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Another cucumber question....

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Another cucumber question....

Post  Debora Cadene on Wed May 09, 2012 6:11 pm

So, I got some remesh yesterday to make tomato cages (they are 5' hi and I cut the mesh 5'wide before rolling) and was wondering if they could be used for cucumbers as well? If they can, where do you put the seeds...inside the center of the cage or around the outside? it says to use 2 x 2 (4 squares) per plant. In a space like that, would you mabey put 2 or three in there... (i am assuming the middle of the 4 squares) AND what the heck is this hill they are talking about??? Do I build a hill, then plant the seeds, or ...............dang...I'm gonna hyperventilate with all these questions popping out my head.
OK..one more question. Would you use a trellis over a cage? I have the space to do either. IF you trellis...and I had 4 feet in length to use...how many would you put in a row? (ok...that was more then one question)
Have I about caused anyone to start drinking yet....
I still have to figure out how to draw up these gardens so you all can see what I'm talking about.

thanks....

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Re: Another cucumber question....

Post  TN_GARDENER on Wed May 09, 2012 6:30 pm

What kind of cucumber seeds do you have?


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Re: Another cucumber question....

Post  walshevak on Wed May 09, 2012 8:15 pm

I have 2 suyo long asian cukes 1 per square climbing a trellis sharing with peas. I have a spacemaster cuke sharing a 5 gal bucket with a cilantro and an extra tomato cage. Cilantro is bolting and should go away soon. And I have 3 Armenian long cukes in a bucket being trained up a tomato cage. The white wonder is sharing a trellis with pole beans. When the peas are finished, a winter squash is scheduled to join the asian cukes. Sure hope this works.

Kay

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Re: Another cucumber question....

Post  acara on Wed May 09, 2012 10:07 pm

@Debora Cadene wrote:So, I got some remesh yesterday to make tomato cages (they are 5' hi and I cut the mesh 5'wide before rolling) and was wondering if they could be used for cucumbers as well? If they can, where do you put the seeds...inside the center of the cage or around the outside? it says to use 2 x 2 (4 squares) per plant. In a space like that, would you mabey put 2 or three in there... (i am assuming the middle of the 4 squares) AND what the heck is this hill they are talking about??? Do I build a hill, then plant the seeds, or ...............dang...I'm gonna hyperventilate with all these questions popping out my head.
OK..one more question. Would you use a trellis over a cage? I have the space to do either. IF you trellis...and I had 4 feet in length to use...how many would you put in a row? (ok...that was more then one question)
Have I about caused anyone to start drinking yet....
I still have to figure out how to draw up these gardens so you all can see what I'm talking about.

thanks....

No worries .. I have drink in hand

Tomato supports and cuke supports are pretty much interchangeable (IMHO).

Plant in the center .... they are vines ...so you can train them to go wherever you like (if they don't go there first).

As far as "the hill" goes ... never used it & never missed it .... FWIW

Cage is easier than trellis for cukes (opinion).... just keep thing inside the cage and it make life easier

As far as spacing goes .... Ive pulled off 3/square, so I don't see a reason why you cant go at least 1/square, if your using a 4 sqaure footprint .... especially if your using a rolled rebar cage. If you want/need a thumb-rule ... one vine per vertical rod on your cage (assuming your using 4" or 6"mesh rebar mesh??)

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Re: Another cucumber question....

Post  quiltbea on Thu May 10, 2012 11:03 am

A 'hill' is just a group of seeds in one area. Directions will say to plant 3 or 4 seeds per hill. That just means to plant them in the same 3 or 4 inch area. I usually make a short hill of the soil (so it drains well), then form a depression (to catch water and hold it longer while the seeds are germinating) and spread 3 or 4 seeds around and cover lightly. Thin to the strongest 2 plants later if you've got hills a foot or more apart as in SFG beds or rows.

I've used the tomato cages and the concrete reinforcing wire in a circle and both are ideal for cukes. In that case I just plant 1 seed every 6" around the circle and let her grow. For the reinforcing wire cylinder, I needed 4 squares but I also was able to plant some spinach and flowers around the outside corners of the 4 squares.

This year I'm experimenting with stringing, like I do my tomatoes. I'll plant one seed every 6" across the north side of my 4-ft bed and be able to get 8 vines. I'll let you know how that works out later in the season.

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Re: Another cucumber question....

Post  Debora Cadene on Fri May 11, 2012 9:09 am

Thank you for the help everyone.
The seeds I have are the Burpee pickler hybrid. I don't necessarily have to use these , as I do have time to choose another type that I can pickle and eat. (place suggestions here....)
I am looking forward to seeing and hearing the results of your trellised cucumbers Quiltbea. Do you have pictures of your set up right now? Because this is my first garden, I find myself wishy-washy about what I need or want to do. This is why all the questions. I have no clue yet as to what a plant is going to do, or what it looks like or how it produces..blah blah. I should just roll with it and see what flies, but I just don't want a garden full of empty squares....
I'll try the round cages, which have 6" openings. I'll put 3 or 4 seeds inside and see what they do. I'll also keep note so I know what worked and didn't for next year.
I will probably do two cages using 8 squares and keep my fingers crossed.
Great idea to plant something around the outsides of the cages too....You guys n gals have done this before!!

thanks again,
Debbie.

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Re: Another cucumber question....

Post  darci.strutt on Fri May 11, 2012 9:26 am

Great question Debora and great answers! Gosh I love this forum...

I built a leaning trellis with garden webbing across it for cucumbers on one side. I'm very curious to hear (and see) from you folk how they work in tomato cages! That would mean I'd have the big trellis available for something else next year...like spaghetti squash .

