Learn How to Grow Cucumbers Vertically to get a bountiful harvest. Growing Cucumbers Vertically also save a lot of space, ideal for limited space gardeners.
Cucumber is a refreshing vegetable, especially if picked up fresh. It is eaten in a variety of ways: raw in the salad, cooked or pickled. It is easy to grow and requires a warm, sunny exposure and deep and regular watering.
Benefits of Growing Cucumbers Vertically
One advantage of Growing Cucumbers Vertically is that you can avoid a common problem of fruit rot associated with cucumber cultivation. It happens when fruits sit in the moist soil for a prolonged period.
When you allow cucumber vines to grow up vertically, it improves the air circulation around the plant that prevents fungal diseases. Cucumber plants have a sprawling habit, and growing cucumbers vertically allow their leaves to absorb more sun, which results in healthy plant and large cucumbers. One more key benefit is that you can harvest the fruits more easily and on time.
Why Should You Grow Cucumbers Vertically?
When cucumbers are grown on the ground (horizontally) they usually cover 10-20 square feet of space, plant sprawls over the surface around it. However, smaller and bushier varieties take only 1/3 of this space, but they produce fewer fruits. Climbing, vine type varieties are more productive, and when you grow them vertically, they barely take 1 square foot of space, climbing up by the support of a trellis.
Also Read: Growing Cucumbers on Trellis
Choosing a Container and Trellis
If you’re growing cucumbers in containers vertically, prefer large containers that are more than 12 inches deep and wide. How many cucumber plants you can grow in such a container depends on the variety you are planting. A vining variety grows tall and sends long roots, whereas bushier varieties are short.
Choose a 5 to 6 feet tall trellis that is sturdy and doesn’t topple. If growing climbing varieties, use “A-frame trellis” so that the plant crawls up and down from it easily.
Check out these trellis designs and tutorials for help.
Propagation and Planting Cucumbers
Sow seeds directly onto the desired spot or in small pots. Cover them with about 2 cm of soil. Once the seedlings germinate and have a few leaves, transplant the healthiest ones into a bigger pot or on the frost-free ground in spring or summer, when the soil temperature is around 70 F (20 C). If you live in a tropical or subtropical climate, you can grow cucumbers year round.
Cucumber plant is a heavy feeder like tomatoes, prepare your soil well before planting by incorporating decomposed manure and compost.
Also Read: Basic Tomato Growing Tips for Pots
Requirements for Growing Cucumbers Vertically
Cucumber loves a warm and sunny exposure that is less windy. It does not tolerate temperature below 50 F (10 C). Optimum temperature to grow cucumbers falls in the range of 60–95 F (15–35 C).
It prefers well-drained, loose and deep soil, rich in organic matter and neutral in pH.
Regular and deep watering is the key to get productive cucumber harvest. It is due to the high water content of its fruits. While watering, avoid wetting the foliage as it may encourage fungal diseases.
Also Read: How to Water Container Plants
Mulch around the base of the plant to improve moisture retaining ability of the soil.
At the time of planting add all purpose slow release fertilizer in the soil. Once the plant starts to flower, side-dress the plant with aged manure, also, apply balanced liquid fertilizer at that time according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Diseases and Pests
When and How to Harvest Cucumbers?
Cucumbers are ready for harvest in 60 to 90 days, depending more on the variety. Pick them when they are developed enough, firm to touch and crunchy in taste. Do not let the fruits to overripe.