Question about cucumber trellises

catherinet(5 IN)May 23, 2009

I have tried to grow cucs up a fence and it didn't work out very well. Most of them still preferred to grow on the ground. I had previously used a 16' long cattle panel that is 4' high. Is it possible that cucs like to grow better up something like netting? Is it possible that they would prefer to grow up a fence that was angled back at about 45 degrees?

Maybe I just didn't have the time to go out throughout the day and train it to go up the fencing. But this time, I thought maybe I'd try a slightly different approach.

Any suggestions?

Thanks.

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iam3killerbs(7 NC Sandhills)

I've never had any trouble getting cucumbers to climb.

I do give them a little training -- guiding any stay branches back to the trellis.

I wonder, I've never grown bush cukes, but if yours were bush types perhaps those don't climb as well? Someone else might know.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 10:13PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks iam3killerbs,

I was wondering if the type of cuc affects if it grows well up trellises. I plant county fair. Its not a bush, but it is a pickler. What kind of trellis do you use?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 10:38PM
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iam3killerbs(7 NC Sandhills)

I've used different ones. Sometimes nylon net, sometimes woven wire, sometimes chicken wire.

I've got County Fair this year. I guess I'll see if it needs extra encouragement to climb. :-D

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 11:15PM
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leofelsic

We grew lemon cucumbers last year, and they were vigorous climbers. We used a 1" cage mesh as well as chicken wire. They took to both very well.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 11:30PM
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cyrus_gardner(8)

Bush cukes do not have tenderis, anyway, just like bush sqaushes.

To make climbing easier for cukes, install your trelis at an angle.
I have done mine @45deg. angle. This way they can lay on it and grab it and relax a bit instead of just hanging there.(hehe)
As a postr said, You have to train them, show them the way. Plants are blind. But once they get a grab at something, they will stay on track.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 12:19AM
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lantanascape(z6 Idaho)

I grow National Pickling, which I think is similar to County Fair, and they go up 2x4" fencing wire that is totally vertical with no problems. When they're 8-12" tall, I stick a couple of the vine tips through the fence and they figure the rest out on their own.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 12:24AM
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wayne_perrier(z9 CA)

I have used vertical redwood trellisses for cukes in the past and will do so again this year. I also use these for melons. I simply let the vines grow and weave them in the trellis. They will be hanging off about a foot or so and I will just tuck them back in there and they do just fine. I would recommend this.

It's not as much work as it sounds, just a couple times a week.

Wayne

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 1:14AM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

Whether to use angled or vertical trellis may be a climate-related issue. In our hot climate, vertical trellises (even chain link fence) allow more shading of lower leaves and of fruit. A real benefit around here.

In cooler, more humid climates, angled trellises may provide better air circulation and sun exposure (and you may be able to grow lettuce in the shade of the trellis).

I have difficulty growing cukes on the ground in our climate. Seems to stress the plants. Friends of Mexican heritage grow them under corn, however.

Summer Dance from Pinetree remains bitter-free when grown vertically even in our hot summer weather.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 9:08AM
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primarycanary

I grew national pickling last year as well. I ran a rope between two 6' posts on either side of the row. From this rope I cut lengths of rope that dangled down to the ground by the stem of each plant. The vines quickly grabbed these ropes and climbed straight up.

I just didn't make it strong enough because once the vines started filling with cucumbers, the weight was too much for the ropes!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 2:09PM
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gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

I just hang a string down from a 1x2 crossbeam for the cuke to climb.

My experience with the bush type is they are just shorter vines, 6ft or so. I have not seen a cuke plant w/o tendrils.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 4:33PM
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bomber095(z5b MA)

I have my broken grape arbor that I'm using this year

The cukes ae the one on the left. This is a two week old picture

I've also taken lattice, nailed it to a 2x4, and used a post hole digger to make a hole for it behind cukes. Either method will work

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 4:43PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks everyone.
primary canary......are you saying the rope broke? Bummer.
Are you going to try it again with maybe a 2x4 from one 4x4 to the other?
Is string enough to hang down, or do you think you need rope? Would the wind blow the rope/string alot and maybe yank them out of the ground?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 4:59PM
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cyrus_gardner(8)

Well, we all try different ways and methods and have preferences. I think, some angle, can help the plant lean on the trelis and also if it get windy can hang in there better. This is the first year that I am using trelis. In the past I just let them to run on the ground. Which is OK, if you don't get too much rain.
Another advantage of trelis is that you can spot the cukes easily without messing around with the vines. Cuumber vines are very tender and sensative and can be injured easily. Enough for trelis.

I hav, mybe, five varieties: Picklers, Taste of Asia, Japanes, Armeinan and middle Eastern. My earlier ones have started growing cukes already, while learning to climb on the trelis. Afew more hot days, I will taste the fruit of my labor. Hopefully!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 6:42PM
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gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

I use jute twine for ALL of my vines and tomatoes. Never a prob getting ripped out of soil or blown down even with hurricane winds in Aug & Sep. I have truly been impressed.

On another note- I never cradle melons on a trellis either. I figure the vine will hold them until they are ripe, then let go of the fruit. Just don't let fruit get too high off the ground.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 7:26PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks gumby,
Did you just let all the individual strings just hang down (not anchored to anything at the bottom)?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 8:01PM
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growyourveggies

1. Lemon cucumbers have tendrils... They are growing on my plant right now.
2. hanging string technique works well (jute twine)... I build a structure out of bamboo... and hang strings from it... if cukes get to heavy I add to the structure...
3. raised bed, mulch and quality organic compost.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 5:32AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I think ALL cucumbers have tendrils. You have to get them started and tie them from time to time. Then there has to be enough stuff for them to grab. So adding some twine to cattle panel can help too. If you have a lot of space , you can let them sprawl. That is better where it is very hot but not very good, where you get a lot of rain.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 7:19AM
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formerly_creativeguy

I use the same ties I use for my staked tomatoes to get cuc vines going in the right direction on my trellis. One tie is usually enough to get them climbing on their own.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 8:02AM
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barrie2m_

Similar to tomato ties I use the clips to train cucumber vines in my high tunnels even after having a cylinder tomato cage to contain younger plants and a suspended plastic mesh above that. You will always have a few vines that "rome" to unwanted areas and need to be trained but the vast majority will attach to the mesh (6" openings) and grow right up to my high tunnel plastic.

Picking of trained vines is so-so much more plant friendly than rearranging sprawled vines with every picking. I've done it both ways and the trained vines outlive the sprawling vines every time.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 10:09AM
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LKZZ(7b)

Here are my County Fair and Ashley cukes on trellises last year. I did help them with some hemp twine but they did curl around the trellis themselves eventually:

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 4:05PM
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justanotherider(4b)

If you are thinking about using a sloped trellis, I find a 60 degree angle much more convenient than a 45. The cucs hang down beneath the trellis, and at 45 degrees, it's a pain to get under and harvest the lower fruit, and nearly impossible to rescue them from the top.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 8:19AM
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barrie2m_

Don't believe you need more than slight angle so cucs hang down.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 10:54AM
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