Sunday, May 2, 2010

Cukes and Cuke Trellis

We planted Marketmore 76 Cucumbers for making dill pickles, and Burpee's Hybrid II for eating, all over Easter weekend. This year we did not try planting them in hills because last year it didn't seem to make a difference at all. We just used flat ground and put about 4 seeds every 36 inches. Now that they are growing tall, I know I need to thin them out, but I have no clue how far apart each plant should be. I wrote down in my gardening journal that they need at least 10" between each plant. I'm not sure where I got that information, but I guess I'll follow it! It seems like everything I read talks about the hills, and how many plants per hill. But this is all too much to try and convert it to flat ground. I guess I'll try the 10 inches this year and see if it works!
I'll probably thin out the plants after the next rain. I'm not sure if this is bad to do or not, since you're not supposed to work a garden when its wet. I guess as long as I just thin out the cucumbers and nothing else, it will be okay and disease will (hopefully!) not be spread! We'll see!

Since I knew I'd be busy with other things, I decided to go ahead and build a cucumber trellis. My rows are 10 feet long, but I could not find a piece of wood that would be long enough to cover a row. I brought home a few 8x2x1 pieces (I think these measurements are right... sorry if they're not!) Anyways- I figured the plants at the end of the trellis will be able to grow on the ground since the other plants will hopefully be climbing the trellis!
I created an 8 foot long rectangle and put a few center pieces in for support. I then staple-gunned garden netting to the huge rectangle. I thought about using wire or something a bit more heavy-duty than garden netting, but I kept imagining the cucumbers having a "grilled" look on them, as if the wire will cut into the fruit or something. I'm hoping the garden netting will be sturdy enough.
The trellis will be placed outside the garden. One row of cucumbers is on the outer-most row in the garden. These fruits will be able to climb up and out of the garden on the trellis. The next row in, is another set of cucumbers. These cucumbers don't get a trellis, but I'm hoping they'll have double the room to grow since the outer-most row will be growing outside the garden. We'll see if it works!

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