How tall should the cucumber trellis height be?
What factors influence cucumber trellis height? Using a cucumber trellis to support your plants is the best way to grow beautiful and healthy cucumbers. Over the years many gardeners have learned the hard way that allowing your cucumber vines to spread out on the ground reduces the productivity of the plant due to disease and rot. However, what is the recommended cucumber trellis height?
Many Factors Influence your Cucumber Trellis Height Different varieties of cucumbers will grow to various heights vertically, therefore, research the species you are going to plant and match the cucumber trellis height to the recommended height. Most common cucumber varieties can easily be trained to grow up a trellis that is 5 to 6 feet tall. Another often overlooked factor in figuring out the cucumber trellis height is the height of the gardener; it would be counterproductive to build a trellis that stood 8 feet if you were less than 5 feet tall.
More Fruits to Harvest Use of a cucumber trellis will benefit the crop that is produced by the plant. Growing cucumbers on a trellis have shown whether it is a vertical or a frame over the bed trellis, that the plant will produce three times more cucumbers than if the vine was growing along the ground. The effects of ground rot are non-existent as none of the cucumbers touch the ground, you can see all the cucumbers clearly and not inadvertently miss picking a ripe cucumber that might lie hidden under foliage if it were growing along the ground.
Easy Pest-Control Management Pests are more manageable grown on a cucumber trellis height that is comfortable for the gardener than when the plant grows along the ground as you can see them clearly on the flowers or the developing cucumbers and remove them. It is easy to see beetles that may ordinarily remain hidden inside the flowers and then just shake them off into a bowl of hot soapy water; this would be almost impossible if the vine were on the ground.
Better Protection for the Cucumbers When the vines are trained to grow up a trellis, the leaves create an umbrella of foliage so that the cucumbers benefit from improved overall photosynthetic capacity and produce more energy from the sun. Some varieties of cucumber develop male and female flowers on the same plant. These need cross-pollination, and this is usually carried out by insects, commonly bees. If insect cross-pollination is not occurring then by having your vines growing on a trellis, you will be able to carry out this task yourself more easily. Use a soft, clean artist paintbrush to wipe the pollen from the male flowers onto the female flowers.
Different Trellis Styles and Designs There are many designs and styles of cucumber trellis, and the form you choose will depend on the position and size of your garden which will, in turn, determine the cucumber trellis height. If your garden bed is against a fence or wall, you can stretch wires or cucumber trellis net along the face of the wall. Keep the wires or netting at least 4 to 6 inches high of the fence to allow the vine to wind itself in and out as it grows. Growing cucumber vines in an open area can also have the benefits of having a cucumber trellis installed. An open garden area trellis can be a variety of designs; the simplest form is to erect a pole at each end of the cucumber bed and stretch wires or cucumber trellis net between them, although this is not a stable design for supporting the vines at any great height. Use this style for low height varieties of less than 3 feet. Build an A type frame that completely covers the cucumber bed to a height of 5 feet and stretch the wires or cucumber trellis net on each side. With this design the height of cucumber trellis is self-supporting and as the vines grow nearer to the apex of the frame, they will cling to either side or better support themselves. An alternative to the simple A-frame design is a curved arch style that covers the cucumber bed. Train the vines to grow up the side and over the top of the arch so that when the cucumbers develop they will hang down underneath so that caring for them and harvesting will be simple. This style is only restricted in height by the gardener’s reach. Build the cucumber trellis height so that you can walk comfortably underneath the arch. Most varieties can be grown on an arch style trellis because when the vine reaches the point where the arc starts to flatten near the top, this is an excellent support for the plant as opposed to a vertical trellis where the weight of the plant will make the trellis want to fall sideways under its weight. When you are planting cucumber vines that will be trained to grow up or over a trellis, it is best that you start with seeds. You could plant seedlings, but the cucumber seedlings are very delicate and can easily be irreversibly damaged when you are transplanting them from the seedbed to the growing bed. Growing from seeds takes longer, but the success rate is much higher, the plants suffer little or no stress and will grow faster than if they had to recover from stress first before putting their energy into growing and developing cucumbers. As the vines grow, train the tendrils onto the lowest part of the cucumber trellis net and allow them to get a firm hold before training the plant to go any higher. When those stems start to hang down from the trellis, then train them to the next level. Usually, when the vines reach waist height, they will begin sprouting secondary stems which are the stems that you can train to grow higher, depending on the cucumber trellis height you are using this will occur two or three times. Keep training the vine until the creation of secondary stems slows down. The plant directs more of its energy on developing flowers that will become cucumbers rather than grow secondary stems.