Monday, July 11, 2016

Training cucumbers onto a support

Growing vine cucumbers on a vertical support can go array unless you know a few basics to keep them contained. Cucumbers will not naturally find and climb on supports like peas, or morning glorys, they must be trained. They have a crawling and sprawling habit and without constant training and pruning, will end up looking like a huge mess like mine!

Some of the advantages to training cukes are:
  • Saves space
  • Helps prevent disease
  • Increases yield
  • Easier access fruit for harvest

There are many styles of supports for cucumber vines. You can construct one yourself or order a prefabricated one. I personally like the tepee style trellis like this. 

(excuse my crude drawing)

Now we get into the nitty to prune! First we have to know how cucumbers grow. We have the main vine, leaf, fruit, flowers, tendril, and new growth. 

(Another crude drawing...)

The tendril is what will grip onto the support you provide, but you will have to add additional anchors. Depending on your space and trellis style, you will trim off new growth as close to the main stem as possible with clean garden shears. 

(weird twin cucumbers)

You can also prune off any diseased leaves and fruit to keep your cucumber vines healthy and strong. 

Enjoy your garden! 

If you need to see a video, check out my instagram @eatthegarden

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