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.