Decorative Climbers as Well
It’s really quite attractive.
Large, nicely textured leaves on a rapidly growing vine that has a constant supply of large bright yellow flowers. Give the vines a decorative obelisk to grow on and you have an interesting garden feature. The mass of blemish free Cucumbers hanging inside the obelisk is a bonus.
Do Cucumbers Take Much Space? Grown in the traditional manner as vines running all over the garden, Cucumbers take up much more space than they are worth. The fruit lays on the ground and stays yellow on the downside and slugs and such quickly find them. If we grow these vines vertically then we can produce an amazing quantity of high quality fruit in a very small space. The added bonus can be a very decorative element in the garden. My Obelisk is about 75cm (30in) square at the bottom, 240cm (8ft) tall and it will support at least 8 Cucumber plants.
What Varieties? The other feature is variety. There is nothing to restrict you to one type of Cucumber. In theory you could have all eight vines being different varieties. Buying eight different packages of seed may be a bit expensive however. I have grown many types this way and all respond quite well. Some of the best are the long English types, which elongate beautifully and remain quite straight. If I was just looking for a basket of small Cukes to make pickles I would probably grow one of the bush varieties on the ground.
How Do I Do It? Any type of structure will do. It simply needs to have a multitude of cross bars that are about 15 - 20 cm (6-8") apart. The vines are planted around the perimeter, in a compost rich soil and trained up the trellis work. They will need some guidance and training as they don’t climb very well naturally. I just walk by mine once a week or so and flip the leaders of each vine through, over or around the next support. The curly tendrils on the vines will quickly wrap around the supports and hold them securely in place. Even the weight of the fruit will not pull them loose. Cucumbers are naturally heavy feeders and having this many plants in a small space requires adequate compost to keep them growing actively. The large leaves will readily wilt to let you know if there is any water shortage problems.
Cukes on an Obelisk: a delicious, delightful and easy to grow focal point in your garden.
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