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One of the essential parts of growing any plant is to take proper care of them. Cucumber although is an easy to grow plant is not an exception to this. Among various things, giving your plant some kind of support (if needed) is a very important aspect of plant maintenance.
In this post, we will discuss if your cucumber plant needs any support for growing and if it is needed what is the ideal form of support that cucumbers need.
So let’s start…
Do Cucumber Plants Need Support?
Although cucumbers can grow without a proper support system, it is always better to give them a support system to hang on to. A support system not only gives the plant physical support but also helps in maintaining proper health, fighting predators and saving up a lot of space.
Which Type of Cucumber Needs Support?
There are basically two types of cucumbers the bush type and the vine type.
Bush type of cucumbers rarely grow above 2.5 ft. and they don’t require any kind of support to grow. Vine type of cucumbers, on the other hand, grows above 6 ft in height. As the name suggests they produce vines and need some kind of support to climb upwards.
There are many ways you can support your cucumber plant, but the most popular ones by far are trellis or cage systems.
Types of Support:
Although you can give support to your cucumber plants in many ways, by far the most common form of support is through the trellis. Other than trellis you can also use stakes, cages or fences to provide support to your cucumber plant.
Here I will discuss the trellis in a little detail. If you want to know about other forms of support you can visit this post where I have discussed other support systems as well.
Why Should You Use Trellis?
A trellis helps your cucumber plant to grow vertically. This gives your cucumber plant some added advantage over the ones that are grown horizontally.
- Cucumbers that uses trellis to grow vertically can get better access to sunlight which results in better yield.
- In a trellis, the plant will get enough airflow so the leaves will remain fresh and healthy.
- You will save a lot of space which you can use to grow other companion plants of cucumbers.
- It will also be easier to harvest cucumbers and the chances of misshapen fruits will be far less when you give trellis support to your cucumber plant.
Where to Put The Trellis:
The best place to put the trellis is where the plant will get the ideal growing conditions so that no way its growth get disturbed. Ideally, a cucumber plant likes a soil temperature of 70 degrees and a soil pH of 6.5. They grow very fast so make sure you have enough space before you decide to put the trellis.
Trellis Idea DIY vs Store Bought Ones:
You can arrange cucumber trellis in two ways. Either you can buy it online or make your own trellis.
For a homemade trellis system, you can use some strings that will be tied up with some wooden frames. Place the wooden frame around a raised bed now the plant can use the strings around the frame and climb upwards.
Instead of the strings, you can also use nylon nets to attach around the wooden frame. While choosing a net make sure that the net has large size holes so that the fruit doesn’t get stuck in the holes. This is why nylon nets are a better choice for building trellis than chicken wires.
Metal Cucumber Trellis:
Metal trellis like these works very good for vining cucumbers. They are made up of solid steel and are generally powder coated. They are sturdy and also durable. They are slanted so you can plant lettuce or other companion plants for cucumber in the space beneath.
Alternatively, you can also try wooden trellis like this one to support your cucumbers.
How to Train Cucumbers To Use The Support System:
Although cucumbers climb upwards, they might not attach to the trellis naturally. So as a grower you should train the cucumber plant to use the trellis. Twin them around the wire or tie them up with jute thread. This will allow the cucumber plant to reach the top of the cage. Once it reaches there allow the plant to hang down above the ground.
Maintainance and Care:
While growing cucumbers on a trellis you need to take care of the plant. Here are some simple things you should follow so the plant can thrive.
Watering your cucumber is very important. Cucumbers need a lot of water for growing and producing fruits. Usually, you should water the plants deeply twice a week if there is no rainwater. You can obviously reduce the frequency by using organic mulch on top of the ground.
Just like watering your cucumber plant, you need to regularly fertilize the plant. A slow-releasing fertilizer like this will keep your plant happy. Also from time to time use a little dose of liquid kelp will help your plant nourish especially when they start to flower.
When you grow cucumber on a trellis it becomes quite easy to inspect your plants. So do this regularly. Remove any dead leaves, aphids, or beetles you may come across. With a little bit of inspection and love, you will soon see your cucumber starts growing fruits.
Cucumber fruits generally taste mildly sweet but sometimes they might go bitter. Here is a post where I discuss why your cucumber may taste bitter and what you can do to prevent it from happening, give that a read.
That’s it for now. I hope you have understood the support system in growing a cucumber plant, and what you need to do.
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