If left to sprawl on the ground, cucumber plants can quickly take over the garden! Growing cucumbers on a trellis is easy, looks awesome, and has tons of great benefits too. In this article, I’ll show you how to grow cucumbers on a trellis, and give you tons of tips for growing a beautiful, healthy crop.
When I first started gardening, I always let my cucumbers grow on the ground. Since I was a newbie gardener, I didn’t know there was any other option.
The problem with the vines sprawling everywhere is that, once the plants start to get really large, they take up a lot of space.
I’d grow them in a long row, and then train the vines to grow into each other. I tried my best to keep them within their row (and not let them overtake the tomatoes).
This worked pretty well, but by the end of the summer I could barely reach some of the cucumbers, or walk on that side of the garden because the row became so wide.
It was also very difficult to harvest the cucumbers because they were hidden under all that foliage, and it became super frustrating for me.
So, one year I decided to try growing cucumbers on a trellis like I have always grown my beans. And let me tell you, that was the best gardening decision I ever made!
Growing Cucumbers On A Trellis
If you’ve never tried growing cucumbers on a trellis, you’re missing out! I am absolutely hooked on growing vertically, and I grow as many of my vegetables on a trellis as I can.
But before I go on and on about how awesome it is to grow cucumbers vertically, let’s talk about different types of cucumber plants (cause not all types of cucumbers will grow on a trellis).
Types Of Cucumber Plants
Generally speaking, there are two types of cucumber plants, bush varieties and vining varieties. Vining varieties of cucumber will grow a trellis, and bush cucumber varieties will not.
So, if you want to try growing cucumbers on a trellis, you need to make sure you buy cucumber plant varieties that are the vining type and not the bush type.
How can you tell the difference? The seed packet or plant tag should tell you what type it is.
Benefits Of Growing Cucumbers Vertically
Ok, now that we know the best cucumber varieties to grow on a trellis, I can proceed to tell you about all of the awesomeness that comes with growing cucumbers on a trellis.
Not only does it look cool, but there are lots of benefits to using a cucumber trellis.
More space – One of the biggest benefits is space! When you grow them using a cucumber trellis, rather than allowing them to sprawl on the ground like I used to do, it frees up tons of space in your garden so you can grow other plants underneath.
Prevents disease – When cucumbers grow on the ground, the soil splashes up on their leaves which can cause major problems with soil borne diseases.
Trellising cucumbers slows down the spread of soil borne fungus and disease, keeping the plants much healthier.
Better airflow – Growing cucumbers vertically also allows better airflow so the leaves will dry out faster, which will help to prevent fungal diseases as well.
Protected from pests – Getting those yummy cucumbers up off the ground will keep them out of reach of many pests that could easily eat them when they’re laying on the ground.
Plus, the cucumbers won’t rot like they can when they’re just sitting on the ground.
Easier to harvest – Growing cucumbers vertically also makes it easier to harvest them. You won’t have to bend down and hunt for your cucumbers.
The cucumbers hang down from the vine, making them much easier to spot (especially when you grow them on an arch trellis).
Gorgeous cucumbers – You will always grow straight beautiful cucumbers since gravity pulls them down, rather than when they’re left sitting on the ground. And they’re cleaner too.
Plus, there won’t be an ugly yellow spot on your cucumbers (which happens when cucumbers lay on the ground).
Cucumber Trellis Ideas
You can use any type of garden trellis for cucumbers, so use your creativity! But there are a few things to keep in mind when you’re choosing a cucumber trellis.
The vines grow really long, so you’ll want to think about your cucumber trellis height. Make sure it’s tall enough so the vines have plenty of space to grow. But don’t get a super tall trellis that you can’t easily reach the top of to harvest your cucumbers.
Something that is anywhere from 4′-6′ tall would be perfect.
A cucumber trellis also needs to be strong enough to support the weight of the cucumbers as they mature. Cucumber vines are pretty lightweight, but they can quickly become heavy with mature cucumbers.
Also, make sure that your trellis for cucumbers is open enough so the vines don’t get crammed together.
Cucumbers plants need plenty of airflow to prevent the spread of disease and fungus problems, and an open trellis design will help to give them plenty of airflow.
Plus, when the plants are crammed together, it’s much more difficult to harvest the cucumbers.
I used to grow mine on just regular garden trellises, but I still found it difficult to find the cucumbers. To make harvesting much easier, try growing your cucumbers on an a-frame style trellis so the cucumbers will hang down.
A lean-to style cucumber trellis also works great to make harvesting easier, and you can grow other stuff underneath it (the medium sized one is perfect for growing in a smaller space or a raised bed).
If you’d rather make your own trellis, check out my cucumber arch trellis design plans. It’s an easy DIY project.
Using A Chicken Wire Trellis For Cucumbers
If you’re using a cucumber trellis made out of chicken wire or similar type of material that has small holes, you’ll need to keep an eye on your cucumbers.
Baby cucumbers can easily grow through the holes, and get stuck in the fencing as they grow larger.
So be sure to watch out for all the new cucumbers as they start to grow, and move them out of the fencing before they become stuck.
If you find one wedged in the fencing, you can still harvest it. Take a sharp knife and cut the cucumber open to remove it from the fencing. No biggy, you’ll just have to eat that one right away.
How To Grow Cucumbers Vertically
The vining types of cucumbers will naturally climb a trellis, but sometimes they need your help to find the support they’re supposed to be climbing. So, you’ll need to train the vines to grow up the trellis.
Cucumber vines don’t usually need to be tied onto the support, you can gently wrap them around the trellis, and they will grab on as they grow.
But, you can help them out by tying them onto the vine using twine, metal twist ties or flexible plant ties. Just be sure to tie them on very loosely, you don’t want the ties to strangle the vines as they grow thicker.
And don’t worry, the cucumbers won’t get too heavy and rip off the vine when you’re using a cucumber trellis. The vines are plenty strong enough to support the weight of the cucumbers.
Cucumber Growing Tips
- Harvest cucumbers when they are small for the best flavor and texture. If cucumbers are left on the vine too long, they will become tough and seedy.
- Harvest regularly to encourage the plant to keep producing more cucumbers. The more you harvest, the more cucumbers you will get.
- Once the plant start producing, cucumbers will grow very fast. Check your plant daily for new cucumbers that are ready to harvest.
- Cucumber plants like a lot of water, so make sure you keep the soil watered and never allow it to dry out completely. If they don’t get enough water, they won’t produce many cucumbers.
- Feeding your cucumber plants will also make them grow more yummy cucumbers! Just be sure to use organic fertilizer for cucumbers. Cucumber plant fertilizer can be applied as a liquid (fish emulsion and compost tea are my favorites) or as slow release granules that you add to the soil (or a combo of both!).
Growing cucumbers on a trellis is fun, and there are lots of great benefits. Not only will using a cucumber trellis save a ton of space in your garden, but your plants will be much healthier, and harvesting will be a snap!
Do you want to learn even more about growing vegetables vertically? My brand new book would be perfect for you! Vertical Vegetables: Simple Projects That Deliver More Yield In Less Space has all the information you need in order to grow any type of vegetable you want vertically. Plus it has design and care tips, detailed plant lists, and nearly two dozen step-by-step projects that you can build for your garden. Pre-order your copy today!
Learn more about my new Vertical Vegetables book here.
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- Beginner’s Guide To Vertical Gardening
- How To Trellis Peas In Your Garden
- How To Grow Squash Vertically
- How To Build a Squash Arch
- How To Trellis Grapes In Your Home Garden
Share your tips for growing cucumbers on a trellis in the comments section below!