Saturday, July 7, 2012

Growing Cucumbers Vertically

Last year I realized that my cucumbers were taking up WAY too much valuable space in my garden. I have decided this year to grow my cucumbers vertically. Cucumbers are warm weather plants that are part of the squash family. They send out vines that can get tangled and take over a garden. Growing cucumbers on trellis' help free up ground space for other plants. Growing cucumbers off the ground is also beneficial because the leaves dry out quicker after watering, rainfall, or heavy dew which  helps fend off powdery mildew and other diseases...but because of this it is important to watch their water supply.

Cucumbers can easily grow up a trellis, mesh fence, or garden nettling. You simply need to help train them in the beginning. Most cucumber plants send out tendrils that once you get them heading in the right direction will start to cling on their own. If they need a little extra support you can use a soft strip of cloth. Be very careful not to tie it too tight, though, as cucumber vines are very delicate.

I have also heard that melons and small watermelons can be grown this way using a nylon stocking tied to the trellis as a sling to support the melon. I think I will give that a try next time.

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