Anyone who gardens puts their green thumb to work growing cucumbers at some point or another—it is a natural choice for salad lovers as well as home-canners, and is one of the easier plants to cultivate. Like most vines, however, cucumber plants take up a lot of space when allowed to sprawl freely on the ground. So how can you get those crisp cucumbers you crave and still have space for other plants in your garden? Train them to grow up trellises, of course!
Erect a trellis before planting your cucumbers. (They are fast growing plants, and you will find it difficult to manipulate stakes and string after they have started growing around everything in sight—including each other.) A bamboo stake or length of pipe pounded into the soil at either end of the bed will support twine or wire laced back and forth. Or use “T”-posts with a section of wire field fencing between for quick DIY trellises.
Plant your seeds according to recommendations on package, or set out started plants. Plant as close to the trellis as feasible so young vines will not have to reach far for support.
Guide young vines toward trellises as they begin to grow—directing individual tendrils away from one another to maximize sunlight to plants. No tying is necessary at this point--once the plants are established, they will cling by themselves.
Protect cucumbers in harsh environments by trellising them against a supporting, south-facing fence or wall. According to University of Illinois Extension, “Winds whipping the plants can make vertical training impractical.” In situations like that, tying may be advisable—use soft cloth strips or yarn and tie loosely to avoid damaging fragile vines.