Cultivating Crunchy Cukes in Cages

Raised bed gardening offers numerous benefits for green thumbs and novice gardeners alike. Growing ‘off’ the ground and in tall containers, though, works best for this little old lady (the white container in the background). No bending, squatting, or kneeling for me!
The advantages of planting in large wooden boxes or plastic fish totes (yup!) range from enhanced soil drainage and temperature control to easier access for planting and harvesting. When it comes to cucumbers, utilizing a trellis system can dramatically improve your yield, quality, and the overall health of your plants.


My husband had seen ads for fancy containers with ‘hooped’ trellises and decided to build his own. He used leftover lumber, metal siding, and a piece of fence panel. He sketched it out, calculated some measurements based on what he had on hand, then put the hardware and tools to the wood and metal. He’s very clever that way. We already had plenty of Four-in-One soil mix (sand, loam, compost, and manure mixed and aged) on hand, so with our tractor and its bucket to fill his new creation, the vining container was soon complete. All that was needed were young plants. I bought one and started the rest of my crop from seeds.
Make sure you choose the right plants for trellising. I planted Tendersweet, Armenian, Pioneer cucumbers, and a few Yellow Mini Watermelons. That’s kind of cheating according to the experts (you’re not supposed to plant melons and cukes next to each other), but since I already had the seedlings started, they went in, too. I planted a few bush varieties of cucumbers in the middle of my oversized tunnel of trellis (bent-over field fence). We put in some drip irrigation emitters, shaved wood bedding to retain moisture, and waited for the growth spurt.
We had a sunny east-west exposure for it. We have long days at this time of year in Oregon, so everything took off. Because I overplanted, I am constantly trimming oversized cucumber leaves that are blocking air circulation. I do the same thing for all my plants in containers. That’s a secret no one seems to share. Mold and crud love warm, moist environments. You’ll be surprised at how plants love being thinned out.
Watering is crucial when growing cucumbers. They require a consistent, plentiful supply of water – at least one inch per week. I use drip watering to cut down on usage and mulch to keep it in. This also keeps the foliage dry and prevents mildew.
As your cucumber plants start growing, guide them onto the trellis. The tendrils will naturally grab onto the trellis, but you may need to gently train them in the right direction.
Finally, don’t forget about the power of companion planting. Marigolds, nasturtiums, or radishes planted around your cucumber bed can deter harmful pests.
Container with trellis gardening is an excellent way to maximize the yield of your cucumber plants and promote healthier growth. It’s not only a practical method for urban gardeners or those with limited space but also an enjoyable activity for anyone interested in getting the most out of their gardening endeavors. Enjoy the process and look forward to a bountiful harvest of crisp, delicious cucumbers!

Is it too hot to garden? Set your alarm and get out early in the day. When the heat gets to be too much, come back in, take a cool shower, and grab an Unforgettable Romance about Christmas. Check this one out: Unforgettable Christmas Miracles has ELEVEN romances, just ripe for you. #Free to read with #KindleUnlimited.


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About Dani Haviland

Dani Haviland, formerly of Connecticut, Arizona, and Alaska, recently semi-retired from selling tractor parts, tools, and roses. She moved to a more temperate climate in western Oregon to pursue her passions: writing, gardening, and photography.  View website

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