cucumber-trellis-diy

Building a Cucumber Trellis: DIY Instructions Made Simple

What’s the most important thing you can do to ensure that your cucumber crop is as large and healthy as possible? It’s simple -- trellis your cuke vines. Because their leaves grow in layered mounds, trellised cukes photosynthesize more energy for fruit production. That’s just one of trellising's perks; for more, we offer these tips on how to make a DIY trellis.

Why You Should Trellis

If you think building a DIY trellis isn’t worth the effort, consider these factors:

  • 1980s USDA and university research established that ‘Dasher’ and ‘Marketmore 76’ — two popular home-garden cuke cultivars — doubled to tripled their fruit production when trellised.
  • Trellised fruit is easier to spot, reducing the chance that it will stay on the vine to become overripe and bitter.
  • Trellising makes it easier to find and remove cuke pests, including cucumber beetles, squash bugs and aphids.
  • Trellising protects the fruit from soil-borne diseases.

Expert gardener’s tip: Always build and install your trellises when the soil is soft from rain and before planting your cukes.

A Trellis So Simple A Kid Could Make It

Building this teepee trellis is as easy on the budget as it is on the builder. You’ll need:

  • Four bamboo poles, 6 feet long by 1.5 inches in diameter
  • A hammer
  • A heavy-duty rubber band
  • A spool of heavy garden twine
  • A measuring tape
  • A sturdy pair of scissors
  • A heavy towel

Building the Trellis

  1. Stand the bamboo poles upright with their tops gathered in one hand.
  2. With your free hand, slide the rubber band 2 inches down over the tops of the poles.
  3. Weave the rubber band through the tops of the poles until they are secure. Set the poles down.
  4. Measure and cut a 2-foot piece of twine.
  5. Weave the twine through and around the poles just beneath the rubber band. When they’re tightly bound, tie them off with a double bow.
  6. Slowly maneuver the poles apart until they form a teepee.
  7. Cushion the tops of the teepee with the heavy towel and hammer it into the ground so it’s straight and stable.
  8. Tie twine horizontally around the teepee at the 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-foot marks for extra support.

When your cukes are big enough, carefully wind their tendrils around the poles and lowest string. They’ll take it from there!

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