HOW TO BUILD A SIMPLE CUCUMBER SUPPORT FOR YOUR GARDEN
Cucumber is a climbing crop, and just like other vine crops it requires a support for it to develop and produce fruits efficiently. Using a cucumber support increases yield by allowing the crop grow upwards where the leaves are exposed to light.
THE IMPORTANCE OF A CUCUMBER SUPPORT
While increased yield is the optimum benefit of using a cucumber support, it also improves overall fruit quality. Cucumber support keeps the field tidy, allowing you to save space as well.
Finally, use of cucumber support reduces fruit curvature. Cucumber fruits developing on a support most often do not encounter obstructions like they do on the ground. Therefore, fruits harvested are straight and big.
BUILDING A SIMPLE CUCUMBER SUPPORT
There are so many cucumber support available to pick from. While some are very easy to construct and install, others are tedious and take a lot of time.
The net trellis however, is everyone’s favorite. It is durable, and can last so many growing seasons. It also provides a good support for cucumber.
CONSTRUCTING A TRELLIS WITH A CROP NET: to cut down on the construction time, you could opt for a ready – to – use net. Also, obtain two metal fence post and a sturdy wood. The metal post has to be of equal length or close. The length should be one that you desire – when mounted, it should be as high as you want your crops to climb.
Mount the metal posts very close to where the plants will be. It is important to consider the width of the net first, in other to determine how wide apart the poles should be.
After the metal posts are mounted, tie the net to the poles. The lower part of the net should not be more than 10 inches above the ground.
After the net is installed, cover the top with the wood. This means that the length of the wood should be equal to or more than the space between the two metal poles.
Placing the wood at the top ensures the top is not saggy and that the weight of the plant does not make it droop.
MAKING YOU OWN TRELLIS NET FROM THE SCRATCH: this will definitely consume more time than when using a store bought crop net, but it will save cost.
The materials required are: bundles of twine, some sturdy woods, nails, flat head screws and some work tools.
First, determine the height and width of the trellis. Doing this will help you know the length of the wood you need for the sides, the top and the base.
Make a simple but sturdy rectangular frame putting into consideration the legs that will go into the ground – this means that the frame will look like an “A”, but with a flat top.
After the frame is completed, use a tape and make marks 5 inches apart along the rectangle. These are where you will attach the flat head screws. These screws should not be driven straight into the wood.
Now what is left is to pass the twine around the screws. First make horizontal lines, then vertical lines to make your own net-like trellis. Do not forget to make knots where the vertical lines meet the horizontal lines.
When your cucumber support is ready, mount it where the crops are planted, and train the vines to follow the trellis.