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kitchen garden how-to
Published March 22, 2022 by Laura Christine

Why You Should Grow Cucumbers on a Trellis

Filed Under:
vegetable garden
cucumbers growing on a trellis

How Not to Grow Cucumbers

Instead of starting this off with a list of the many reasons why you should grow cucumbers on a trellis, I'd like to instead paint a picture of what happens when cucumbers don't have a trellis to grow on. 

It was early on in my gardening experience, and I decided I would grow all of my vining plants on the ground. I traditionally put my cucumber plants in the back of the garden on a trellis, but I was taking a more "let's wait and see" approach to my gardening that year.

I planted my seeds and watched with excitement as my cucumbers began to grow so well in their own designated space. Then, it happened: We had rain several days in a row, and when I finally ventured out to the garden, all I could see was this sea of cucumber vines.

At first, I was happy because they had grown so much, but then I realized I had a problem. The vines had attached themselves to anything and everything in their path! Neighboring plants were ensnared in the cucumber vines, creating one huge tangled mess.

cucumbers on a trellis

Cucumbers Are Natural Climbers

Cucumbers are members of the Cucurbitaceae family. Many members of this family are trailing or climbing vines. Cucumber vines have tendrils (specialized leaves) that are specifically designed to climb up objects in order to take advantage of sun exposure. 

In my "let's wait and see" approach experience, it was the tendrils that made things difficult because they were searching for something—anything—to attach to in order to climb. These little tendrils will grab onto fences, string, wire, and even other plants in their search for something to cling to, so do them a favor and give them a nice, strong trellis to climb.

cucumber flower on trellis

Advantages to Growing Cucumbers on a Trellis

Here is a list of several advantages to growing cucumbers on a trellis:

-A cucumber growing up a trellis adds beauty to your garden. 

-A trellis provides a solid structure and space for cucumber plants to grow on. Cucumbers produce better-quality fruit with less disease or damage when supported on a sturdy trellis. 

-A trellis makes the harvesting process a lot easier. 

-Cucumbers love to climb, and trellising promotes better pollination and increases crop production. 

-Growing your cucumbers vertically opens up space for more plants underneath, increases air circulation, and makes it easier to water your plants. 

how cucumbers grow

How do you trellis cucumbers?

The 3 Simple Steps to Trellis a Cucumber Plant

There are a few simple steps to take in order to trellis a cucumber plant. 

step one to trellis a cucumber

Position the cucumber plants and trellis as close together as possible. Keep this in mind whether you are planting cucumber seeds or transplants. This will allow your plants easy access to a growing surface. 

step two to trellis a cucumber

Training cucumbers to grow on a trellis is easy. Straighten out the vine as it grows and gently wrap or weave it around the trellis. Garden twine can be used if needed.

Note: If you notice that your cucumber plant has some tendrils starting to sprout, gently wrap them around the surface of the trellis too! Tendrils will often help you out and grab onto their trellis for support on their own.

step three to trellis a cucumber

Check your cucumber plant on a daily basis. This habit will help the cucumber plant stay within the confines of the trellis. 

trellising a cucumber

How many cucumbers should you plant along your trellis?

How Many Cucumber Seeds to Plant Per Hole

I would classify cucumber seeds as larger vegetable seeds. In general terms, the larger the seed, the smaller the amount of seeds that should be planted in the same hole or cell. Larger seeds, like cucumber seeds, take up more space and grow roots very quickly once germinated. I would recommend not planting more than two seeds per hole. 

cucumber plant on panel trellis
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Located in the Kansas City area, Kitchen Garden Expert is a pioneer in offering gardening services that focus on design, coaching, and maintenance. They're inspiring the garden life one cucumber plant at a time!

How Many Cucumber Plants to Plant Per Person

As you're planning your garden, keep in mind that you'll need two or three cucumber plants per person if you'd like to eat fresh cucumbers straight from the garden or use them in salads or juicing recipes. If you're planning on pickling the cucumbers, I would suggest at least three or four plants for each quart of pickles. 

I generally expect to get about 20 cucumbers per plant, depending on the variety I'm growing.


How Many Cucumber Plants Per Square Foot in the Garden

A square foot in gardening is a square area that is measured out to be one foot on each side of the square, or a 12 inch by 12 inch square. You can comfortably grow two cucumber plants, spaced 6 inches apart, within a square foot.

You may think that's not much, but take into consideration that cucumber plants are vigorous vines that can produce approximately five pounds of fruit per plant. In other words, you can expect to harvest about ten pounds of fruit from a 12 inch by 12 inch square, which is phenomenal! 

Need a trellis for your cucumbers?

Don't forget to water your cucumbers!

How Much Water Do Cucumber Plants Need?

Cucumbers are very vigorous growers that need at least one to two inches of water per week. Deep watering should take place at least once or twice a week. Cucumbers like soil that is slightly moist. Always water at the base of the plant until the top few inches of soil feel moist. Check the moisture of the soil on a daily basis. 


Time to enjoy!

The Health Benefits of Cucumbers

Now that you know how to grow cucumbers, let's talk about a few of the many health benefits of eating your wonderfully homegrown cucumbers! 

I love cucumbers because they are not only very low in calories (45 calories per 11 ounces), but they contain high amounts of water and fiber, vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants. 

Cucumbers are made up of 96 percent water, and their skin contains insoluble fiber. The combination of water and fiber supports healthy digestion, while the high amount of water promotes hydration and can count toward your required daily amount of fluids. Some of the vitamins and minerals include vitamin K, B vitamins, copper, potassium and manganese, in addition to the antioxidants of vitamin C and beta-carotene. 

Cucumbers are delicious on their own, in various recipes like fresh salads, or in juice. My favorite cucumber recipe is a tzatziki sauce that I put on top of chicken shawarma, and I also love adding cucumbers to my green juice that contains celery, green apple, and lemon juice. 


Meet the author, Laura Christine

Laura Christine — Kitchen Garden Expert

Laura is a Gardenary-certified garden coach with a background in naturopathy and over 40 years of gardening experience.

Her love of gardening started as a child, when she and her mother would garden together and she'd experience the rush of excitement that comes with picking that first cucumber for making pickles. She's passionate about using her garden experience now to teach others about growing their own food and how gardening can impact their personal health.

Her business, Kitchen Garden Expert, helps gardeners in the Kansas City area experience the joy of growing their favorite herbs, fruits, and vegetables in an organic and sustainable kitchen garden.

Follow Kitchen Garden Expert on Instagram and Facebook to see what Laura's growing now!

Follow Laura and learn more about Kitchen Garden Expert

Located in the Kansas City area, Kitchen Garden Expert is a pioneer in offering gardening services that focus on design, coaching, and maintenance. They're inspiring the garden life one cucumber plant at a time!

Learn more from our knowledgeable garden coaches