Friday, October 31, 2014

DIY Cucumber frame

This post should be called the engineering design challenged mom's guide to building a cucumber frame! But will go with DIY cucumber frame for sake of simplicity.

There are climbing cucumbers and bush cucumbers - I have grown both. I do however prefer climbing ones for two simple reasons being that the bush cucumbers tend to be smaller and the fruit has a tendency to hang on the ground.

Cucumbers are on of those foods that we eat a lot of, but cannot store well. It's always a toss up with how many plants to plant and whether we will actually be able to use them all before they are spoiled by pests, hot weather or neglect.

I normally plant an early crop in a tub and choose the round lemon cucumbers and then around about now plant some into the vegetable garden. Last year I attempted to make a horrid farm for them to climb over and planted spinach under the frame hoping the cucumber growth would shade up the delicate spinach leaves, but this caused failure of two crops.

This year I thought I would try a more traditional way and have made a spiffing new frame from recycled wood and a bit of garden mesh. So here's how and engineering design challenged mom made a cucumber trellis.

You will need:

-3 1.5m long wooden poles of about 7-10cm diameter with one sharp end
-A length of plastic garden mesh
-Staple gun
-A well appreciated and handy Sam!

The dimensions of the poles are based on my bed which is 3.10m in length. If your bed is smaller you may only need two poles, but the middle one gives good rigidity.

Unroll the mesh and staple it firmly to one pole aligning the top of the mesh with the flat end of the pole. Halfway down the length of mesh staple your next pole and then again at the end of the mesh length.

Dig a hole for each pole in your bed and use a hammer to bang the sharp edge of the pole into the soil compacting it around the pole when filing up the hole again. I ran my climbing frame down the center of the bed. On the sunny side I will plant tomatoes in front of the cucumber and on the shady side I will plant lettuce. This allows me to grow three vegetables in one bed making use of vertical space.

I also left about a 20cm gap between the soil level and the mesh as a cucumber vine can support itself for this little bit and having the higher mesh allows it to grow higher and create more flowers.

I then planted up the bed and hopefully in a few weeks will have a positive report to give you all.

Are you growing cucumbers this year?


Louis said...

Hi there

Funny enough I used the exact same concept for my cucamelons - right down to the green garden mesh. I can't wait to see how your (big) cucumbers do on this frame :)

Have a lovely week

Urban Homestead South Africa said...

Great minds think alike, hey Louis?