Cucumbers want to reach high, but for this they depend on climbing aids both in the greenhouse and outdoors. Here is what you need to know about which climbing aids are particularly suitable for cucumbers and what you need to watch out for.
Growing cucumbers on climbing aids prevents fungal diseases or rotting fruit. The climbing aids keep the cucumbers away from the ground and ensure that the cucumber leaves dry quickly at an airy height. Besides, with climbing aids you make much better use of the often limited space in the bed. You harvest more cucumbers per area, and you can do it comfortably while standing up. In addition, all climbing aids can be reused after proper cleaning.
What is suitable as a climbing aid for cucumbers?
The climbing aids for cucumbers must be sturdy and weatherproof and have a sufficient mesh size or a rough, non-slip surface. This limits the possibilities somewhat; tightly meshed chicken wire is just as unsuitable for cucumbers as straight, smooth metal rods, where a summer’s heavy rain can push the cucumber plants back down to the ground despite the climbing elements. For outdoor and greenhouse cucumbers are suitable mainly the same climbing aids, although in the open field is generally important wind-protected place, because the densely leafy cucumber plants offer the wind like a sail a large attack surface.
In order for the cucumbers to find sufficient support, their climbing aids must be narrow. Thick branches or stakes are unsuitable, but are suitable as support posts, to which you can attach a vertically stretched wire mesh or sheep wire. In addition to climbing aids from specialized stores, the following methods have proven successful:
- Poles and sticks inserted into the ground support one plant at a time and should be made of wood or a material with a rough surface so that the cucumber’s tendrils have a better grip. Spiral twisted tomato sticks made of metal are an exception, in the windings cucumbers find support even so.
- Ropes made of raffia or synthetic fiber are a very good and, above all, inexpensive climbing aid in the greenhouse: you can anchor them in the ground with hooks, pull them up tightly to the roof and then tie them to the roof structure.
- Especially for large-fruited cucumbers, diagonally placed trellises made of coarse wire mesh, sturdy netting or so-called sheep wire are suitable. You can also place the trellises against each other in a tent-like manner. The sturdy trellises can even cope with many heavy cucumbers, which can be harvested very easily: the cucumbers grow freely hanging through the trellis and can be harvested easily from below. The important thing is to plant the trellises from the back and let the cucumber plants rest on them. Disadvantage: you need a lot of space, that is, this type of climbing aid for cucumbers works only in larger greenhouses or beds.
- Reinforcement steel meshes are sturdy XXL wire meshes with ideal mesh size, which are equally suitable for outdoor and large greenhouses.
The individual types differ in the amount of effort required: rods and ready-made trellises from the trade are simply inserted into the ground, while nets and wire mesh must be fastened to posts anchored in the ground beforehand.
Cucumbers grow on climbing aids on their own
After planting, you need to show the cucumbers once where to go. To do this, carefully wrap a few tendrils around the climbing aid. Once the cucumbers have found their way up, they climb independently and do not need to be guided further. Do not tear off ripe cucumbers by hand, but cut them with a knife or something similar. Otherwise, you easily pull the climbing aid from the anchorage or damage the shoots.