how-to-stake-cucumbers

How to Stake Cucumbers the Easy, Inexpensive Way

It’s spring, and time to get your cucumbers in the ground. But after tilling, weeding and amending the soil, there’s one more decision to make. Should you stake your cukes? Letting them sprawl seems like a timesaver now, but you’ll pay for it later in the season. For tips on why and how you should stake, keep reading.

Why Should I Stake My Cucumbers?

As your cuke vines spread and the cukes start coming, you may start second-guessing the decision to let them sprawl because:

  • Being able to water staked cukes around their bases keeps their foliage dry — and less prone to fungal disease.
  • Gravity helps keep the fruit straight.
  • Staked cukes get even sun exposure, so their fruit has none of the white spots that come from resting on the ground.
  • It’s easier to tell when staked fruit it ready to pick. No more bitter, over-ripe cukes!
  • Picking staked fruit reduces having to handle the prickly vines.
  • Fruit from staked vines isn’t covered with soil, so cleaning it is a snap!

What Do I Need To Stake a Cucumber?

Find everything you need – three 6-foot bamboo poles (1.5-inch diameter), a ball of garden twine, scissors, a hammer, measuring tape and wide, heavy-duty rubber bands – at your home and garden store. They’ll make an inexpensive, durable and lightweight trellis so simple a kid can put it together.

How Do I Make the Trellis?

To make a trellis for one cuke, follow these steps:

    • Old the poles with their bases level and their tops gathered in one hand.
    • Slide a rubber band 2 inches beneath the tops of the poles and secure it with your free hand.
    • Wrap 2 feet of twine over and through the poles below the rubber band bind them tightly and tying off with a double bow.
    • Spread the poles far enough apart to create a teepee.
    • Hammer the teepee over the cuke it will support, deep enough to remain stable for the entire growing season.
    • Measure around the teepee at 1, 2, 3 and 4 feet above the ground, Cut four pieces of twine long enough to double loop around the legs at each point.
    • Attach the twine at the measuring points to reinforce the teepee with horizontal support.
  • Expert gardener’s tip: Put up your trellises and plant your cuke seeds or transplants at the same time. Putting them up later may disturb the cuke’s fragile roots.

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