As Robert Frost’s poem “Mending the Wall” puts it, “A good fence makes a good neighbor”. They are also a great helper for wine kimchi! Using a fence to grow cucumbers saves space and gives you one of the few privacy screens that can provide a good harvest. There are also benefits to installing panels or repurposing a pumpkin garden gate if you don’t already have the proper structure. Not sure if you’re ready for a wall of vines overhanging all kinds of pruning shears and seedlings in midsummer? Let’s learn how to Grow Cucumbers On A Fence.
The benefits of aerial gardening
There are many benefits to trellis-climbing vegetables, especially for homegrown cucumbers.
These garden favorites are highly productive but take up a lot of space when dragged along the ground or spread a few feet in each direction as a shrub plant.
Train them vertically with any type of support and you can retract that position on the floor.
This strategy also gives them the airflow they need to bear fruit and avoids many diseases caused by overly humid conditions — or spread through wet leaves.
Growing cucumbers along a fence also means you don’t have to till, water, feed, or cover the soil surface like bush varieties.
This particular vine also produces more fruit throughout the season than other varieties.
This is partly because shrub varieties tend to be harvested in full within a few weeks, while vines are indeterminate and have longer harvest windows.
Also, the vines are longer and each plant will produce more shoots. They are known for their ability to provide a bountiful harvest.
There are several other benefits of keeping cucumber plants high and off the ground.
For example, fruit is easier to keep clean, and people like me who don’t like to bend or squat will appreciate being able to spot ripe fruit and pick it at waist or eye level or even slightly above.
Snails that like to eat shrub varieties don’t really have access to taller leaves or fruit, which is a big plus.
(Sorry, cucumber beetles are still a problem. Apparently, they’re not afraid of heights.)
To be fair, I’ll mention some disadvantages of the aerial approach. For one thing, shrub varieties tend to ripen faster, usually between 45 and 55 days, compared to 50 to 75 days for grape varieties.
This can be a disadvantage if you live in an area with a shorter growing season for warm-weather vegetables.
While this growing method can provide an attractive privacy screen, it can be a rather unappealing sight to you and your neighbors when the vines wilt or die.
You can make up for this by planting them on coated wire mesh to make removal of ayahuas easier.
But if you know you won’t be able to keep up with this maintenance, you’re better off planting shrub species or on a fence that the public won’t see.
Are you ready to enjoy these benefits? Start by choosing a strain that is best suited for air growth.
Choose a Variety
Choosing vegetables to grow is always fun, but in this case, you need to prioritize practicality.
Find grape varieties first, not shrub varieties.
Check out our guide to learn more about how to tell the difference between the two.
Next, take note of the days to maturity for each strain you’re considering, so you’ll know if you’ve had enough time to grow these vegetable gardens for high yields.
And note the predicted length of the vines. Some species grow to 7 to 10 or even 12 feet, and they don’t do well on shorter fences.
Here are three of my favorite air grows:
Not all grape barnacles are heirlooms, and this hybrid provides additional disease resistance and a good harvest. Vines grow to three or four feet tall and need support – all these fruits can get pretty heavy!
From 60 days after planting, she churned out crisp, thin-skinned, 8-inch cups.
Burpless Beauty seeds are available from Burpee in packs of 70 seeds.
A suitable choice for those who prefer pickling and those with shorter hedges, the heirloom “lemon” grows three to four feet tall and produces round fruit the size of a tennis ball with a sweet, mild flesh.
Eden Brothers offers “Lemon” seeds in a variety of package sizes.
Also known as Striped Armenian, the Painted Snake is a skinless strain. Its fruit is ridged, green with lighter streaks, and is best harvested when it is 8 to 16 inches, but can grow up to 3 feet long.
Plants are tall, reaching a height of six to eight feet. They bear fruit 60 to 65 days after transplanting.
Eden Brothers offers snake seeds in a variety of sizes, up to an ounce.
If you already have a fence, look into growing cucumbers!
Many different species will help support enthusiastic C. sativus vines at any growth stage.
But first, you should eliminate anything that isn’t big enough. As the plant reaches the top of its support and grows taller, it develops tangles.
Top-heavy vines can also fall to the ground, which can uproot and kill the plant.
As for the fence material, my favorite is coated PVC wire mesh with 4 to 6 inch openings for plants to grab onto as they grow forward and upward.
The coating makes it easier to remove vine residue at the end of the season.
You can also make an uncoated wire mesh if you have one. It’s harder to clean up at the end of the growing season, that’s all.
I encourage you to also consider your elegant wrought iron fence or wood trellis around your patio.
Of course, it depends on your attitude towards garden and landscape design. But if you’re happy with a casual, annual green cover on one or more barriers on your property or garden, then what’s already installed will come in handy.
If the fence has vertical openings, such as between the rails of a wrought iron fence, you may need to tie additional support horizontally in the form of wire or sisal rope to give the vines something to grab onto.
Make sure you’re okay with this look for a few weeks before the leaves cover the less attractive wires before committing to the process for a more formal fencing.
Slabs always need to add twine, trellis, or fence boards so the cups have something to grab onto as they climb. You can attach them to the fence with screws or wire holes, or place them directly in front of the fence on the sunny side.
While this may seem to defeat the purpose of growing cukes near a fence (rather than directly on it), it blocks airflow and creates an attractive illusion of foliage growing over a permanent landscape element.
