Vertical gardens

Erect a support for the cucumber vines by installing a wire mesh fence, garden netting or trellis on posts. A 5- or 6-foot-tall support is sufficient. Install the support so that the lower edge is at least 6 inches above the soil level, which makes cultivating and weeding are easier. Place the support in the back of the garden, where the mature vines will not shade other plants.

Cucumber plants grow around bamboo teepee style trellis’s in a Massachusetts garden
  1. Plant hills of three or four cucumber seeds about 1 inch deep in the raised bed, spacing the hills about 12 inches apart in the row. Cucumbers are heat-loving plants. Sow them when the soil temperature is above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Mulch cucumber seedlings lightly to conserve moisture and shade out weeds, adding more mulch as the vines grow.
  2. Train the cucumber vines to climb the support as they grow by helping them twine around the support. The tendrils of most cucumber varieties cling to the support once you guide the vines to it. If the vines need help attaching to the support, gently tie them in place with soft cloth strips cut from clean rags. Tie loose loops to guide the vines, leaving at least an inch of space in the loop for the vine stem to grow. Loosen or remove any strips that become binding on the vines.
  3. Water cucumbers frequently to maintain even soil moisture, irrigating equal to an inch of rainfall every three to four days, perhaps more in extremely sandy soil or arid areas. Never let the plants wilt. Increase the mulch to 3 to 4 inches deep as the vines mature. Fertilize the cucumber vines lightly every two or three weeks by foliar feeding, or use a diluted liquid organic fertilizer at the root zone when you water the plants. Overfeeding can cause lush foliage but few flowers and fruits.

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