Crop Guide on Gardening Using Cucumber Netting
Learn More about the Benefits of Using Cucumber Netting
Cucumbers are fruits from Cucurbitaceae family. They are scientifically called Cucumis sativus, and they belong to the similar family as pumpkin, zucchini, watermelon and other summer squash types. The plants where cucumbers grow are creeping vines that develop these edible, cylindrical fruits all year round. Cucumbers can be grown in greenhouses or through the use of a cucumber netting or trellising. There are different cucumber varieties grown in different areas and regions. Usually, they are eaten pickled or fresh. When eaten fresh, they are called the slicing cucumbers. The best cucumbers to be pickled are called the Gherkin cucumbers; these are fruits smaller in sizes than slicing cucumbers. Many varieties of cucumbers are also usually grown and developed in greenhouses. These are the seedless varieties and they have longer length and thinner skin. For personal gardeners though, trellising is the more preferred way of growing cucumbers.
Trellising Using Cucumber Netting
Cucumber vines are commonly trained to grow up on trellises. The idea in using cucumber net is to effectively save space and for the improvement of yield and better development of fruit quality. The major benefits of using support netting for cucumbers are:
- More efficient harvesting – fruits would be eye level and therefore easy to see and pick
- Effective pest management – fruits would be above ground and thus away from pests
- Straighter fruits – fruits would be hanging and not laying on the ground
- Uniform in fruit color – no parts of the fruits would be left sitting on the soil
- Reduced fruit loss (which is a common bad effect caused by soil diseases)
- More or increased yield (this is because cucumbers are grown in closer rows)
- Reduced crooked fruits rates
Growing Requirements for Cucumber and Its Habits
Cucumbers respond like semitropical plants. They grow best under certain conditions with higher humidity, temperature and light level intensity, as well as with uninterrupted water and nutrient supply. Under stable and favorable nutritional and environmental conditions and if pests are constantly kept under control, cucumber plants can easily grow fast and produce fruits heavily. The laterals, tendrils and main stem grow fast. In training cucumbers to grow up in cucumber netting, frequent pruning is required. Pruning should be in single stem, so it can be easily trained to go up along vertical nets for simple maintenance of optimal canopy for better interception of maximum light, as well as for permitting enough air flow movement.
Best Reasons of Growing and Using Support Netting for Cucumbers
If you are planning to grow cucumbers, you must answer one important question first: Do you plan to grow them on trellis or do you intend to let them sprawl on the soil/ground? If you have enough ground space and more free time in your hand to manage and maintain the plants, then you can go traditional by planting on the ground. But, if your garden or farming space is minimal, trellising is your best option. By growing your plants using cucumber netting, you would be able to successfully plant without taking too much space. A cucumber net is also helpful in keeping the leaves drier since watering the mainstream would be easier. This watering process is highly recommended because it helps in keeping fungal diseases away. Trellising also makes harvesting the fruits a whole lot simpler. You would easily see the cucumber fruits because they would be hanging closer to eye level – fruits are faster to spot, prickly leaves and stems are neatly restricted therefore the hazard of you getting scratched up is effectively minimized. One of the most beautiful things about seeing your fruits hanging above the ground is that they are cleaner for not touching dirt. And since no parts of the fruits ever rested on or touched the ground, then the fruits also develop more uniformity in color. In addition, less misshapen fruits and straighter ones are your sure harvest if you grow your cucumber up and not around.
Growing Cucumber Vertically
There are a few steps to follow in growing cucumbers vertically. First, you must of course prepare your trellis. There are different ways of doing this. One recommended way is construction of A-Frame trellis. This can be made using 1″ x 2″ boards or bamboo poles. You can also grow your cucumbers up on single trellis, but as the plants become full-sized and loaded with their fruits, they would need more secured trellis and nets. Next, you should train your plants to go up to the fencing or netting during growing season. This is an easy task as it may only take up to five minutes. All you need to do is wind your plants around the netting or strings once or twice and the plants will work their way up from there. It is also important to make sure that you will be watering from the bottom. One recommended way to do this is by using soaker hose as it works at watering at the exact place where you want the water to get into. This also allows you to effectively prevent the water from getting into the leaves. It is important to keep in mind that when leaves are left wet, they attract mildew and other diseases. If the weather is not really hot, watering once a week for about two hours would be enough. If you are in a location with hotter climate, you may want to water more frequently and try to add some mulch to the ground as this would help in keeping moisture in. Finally, you can harvest your healthy, clean and good-looking cucumber fruits. You would notice that most of the fruits would be eye-level and that would make harvesting a whole lot easier. All you will need to do is reach in, push leave aside and then pick your straight and full-colored cucumber.