Do Cucumbers Need A Trellis

Trellis Your Way to Bigger and Better Cucumbers

A trellis is a framework of wooden or metal bars used to support fruit trees and climbing plants.

Some types of plants need to have a trellis to function properly, and these include peas and beans since they need require something to climb on to produce straighter fruit.

But do other types of plants need a trellis?

Commonly, we don’t think of cucumbers as requiring anything to climb. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t need a trellis.

Do Cucumbers Need A Trellis?

While it’s not completely necessary, it can be beneficial to grow cucumbers on a trellis. This helps improve airflow and prevent common fungal diseases that affect cucumbers. So, it can help you maintain healthy plants and fruits.

In contrast, growing cucumbers on the ground require more space and can make harvesting much harder. As a result, it can be a good idea to grow your cucumbers on a trellis if possible.

Why do cucumbers need a trellis?

A trellis

Cucumbers can be safely and effectively grown without a trellis, so it’s not that they necessarily need it to grow. But growing your cucumbers this way can be an excellent idea.

First of all, cucumbers that are grown on a trellis require less space than those grown on the ground. The cucumber plant is quite broad and needs to spread.

So, allowing your cucumber plant to climb up onto a trellis, as opposed to staying on the ground, can help you save space.

What’s more, choosing to grow cucumbers on a trellis can help you prevent many serious diseases, especially common fungal diseases like powdery mildew.

Powdery Mildew

This type of fungal disease causes a serious loss of cucumber leaves, which shade the cucumber fruits from intense sun, allowing them to stay crisp and fresh.

In the same way, choosing to grow your cucumbers on the ground instead of on a trellis increases the risk of contamination by soil. This can require the removal of lots of dirt when harvesting, adding more work.

As you can see, there are plenty of benefits to growing cucumbers on a trellis.

How high does a trellis need to be for cucumbers?

Cucumber on a trellis

Different plants may need different trellis heights to ensure that they have enough space to climb. And the same applies to cucumbers.

In general, it’s recommended to have a trellis that’s about 5 to 6 feet tall (150 to 180 cm). This height allows for a sturdy structure for the cucumbers to climb, as well as makes it easy to harvest.

With that said, remember that you need to be able to reach the top of the trellis when harvesting your cucumbers. So, be sure to either have a step ladder ready or make your trellis slightly shorter but broader.

How do you grow cucumbers on a trellis?

Helping cucumber on a trellis

Growing cucumbers on a trellis is a relatively simple and straightforward task. 

Cucumber plants have vines that attach to anything they touch. But sometimes, they might have trouble climbing onto the trellis. When that happens, you may need to help them a little.

To do that, you have to check on the vines regularly and train them.

When you see them climbing onto other plants or sprawling across the ground, adjust them closer to the trellis or onto it. With time, they will follow and start climbing on their own.

You can also tie the vines and attach them to the trellis or use plant clips, especially if the vines aren’t fully cooperating.

But don’t worry: training cucumber vines to climb a trellis isn’t too complicated and doesn’t take too much time.

What type of trellis is the best for growing cucumbers?

Cucumber growing on a trellis

When it comes to trellising cucumbers, there are many various ways to go about it. In fact, you can be as creative as you want.

Many people prefer to stick to the standard straight trellis, which is very traditional. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can try an A-frame trellis, which allows the crops to hang down. This method also makes harvesting much easier.

You can also go for a lean-to trellis. If you choose this one, you can plant other crops underneath it, saving space.

Other great types include arches, tunnel patterns, obelisks, fan-shaped, and many other creative shapes.

Can cucumbers grow without a trellis?

Cucumber on the ground

Cucumbers are a plant that can be grown both with and without a trellis.

There are two types of cucumber plants: vining and bush. Vining cucumbers can be grown on the ground as well as on a trellis.

That’s because they have vine-like branches that like to spread, so they can do that on a trellis and on the ground.

On the other hand, bush cucumbers must be grown on the ground since they don’t climb well. And forcing this variety on a trellis will result in poor growth.

So, as you can see, cucumbers can grow on the ground. Plus, some varieties have to.

Can all types of cucumbers grow on a trellis?

Cucumber seedlings
Cucumber seedlings

There are two kinds of cucumber plants: vining and bush. As you can imagine, the vining type can easily be grown on a trellis, whereas the bush type can’t.

As a result, if you’re keen on growing your cucumbers on a trellis, be sure to get the vining, climbing type of cucumbers. The bush type will simply not attach itself to a trellis.

It’s very easy to determine which types of cucumbers are vining. If you purchase cucumber seeds, the variety will be listed on the package.

Some of the most common climbing cucumber varieties are “Homemade Pickles,” “County Fair 83,” “Saladin,” and “Liberty Hybrid.” These are some of the best ones to grow on a trellis, as they love to climb.


As you can see, growing cucumbers on a trellis are incredibly beneficial, even though not absolutely necessary. Doing so can help make harvesting easier, avoid fungal diseases, and allow the plant to maintain a straighter fruit shape.

So, if you’re considering growing your own cucumbers and wonder which method is the best, you may want to choose to trellis your cucumbers for an easier growing experience.

Sources: Research Gate, AgEcon, University of Maryland, and PMC

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