Cucumbers are the second most popular vegetable grown in a home vegetable garden according the United States Department of Agriculture. Who can argue? They are a great vegetable to eat and easy to grow. They have but one drawback. They require a lot of space if you just let them grow and vine out (indeterminate varieties of course).
You are in luck though. Cucumbers will grow wherever you direct them and if you are limited with horizontal space that means you can send them vertically. Here are four methods you can use to make sure you have plenty of room for all of your other vegetables.
Most people do not think about using a tomato cage for their cucumbers. You can pick up tomato cages at your local home or garden center for just a dollar or two. These work very nicely because not only can you get them to grow up, but by directing their growth you get them to grow in a spiral upwards direction. The cucumbers will latch onto the cage and then you simply direct the vine to go where you want it to grow.
Pole/Stake with Fencing
Another good method is to take a garden stake or pole at least fifty inches in height and wrap it with some fencing. Poultry fencing seems to work the best. As the cucumbers grow they will latch onto the fencing and continue to grow upwards. You may have to do some directional help here but not as much as with the tomato cage. This method will require taller poles for the cucumbers, but is a great space saver.
This, the trellis method, is probably the most popular of the four. You can build or buy a variety of different trellises for your garden. Do a Google search on the word “trellis” and you will see what I mean. Just put a trellis near your cucumber plants and they will do the rest. Depending on which type of trellis you go with, the amount of work you put into it could be as little as none to as much as the tomato cage. More than likely it will be somewhere in between the two.
String and Poles
Finally, this is the method my dad used all the time and that was to have two poles at each end of the garden row that the cucumbers were in and then tie multiple rows of string to each end of the pole making sure each row was very tight. As the cucumbers would grow he would direct them back and forth and up the rows of string. It worked very well for him and kept the row of cucumbers in their own rows.
These 4 methods are nothing new and have been around quite awhile. If you are new to home vegetable gardening I would recommend experimenting with all 4 of them to find the one that best fits your needs and growing style. You will be amazed just how much room you can save by growing vertically.