The barrier behind it also reduces the risk of the net or wire mesh toppling over, at least on the side close to the fence.
A consideration when using treated lumber for fencing: Make sure the planks were not treated prior to 2004, when the EPA restricted treatment with arsenic or other toxic chemicals in support of ACQ, a treatment that does not contain these toxic elements method.
You can also incorporate additional trellis, poles, wires or wire or mesh panels to make up for the limitations of other fencing options.
If the fixed fence is shorter than you want, you can place a lattice panel at the correct height behind the fence, on the side not visible to the public.
The vines then begin their upward journey on the permanent structure, scaling the upper sections as needed at the end of the growing cycle.
This Burpee Modular Trellis Kit does the job well. At 62 inches wide and 69 inches tall, it comes with a roll of twine and tent tacks that you can use to make it strong enough to support those sturdy vines.
You can also add height without sacrificing aesthetics by driving several taller bamboo poles along a shorter structure.
The tops of the vines can be attached directly to the pole, or you can reinforce them with netting or barbed wire running two feet along the top of the pole.
If you want to use a plank fence that is too shallow to wrap around the vine, consider using a drill to place metal grommets on the fence posts and then stretch the stainless steel wire rope laterally to the plank section.
This gives the tendrils a place to attach.
Thread the first wire about 15cm out of the ground, then add more strands parallel to the first. Space them about 20cm apart, with the wires at the top about 15cm from the top of the fence.
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Or line fence openings that are too large (or more than 6 inches in either direction) with mesh, lattice wire, or bull boards. If the permanent structure is a wire gauge, grid or fence, you can use cable ties to do the job.
When the space between the flat wooden structural boards is too large, the lightweight cow board can also bridge the gap.
Place it on a bracket drilled into the post about 4 inches from the top, or hang it with wire or sturdy rope from lugs drilled from the top of the rail. Choose from a 16-foot, 4-gauge cable board from Home Depot. Each has a corrosion-resistant galvanized finish and 4″ and 6″ vertical openings for aerial vine climbing.
For all of these add-ons, use only materials that can be removed at the end of the season.
You don’t want to encourage disease, insects, or depleted soil by planting cucumbers in the same location two years in a row, requiring the supplement to be moved to a new location next year. As a last resort, you can also install a fence, or part of it, just for growing air vegetables. If you choose this method, make sure it’s in full sun and in an area of the garden where you won’t be spraying herbicides or pesticides.
The reason I say “last resort” is that these permanent structures are difficult to remove and place elsewhere, especially when compared to vegetable supports like wire cages, folding lattices, ladders, or bamboo tips. Even though it’s gorgeous and hardy, you can only use cucumber fences for one season before you switch crops.
So unless you plan to grow another non-pumpkin crop in the space next year, such as tomatoes or broccoli beans, I’d recommend ditching the construction project and opting for more portable rootstocks.
>>>More reference: Care for Coral Bells
Grow Cucumbers On A Fence
There are a few additional considerations to keep in mind when propagating this vine from the air.
First, you should have all the fences ready before planting so you don’t disturb the fragile roots or seedlings trying to install them later.
Accuracy is important. You want the seeds to sprout about four inches from the fence, about a foot apart.
You may want to transplant the seeds indoors so you know exactly which seedlings have germinated, rather than possibly leaving gaps in vertical spaces outdoors.
That’s what I do. I use peat pots that go directly into the soil with the seedlings, so I don’t disturb the delicate roots when transplanting.
I only plant seeds half an inch deep in each biodegradable container and plant the healthiest sprouts. I plan on about three weeks before planting when the nighttime air and soil are warm enough.
If you’re direct seeding, plant them in pairs about a half inch apart, half an inch deep, and feet apart.
You can find more tips on sowing and caring for a variety of cucumbers in our guide.
Once the seeds have germinated and two sets of true leaves have formed, cut the weaker leaves of each pair at the soil line and place them in the compost pile.
When the vines reach four or five inches tall, you need to direct them in the right direction to start climbing.
Carefully guide the top of each seedling to the fence (if it has the proper opening) or wire (if you have attached them to the slab). If necessary, use some sisal wire to loosely tie the top two inches of the vine to the wire or opening.
After it starts growing in the right direction, it will start to grab onto the cord or the opening itself. It usually does not need any further attachments unless it is constantly trying to grow laterally.
Caring for Aerial Cucumbers
Cucumbers grown on fences require the same type of care as cucumbers grown on raised beds or garden plots, once they’ve climbed the trellis.
You’ll want to make sure they get at least an inch of water a week during the warmer months, let’s say, there’s no rain supply.
It’s also a good idea to mulch them a second time mid-season to retain moisture and suppress weeds. (Congratulations to yourself when you do, how much patch maintenance you have since you are growing them vertically.)
When the harvest arrives, keep an eye on your picking operations. Timely removal of ripe fruit not only means it tastes better, which encourages new fruit to ripen, but it also prevents vines from becoming top-heavy and unsupported.
Notice! While a baseball bat-sized cup growing on the ground isn’t a big deal to escape attention, in the air at the top of a vine, it can pull the whole thing down.
Also, be careful when choosing. Use scissors instead of pulling the stems, as a firm pull can pull out the roots that support the single-vine fruit.
If you have any questions or thoughts about your own experience growing Cucumbers On A Fence, please share in the comments section below globaltimes-sl.org wishes you success