Monday, July 11, 2011

Going Vertical with Cucumbers

In past gardens I have used the traditional hill method for my cucumbers, planting cucumber seeds in a ring around the top of a mound of soil. The mound was then enclosed with a cylinder of 4” plastic coated metal wire to act as a trellis and to contain the vines. This worked OK but made it hard to work inside the fencing.

For my raised beds I am using a trellis attached to the ends of the boxes. The trellises are constructed of 1/2 inch metal conduit connected with 90 degree ells. The bottoms are attached to each side of the box with a pair of conduit clamps screwed to the box. I attached 5’ wide nylon garden netting to the conduit using cable ties.

The cucumbers were planted in the squares next to the trellises. Standard SFG advice is 2 seeds per square. I purchased plants in 3” pots, four different types. Since there were two or three plants per pot, I planted them roughly in the center of two squares, two pots per side. The theory is, the plants will be trained up the garden netting, growing vertically so the number of squares used for each pot doesn’t exceed 2, and the inner squares of the bed are available for other plants. This year, I planted eggplant in the center of the bed. And so far, the cucumber plants are behaving and growing nicely up the netting.

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