9 Cucumber Trellis Ideas That Will Take Your Cucumber Harvest to New Heights

·5 min read
Pair of cucumbers growing on trellies, backyard gardening
Pair of cucumbers growing on trellies, backyard gardening

Oksana Struk/Getty Images

Cucumbers grow on vines that can reach 6 to 8 feet long or more, taking up a lot of real estate in your garden. Fortunately, cucumber plants adapt well to growing vertically. We've pulled together a wide variety of cucumber trellis ideas to help you grow more cucumbers without sacrificing limited garden space. These cucumber trellises will help you have your best cucumber harvest yet.

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Why Use a Cucumber Trellis?

Even in large gardens where cucumbers have room to spread out along the ground, growing cucumbers on a trellis provides many benefits. Trellis-grown vines produce higher yields than those on the ground, and by growing upward instead of outward, you can produce significantly more fruit per square foot. By lifting the fruits off the ground, the incidence of soil-borne fruit and foliar diseases decreases. Fruits growing on a cucumber trellis also tend to be longer and straighter than those on the ground, and they are easier to harvest.

Which Cucumber Trellis Should You Use?

From DIY projects to decorative structures, there is a cucumber trellis to suit any garden setting and budget. Planting location is a large factor in selecting a trellis. For cucumbers planted in an ornamental setting, a metal arch or woven trellis unites the food crops with their decorative surroundings. However, these can be more expensive than simple DIY structures, which may be better suited to traditional vegetable gardens. Available wall or fence space provides additional trellis options. When selecting a cucumber trellis for your garden, consider cost and durability, as well as ease of use.

Cucumber Trellis Ideas

The following are a few popular cucumber trellis ideas for the garden and landscape. Remember, cucumbers (and other crops) are not limited to traditional vegetable gardens. By growing vertically on a trellis, you can add cucumbers just about anywhere, including containers. When growing cucumbers on a trellis, space plants about 12 inches apart along the base of the support structure. And keep in mind there are both vining and bush-type cucumbers. Be sure to purchase the vining type when growing cucumbers on a trellis.

Wooden Lattice Cucumber Trellis

A wooden lattice, whether a portion of an existing fence or a stand-alone section attached to two posts, provides an attractive support for growing cucumbers. Lattices can be used as part of a square-foot gardening system or installed along exterior walls to provide a surface for vines to climb. Lattice walls also create privacy, while providing an excellent growing surface.

Wooden Lattice Cucumber Trellis
Wooden Lattice Cucumber Trellis

Arch Trellis

Maximize garden space and create a beautiful garden element by installing an arched trellis in the ground or between two planters. A large archway provides a lovely entrance into a vegetable garden, or opt for an arched trellis over a planter ($149, gardeners.com). This is among the more expensive options, but it is long-lasting and strong enough to also hold heavier vining crops like melons and squash.

Arch Garden Trellis with cucumber vine growing on it and wooden planter
Arch Garden Trellis with cucumber vine growing on it and wooden planter

Rustic DIY Obelisk Trellis

This decorative rustic obelisk is made by lashing together wooden cuttings from the landscape. You can build a similar one from bamboo or purchase a pre-made metal or wooden obelisk in various sizes. Smaller obelisks are particularly useful when growing cucumbers in containers, and larger ones provide a decorative element for growing vegetables in an ornamental landscape.

DIY Rustic Cucumber Trellis
DIY Rustic Cucumber Trellis

A-Frame Trellis

A-frame trellises are shaped like a ladder and provide two growing surfaces to support vines. In fact, you can use an old step ladder as a trellis, but a more decorative approach would be to build an A-frame trellis out of reclaimed wood, thick branches, or bamboo canes. You can use the same building material for the cross supports, or use netting, cattle panels, or string instead, depending on your budget. A-frame trellises can be built in long rows or as stand-alone structures.

Pro Tip: Orient the trellis so the growing surfaces face east and west, rather than north and south, to maximize sun exposure on both sides.

Wooden A-Frame Cucumber Trellis
Wooden A-Frame Cucumber Trellis

Lean-To Trellis

Similar to an A-frame trellis, a lean-to style trellis has a lower angle and a single growing surface. The low angle provides stability in windy locations. Several companies provide metal or wooden lean-to style trellises for sale ($63, gardeners.com), or you can use an old wooden pallet or scrap wood to make your own. The space beneath the high end of the trellis is great for growing shade-loving herbs or heat-sensitive crops, such as lettuce, in hot climates. For the latter, orient the high end of the lean-to to the east so crops planted beneath the trellis receive morning sun and afternoon shade.

Metal Lean-To Cucumber Trellis
Metal Lean-To Cucumber Trellis

DIY Bamboo Trellis

Bamboo is a lightweight yet sturdy building material. Families like to build large teepee-style trellises out of bamboo or twigs as a playful element to engage kids in gardening. Make sure to sink the ends of the poles into the ground to provide support. You can also build a simple teepee-shaped trellis in containers by running string between three poles tied together at the top.

Bamboo Cucumber Trellis with Yellow Cucumber Blossoms
Bamboo Cucumber Trellis with Yellow Cucumber Blossoms

String Trellis

Trellises do not need to be complicated or expensive. A simple string trellis made of twine or jute strung between two posts provides all the support a cucumber needs to climb. This can be as simple as T-posts or wooden stakes driven into the ground, or it can be more decorative, like the wood-framed string trellis pictured here. String stretches over time, so you may need to replace the string every year.

Hand hying cucumber vine to string cucumber trellis
Hand hying cucumber vine to string cucumber trellis

Chain Link Fence

In the spirit of keeping things simple, an existing chain link fence provides a perfectly good support for cucumbers. Fences are sturdy and last for years. And they won't break when you try to remove last season's vines. You can also use scraps of metal fencing, steel remesh, or cattle panels suspended between T-posts or wooden posts to build an inexpensive, fence-like trellis.

Chain Link Fence for Cucumber Trellis
Chain Link Fence for Cucumber Trellis

Tomato Cage

Who said tomato cages are only for tomatoes? The numerous tomato cages on the market are also well-suited to growing cucumbers. Look for the taller styles and be sure to sink the bottom prongs deep into the soil. Tomato cages are available at many price points. Consider durability and select the sturdiest cage for your budget.

Tomato Cage Cucumber Trellis
Tomato Cage Cucumber Trellis

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