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
- Stand the bamboo poles upright with their tops gathered in one hand.
- With your free hand, slide the rubber band 2 inches down over the tops of the poles.
- Weave the rubber band through the tops of the poles until they are secure. Set the poles down.
- Measure and cut a 2-foot piece of twine.
- 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.
- Slowly maneuver the poles apart until they form a teepee.
- Cushion the tops of the teepee with the heavy towel and hammer it into the ground so it’s straight and stable.
- 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!