douglasbeale
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Question about growing cucumbers vertically up a string

Last year I grew my cucumbers up a chain linked fence, and this year I'm trying to train them up a piece of string. It took me longer to build my garden so I actually bought the cucumbers plants at my local home improvement store. My problem, if you could call it a problem, is that each potted plant had two or three, or even four plants, in it. I pulled each string from above and actually planted it under the peat pot with the cucumbers in it.

I also got some tomato clamps that I will attach after they grow a little more.

The question is this... Should I "thin" each down to a single plant per string? Or could I grow multiple plants up one string?
cucs.JPG
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CharlieBear
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Re: Question about growing cucumbers vertically up a string

cucumbers and other things in the squash family are usually planted in hills of 3-5 seeds. Often one or two of the seeds will not germinate. They don't have a problem with being neighborly as long as the groupings are far enough apart and they get enough water, sunlight and nutrients. That is a long way of saying don't pull at them or cut them off. I admit that I might be tempted to cut off one of from the group of 5. Note that they are small enough that a slug or snail, etc, may eat one or two of them from some of the hills, so having more in a hill will guard against total loss as well.

douglasbeale
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Re: Question about growing cucumbers vertically up a string

Thanks for the advice CharlieBear. I will let these little guys grow for a while before I do anything. I've loosely based my garden on the "Square Foot Gardening" method, but some of the spacing seems way too close to me, so I figure I could thin them out if it looks too crowded, or if it's not getting enough light, but you're right thats a good point. I may loose some naturally.

I also feel like my green beans (bush type) are way to close to each other. Planted in a pattern of about 3" between plants.
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imafan26
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Re: Question about growing cucumbers vertically up a string

You need to provide for air circulation between the plants especially since aphids and fungal disease are common problems.

I would plant one per string a couple of feet apart. Cucumbers unlike tomatoes do naturally climb so you won't spend so much time tying them up as they can grab onto the string. You will have some vines that need to be redirected since the tendrils only feel for where they are going and gravity will make some of the vines flop down. We have 7 ft string trellises for the cucumber and tomatoes. Cucumbers will sometimes put out secondary shoots and some of them will be easier to train up on a neighboring string. One vine is planted in an 15.5 liter pot and are about 2 ft apart.
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ElizabethB
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Re: Question about growing cucumbers vertically up a string

Hi Douglas

I have grown cucumbers on a chain link fence. The problem was harvesting produce from my neighbor's side of the fence. They were gracious enough to allow me to go into their yard to harvest cucumbers. Of course I always gifted them with fresh produce.

It is difficult to tell from your photo but your string looks a little thin - not substantial enough. It is easy to grow in determinant tomatoes up a single string if you pinch the suckers. Cucumbers have a different growth pattern.

Cucumbers grow best on a grid pattern. Both vertical and horizontal support. With just a vertical string then limit your plants to one each. An easy option is to put re-bar stakes at 4' intervals. Use a 5' stake - pound 1' into the ground. Tie hog wire between the stakes. Hog wire has a 3" to 4" grid pattern.

I practice SFG. The spacing recommendation for bush beans is 9 plants per 1 square foot. You are a little crowded.

Good luck
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

douglasbeale
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Re: Question about growing cucumbers vertically up a string

Thanks ElizabethB :D. I did see that hog wire was an option, but because the garden is in my front yard I was looking for something a little less obtrusive. So I got this idea from a video on youtube, I saw a commercial operation usinging it in a greenhouse and thought it was very clever.

That's mason string, it's nylon and plenty strong. Although I'm sorry I didn't put them higher, as imafan26 pointed out his are 7 foot, mine only go 5 feet high, but again.... front yard and all.

Do you think I should thin the cucumbers back to one per string?

The beans are 9 per square foot (that's about 3" in between) and I still feel them too close to each other. Those, and the corn, I was thinking about putting hog wire horizontally for extra support.
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douglasbeale
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Re: Question about growing cucumbers vertically up a string

imafan26 wrote:I would plant one per string a couple of feet apart.
I don't have the room to go much more than one foot apart so I'll try that this year and see what it's like. I will say this, everything feels very very close with the SFG method. But i'll try it.

Thank you for your reply, your the first who has tried the string. Do you use a tomato clamp on this or the tomatoes?
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applestar
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Re: Question about growing cucumbers vertically up a string

By tomato clamp do you mean the circle with a hinge that can pinch closed over the line? I use them for tomatoes and anything else. They are very handy and I like that they are easy to open and close.

I agree with ElizabethB you really need more than the single vertical (that works best with beans). An option if you don't want to create a support structure for the horizontals is to do diagonal diamonds from top to bottom offset by one or two. If you make a neat pattern of it, it will look decorative and intentional.

...but I got tired of weaving my own net -- I use "garden netting" -- made with braided nylon with big square openings comes in white or green. They need to be supported with a horizontal at the top and even better with string supporting each side edges and bottom edge. I added another horizontal (I use 3/4- 7/8" bamboo) ad mid height for melons.
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ElizabethB
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Re: Question about growing cucumbers vertically up a string

Even in your front yard if you use re-bar and hog wire your cucumbers will cover the structure. No eye sore. When planting cucumbers less is best unless you plan to pickle lots and gift lots to any and all neighbors who leave their cars unlocked. Cucumbers produce in a "flush". Lots at one time.

I practice SFG so I limit the number of plants. I grow cucumber vertically on hog wire between re-bar post. ! cucumber plant planted in each 1' linear space on the wire.

Good luck
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

douglasbeale
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Re: Question about growing cucumbers vertically up a string

Thank you Elizabeth, again. I'm thinking one plant per one foot is the way to go.

I will say I'm tempted to leave them though. I am trying to grow more than we can eat. People love to stop and chat about the gardens so I'll be passing out fruit all season, and I know a Chef who serves lunch to about 100 homeless daily so I plan to give him some of our harvest.

I've been growing vegetables all mixed in with my flower & shrub gardens, so this is the first formal vegetable garden I've built. I bought the new SFG book this year, and I actually read the old one some years ago but never tried it. I found both books somewhat elementary, even repetitive, and think Ted is a better gardener than author :). I have been doing a lot of additional research online to supplement. Very glad to have found this forum and you kind people who have already tested some of this stuff out.
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ElizabethB
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Re: Question about growing cucumbers vertically up a string

Love your desire to donate excess produce to a homeless diner.

A frame of rebar and hog wire covered with cucumber vines would be an art piece rather than an eye sore.

Go for it.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

imafan26
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Re: Question about growing cucumbers vertically up a string

The trellises are where I work. They are in a large greenhouse. The cukes and tomatoes are grown aquaponically in black cinder in large pots. There is a fencing wire 12 gu. strung around waist high from post to post and another wire is above that around 7 ft high. We do use clips to tie up the vines.

These are the ones we use. The white ones break easier.
http://www.amazon.com/Twine-Clips-Mega-25mm-Terracotta/dp/B003XEH17U/
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