Growing Cucumbers Vertically | How to Grow Cucumbers in Small Gardens

Sheri Dorn is a versatile homesteader and culinary artist with a strong focus on organic and heirloom gardening. Holding a Master's degree in Culinary Arts, she combines her love for cooking and gardening in a unique way. Sheri is an active contributor to online gardening communities and enjoys quality outdoor time with her family and pets.
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Learn How to Grow Cucumbers Vertically to get a bountiful harvest. Planting Cucumbers this way will also save space, which is ideal for small gardens.

growing cucumbers vertically

Cucumber is a refreshing vegetable, especially if picked up fresh. It is known for its crunchy and refreshing taste and is eaten in a variety of ways: raw in salads, cooked, or pickled! It is easy to grow and requires warm, sunny exposure and deep, regular watering.

Discover the names of the best climbing vegetables you can grow vertically here

Benefits of Growing Cucumbers Vertically

One advantage of Growing Cucumbers Vertically is that you can avoid the common problem of fruit rot associated with cucumber cultivation. It happens when fruits sit in moist soil for a prolonged period.

Allowing cucumber vines to grow vertically improves the air circulation around the plant, which 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.

Discover the list of best cucumber varieties here

Climbing, vine-type varieties are more productive, and when you grow them vertically, they barely take 1-2 square feet of space, climbing up by the support of a trellis or cage.

Learn how to grow cucumbers on a trellis here

How to Grow Cucumbers Verticallycucumber on trellis in pot

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; for a non-bushier vining variety, select a much bigger 18 inches size pot.

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, so it needs a large pot, whereas bushier types are short and can be grown in standard-size pots.

Trellis Size

Choose a 5 to 6 feet tall trellis that is sturdy and doesn’t topple. If growing climbing varieties, use an “A-frame trellis” so that the plant crawls up and down from it easily. You can also use coir ropes to direct the vines.

Want to make homemade cucumber trellis? Check out these free projects here


To grow cucumbers vertically, it’s important to train the vines to climb up the trellis or support structure. As the vines grow, gently tie them to the trellis using soft ties or twine. This will help to keep the vines upright and prevent them from sprawling on the ground.

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 true leaves, transplant the healthiest of them into a bigger pot or on the frost-free ground in spring or summer, ideally when the soil temperature is at least around 65 F (18 C) or more.

If you live in a tropical or subtropical climate, you can grow cucumbers year-round.

The cucumber plant is a heavy feeder like tomatoes–prepare your soil well before planting it on the ground by incorporating well-rotted manure and compost.

Don’t miss these tomato-growing tips in pots here

Requirements for Growing Cucumbers Vertically


Cucumber loves a location that is warm and has sunny exposure, it should be less windy, too, but air circulation must not be compromised. And because cucumber originated in South Asia, it does not like temperatures dipping below 50 F (10 C). The 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. For containers, you can use your potting mix enriched with good-quality compost or organic cattle manure.

Learn how to grow perennial cucumber here 


Regular and deep watering is the key to getting a 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 like mildew.


If you’re growing cucumber in your garden, it’s important to mulch around the base of the plant to improve the moisture-retaining ability of the soil.


Cucumbers are heavy feeders, which means they require plenty of nutrients to grow and produce a bountiful harvest. Organic fertilizers like compost, worm castings, or well-rotted manure are excellent choices as they help to improve soil structure, provide essential nutrients, and promote healthy soil microbiology.

To use these as fertilizer, simply work them into the soil at the time of planting. You can also add them during the mid-season around the base of the plant or sprinkle them on top of the soil and water thoroughly.

One more alternative is to use a balanced liquid fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 formula, and apply it every two to three weeks during the growing season. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and avoid over-fertilizing, which can lead to nutrient burn and other plant problems. To prevent overfertilization, you have the option to reduce the strength of fertilizer; just provide half of the recommended dose.

Finally, watering the plants thoroughly after fertilization helps to ensure that the nutrients penetrate the soil and reach the plant’s roots.

Another fertilizer option is–at the time of planting, mix all-purpose slow-release fertilizer in the soil. Once the plant starts to flower, side-dress with aged manure

You can also use Epsom salt on your cucumber plants. To learn more, click here


As cucumbers grow, they can become heavy and may require additional support to prevent the trellis or support structure from collapsing. Consider using slings made from cloth or netting to support the fruit and prevent it from falling off the vine. You can also use tomato cages, stakes, or other support structures to keep the vines upright and stable.

Diseases and Pests

Cucumber plants particularly suffer from anthracnose, powdery mildew, downy mildew, and leaf spot. To learn more about the diseases and how to save your plant from them, check out this informative article here. In pests, look out for aphids, spider mites, whiteflies, and other common garden pests.

To reduce disease and pest-related problems, follow these measures: Regularly check your plants for early signs, provide good air circulation, avoid overhead watering, grow resistant varieties, and don’t plant your cucumber plant at the exact location for more than 2-3 years (applicable when growing cucumbers in the garden bed).

Harvesting Cucumbers

When and How to Harvest Cucumbers?

Cucumbers are ready for harvest in 60 to 90 days, depending more on the variety and growing conditions. Pick them when they are developed enough, firm on touch, smooth to look, and crunchy in taste. Do not let the fruits overripe!

What are the best pickling cucumber varieties? Find their names here

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  1. Thank you so much for the informative post! I am planing to harvest cucumbers this year in my garden, so I try to collect as much as possible useful information. Your tips are very helpful and well explained. Best regards

    • You can use tomato cages but cucumbers grow quickly and climb high, it would be better if you can stack two pairs of tomato cages stacked together vertically. Anything that is 5-6′ works best.

    • I used an old section of a chain link fence that leaned up against a wall, so it was between the wall and the planter with the cukes. The cukes grew up the fence, with a little encouragement and some tying by me. That made it very easy to pick the fruit.

  2. Very helpful tips. The last couple years I have not been able to grow cucumbers and wasn’t sure why. Hopefully now I will reap a bountiful harvest

  3. What kind of trelis do you provide for the plants? You say 5 – 6 ” tall framework, but what do the plants cling to while they are growing tall?

  4. I planted cucumbers two years back, but my production was not so good. Thank you for this useful exciting information. I am planning to prepare from tomorrow.

  5. 2 sections pf hogwhire connected with appropriate connectors will for m a tent like structure that is self supporting. When not in use it folds in half. I have also used it for tomatoes but on its side rather than upright.

  6. Didn’t know there where bush cucumbers and vine cucumbers. Thx for info. Is t same thing true of zucchini? My zucchini went nowhere despite trellis ready for it

  7. You forgot to mention Cucumber Beetle. Very destructive here in Connecticut. The beetle itself just does some leaf & bud munching, but it carries the virus that kills the plant. I have resorted to Remay cloth to cover and only grow self seeding varieties. Had a nice Pickle Type harvest this year with “Little leaf” variety.

  8. Will a fanned trellis with chicken wire wrapped around it, good ? As long as I follow your great instruction of how-to.

  9. Cucumbers are classified as either vining types or bush types. Vining types should be chosen for vertical gardening, as they will grow straight up a vertical support.

  10. Cucumbers are classified as either vining types or bush types. Vining types should be chosen for vertical gardening, as they will grow straight up a vertical support.


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