Cucumbers are a prolific and vigorous type of plant that, if left unchecked, will run amuck in your garden! Knowing how to grow cucumbers vertically is a key to saving garden space and ensuring you have the healthiest possible cucumbers\ plants.
Read on to learn how to grow cucumbers vertically in any kind of space so that your plants will truly thrive and flourish!
Why It’s Important to Know How to Grow Cucumbers Vertically
There are several huge benefits to knowing how to grow cucumbers vertically! While this knowledge is not something you will necessarily need to know or apply if you prefer to grow bush varieties of cucumbers, your vining types will thrive on vertical growth.
One of the key benefits to growing cucumbers vertically is that this is a tremendous space saver. Just about any vining cucumber variety will really sprawl out; they are prolific growers, so the vines and leaves will overtake a garden patch if you let them.
On the other hand, if you know how to grow cucumbers vertically, you can “train” the young cucumber plants upward on a stake or trellis, which frees up a lot of ground garden space. This space can then be used to grow other plants that flourish well in shared proximity with a cucumber plant.
Another benefit to knowing how to grow cucumbers vertically is that you can actually protect your cucumber plants from pests and prevent them from catching certain diseases!
Cucumber plants left to sprawl on the soil are more susceptible to certain insects including mites and grasshoppers, and to illnesses including powdery mildew disease and other such funguses.
However, cucumber plants that are trained vertically get more air flow and see a reduction in moisture levels, which drastically reduces the risk of mildewing and keeps them up from the soil where pests are the most frequent.
The act of harvesting your cucumbers—and the health of that harvest—are also benefitted by knowing how to grow cucumber vertically. A trellised cucumber plant has fruit that is easier to find and pick among the leaves and vines, reducing the risk of overripening.
In addition, the cucumbers on a trellised plant don’t spend a good deal of time resting on the damp soil, which can cause blemishing and even rot if they aren’t found and picked in short order.
All in all, knowing how to grow cucumbers vertically will help you protect your plants and make the most of your harvest as easily as possible. While it can take some added work to get things set up in the garden initially, the benefits throughout the growing season are unparalleled.
Tools Needed for Growing Cucumbers Vertically
To effectively employ the methods for how to grow cucumbers vertically, you will need a few key items. Investing in these ahead of time will help set you up for success in the long run.
The item in your cucumber-growing repertoire, of course, is your trellising stand!
You have a lot of options here when it comes to growing cucumbers vertically, and space is the ultimate determining factor. Ultimately, you will want to get a trellis that is between 5 and 7 feet tall for optimal upward growth.
You may want to use a pergola if you are looking for a more permanent option and the easiest harvesting solution for growing cucumbers vertically. This is usually only a cost-effective option if you already have a pergola or have materials on hand to build one yourself, however, they tend to be pricy and take up a lot more room.
One of the biggest gardening favorites for growing cucumbers vertically is an A-Frame trellis, such as the one sold by VASALAID on Amazon. These trellises are foldable, easy to store between seasons, and highly effective for upward growth.
A-Frame trellises also come in varying sizes to suit your need and the number of plants. You can find smaller ones for 1 or 2 cucumber plants, with one on each side of the frame, or choose a wider frame to host more numerous plants.
A simple vertical trellis, such as this trellis 3-pack variety sold by YiTai Online on Amazon, can also work great for growing cucumbers vertically, especially from a pot! You can also find these simple vegetable cages at most lawn and garden centers if you prefer not to purchase your trellising equipment online.
Some folks also like the teepee trellis variety, which often works better for single or just a few plants rooted in the center of the teepee. One option is the Bond Store’s bamboo teepee, also available on Amazon.
You can also use simple garden stakes and trellis netting, such as the Hortonova Trellis Netting from Hoss Tools, as your aid for growing cucumbers vertically. This netting can be strung between stakes plunged into the soil and allows for a simple, seasonal option for supporting vertical growth.
For raised garden beds, you may consider a trellis arch or an arch made of trellis netting staked into adjacent garden beds. This will allow for quite a bit of upward and overarching growth for your vertical cucumber plants, as well as optimal airflow below and above the plants.
In addition to your trellis, you will also want some fastenings to help train your cucumber plants in the direction you want them to grow. You can use anything from twist ties to twine to the custom fastenings that often come with your trellis when you purchase it.
You must continue tying the cucumber stalks loosely to the trellis as the plant grows. This will keep it from seeking the path of least resistance…usually dipping back toward the ground!
You may also need garden stakes for fastening trellis netting. These can often be purchased at a lawn and garden center locally. They can also be found online, such as from vendor NANOPRETTY on Amazon.
One of the benefits of having stakes on hand is that they can even be used for supplemental trellising! While not all stakes are made equal, and some will not hold up well to a full season of supporting a growing plant, they are valuable to have on hand nonetheless.
Keeping your cucumber vines well-pruned is a key step to growing cucumbers vertically. Overgrowth will burden down the trellis, take up space you may not have to spare and make the whole process messier.
How to Grow Cucumbers Vertically in the Garden
The first step to growing cucumbers vertically in your garden is to get your trellis set up! You will want to ensure the trellis is secured and built properly according to the assembly steps.
Flat trellises should be steady and secure in the soil, and trellis netting should be tight but not straining around your garden stakes. Flat trellises can also be secured to nearby fencing if you so desire. All trellises should be secure and not wobbly.
Once your trellis is assembled and secured, it’s time for the next step of how to grow cucumbers vertically—planting your cucumber plants!
You will want to position your cucumber plants mindfully, so they can grow up the trellis without overcrowding. Spacing them about a foot apart is your best course of action. Then, as they grow, begin fastening the plants to the trellis to direct their upward growth.
Just be sure not to tie them off too tightly, as this can cause damage to the plant, usher in disease, and even halt its production or kill the cucumber plant altogether. They should be tied tightly enough to train them to the post, but no more than that.
If you use an established pergola as your trellis for growing cucumbers vertically, you will want to plant them near the base of the pergola and tie them off to its frame as they grow.
As needed, prune back any overgrowing or unproductive vines. Harvest cucumbers as soon as they ripen so the plant is not expending excess energy on ripe fruits.
How to Grow Cucumbers Vertically in a Pot
Learning how to grow cucumbers vertically in a pot can be even simpler than doing so in a garden plot or raised bed!
You will want to ensure your gardening pot has a depth and width of more than 12 inches and at least a 5-gallon compost capacity, based on the type of vining cucumber you intend to grow. Taller varieties do require deeper containers to lay down their roots!
Typically, you will want to take a few small wooden canes and create a cone-like structure with them in the pot, their tips tied together like a teepee. Then, grow your cucumber plant within the cone, tying it off to one of the canes to encourage that vertical growth.
Wrapping Up How to Grow Cucumbers Vertically
Now that you know how to grow cucumbers vertically, it’s time to pick the cucumber variety that will work best for you!
Ready to continue discovering these funky fresh vegetables? Then learn more about cucumbers by checking out my planting guides, recipe tips, brand suggestions, and more!
- About the Author
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Renee Dugan is a lifelong writer, professional editor, and lover of all things nature, gardening and the big outdoors.
A Midwest girl who’s been in the garden since she could first hold a hand trowel, Renee’s love of growing things has bloomed into a passion for healthy living, holistic lifestyle, and knowing where our food comes from.
Now a mother and maturing gardener herself, Renee is passionate about channeling everything she knows and continues to learn about gardening into lessons for her son and others. Her excitement for sharing this knowledge is only superseded by her excitement about being able to finally grow her own citrus plants in pots.
Renee can be reached at email@example.com