1 tbsp. of granular fertilizer for each plant. Sprinkle the fertilizer around the soil of the plant when the cucumber vines are about 10 inches long. Remove weeds that grow around the cucumber plants.
Harvest the cucumber plants when they are approximately 6 inches long. Twist the cucumbers gently from the vine to remove them. Check for ripe cucumbers every other day beginning approximately 50 days after sowing the cucumber seeds.