This new SFG is going to be quite the learning experience!

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Re: Another cucumber question....

Post  TN_GARDENER on Fri May 11, 2012 10:16 am

@Debora Cadene wrote:I have are the Burpee pickler
hybrid.

Debbie.

Those are full-sized cucumber vining plants. They're likely to grow 6 feet (or more). Your 5 foot cages might be just a bit too small unless you can train your cucumbers in a spiral.

Maybe you could get a little more vertical with them by driving in some stakes and creating a gap between the garden and the bottom of your cage?


If you have more of the remesh fencing, you could theoretically
make it nearly 10 feet high by using a 2nd cage (definitely want to add
some support stakes for that).



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Re: Another cucumber question....

Post  quiltbea on Fri May 11, 2012 10:47 am

@Debora.....I haven't started my cucumbers for this season so no pics of the stringing technique yet.



Above: I used 5 ft tall tomato cages last year in my community garden rows. Here are some Bushy Cucumbers growing around the cages. I sowed my seeds around the outside of the cages and tried to train them to go up the outsides.



Above: The Homemade Pickling cucumbers are growing in tomato cages, too.



I have to admit that they preferred to ramble on their own even with some coaxing to grow up the cages. So make sure you allow them an outside edge so they can 'do their thing' when they get really big.

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Re: Another cucumber question....

Post  acara on Fri May 11, 2012 12:03 pm

The cages work much better in my experience .....

Your cukes will throw tendrils, that are touch sensitive & once they encounter an object, they will coil around it & attach. It will play havoc with your other plants in an SFG box or on a trellis (unless its dedicated).

I wouldn't recommend doublestacking cages, unless your direct sowing into the ground, or have a container with >24" footprint & >50# base weight (diameter x .75 = SF, for round pots & 13#/ft3 for MM??).

Cukes tend to have heavy folleage and the leaves are like huge sails in the wind(especially when wet). Having 10' tall trellises vines, full of cukes is a recipie for disaster (and not much fun to try and harvest).

Even with enough support, 10' is a nightmare .... unless your spacing is something greater than "1-ladder-width" between plantings Razz . I'd recommmend nothing above 8' & do the first 4-5' with a cage & the last 3' with stake extentsions (zip tie them to the verticals on the cage, or "weave" them into the cage base (like the cuke below)).


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Re: Another cucumber question....

Post  acara on Fri May 11, 2012 12:14 pm

@acara wrote:The cages work much better in my experience .....

Your cukes will throw tendrils, that are touch sensitive & once they encounter an object, they will coil around it & attach. It will play havoc with your other plants in an SFG box or on a trellis (unless its dedicated).

I wouldn't recommend doublestacking cages, unless your direct sowing into the ground, or have a container with >24" footprint & >50# base weight (diameter x .75 = SF, for round pots & 13#/ft3 for MM??).

Cukes tend to have heavy folleage and the leaves are like huge sails in the wind(especially when wet). Having 10' tall trellises vines, full of cukes is a recipie for disaster (and not much fun to try and harvest).

Even with enough support, 10' is a nightmare .... unless your spacing is something greater than "1-ladder-width" between plantings Razz . I'd recommmend nothing above 8' & do the first 4-5' with a cage & the last 3' with stake extentsions (zip tie them to the verticals on the cage, or "weave" them into the cage base (like the cuke below)).




Just to give you an idea .... here is a single vine of your cuke variety, in a 12" stone pot, in a tomato cage with stake supports, at 6' high (ideal height..IMHO);





I had to drill 4 holes in the pot and install 18" rebar stakes at the bottom & into the ground, to keep the plant from tipping over, due to wind. They get top heavy real fast...even before you get cukes.

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Re: Another cucumber question....

Post  Debora Cadene on Fri May 11, 2012 6:52 pm

OMG!!!! If I remember to water my plants....they could end up like that as well. Do you have one seed in the 12" pot, or more then one?

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Re: Another cucumber question....

Post  acara on Fri May 11, 2012 8:35 pm

@Debora Cadene wrote:OMG!!!! If I remember to water my plants....they could end up like that as well. Do you have one seed in the 12" pot, or more then one?

That was was a "wet plant" (sliced a previous cuke & buried). I started with a couple of sprouts and gradually cull back the weaklings as they grow.

Theoretically, what remains is the strongest of the "herd" Very Happy ...

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cuke slice

Post  tomperrin on Fri May 11, 2012 9:04 pm

@acara wrote:That was was a "wet plant" (sliced a previous cuke & buried). I started with a couple of sprouts and gradually cull back the weaklings as they grow.

Was this last year's cuke you sliced, this year's, supermarket cuke...? I thought the seeds didn't mature until the cuke turned yellow.

Looks like a great propagation method.

Tom

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Re: Another cucumber question....

Post  acara on Fri May 11, 2012 9:17 pm

Cuke from previous planting

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Re: Another cucumber question....

Post  CapeCoddess on Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:19 pm

@acara wrote:
@Debora Cadene wrote:OMG!!!! If I remember to water my plants....they could end up like that as well. Do you have one seed in the 12" pot, or more then one?

That was was a "wet plant" (sliced a previous cuke & buried). I started with a couple of sprouts and gradually cull back the weaklings as they grow.

Theoretically, what remains is the strongest of the "herd" Very Happy ...

I never knew you could do this! So interesting...and easy!

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Re: Another cucumber question....

Post  yolos on Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:45 pm

Quiltbea - how did your experiment end up with the string on the cucs for a trellis ?

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Re: Another cucumber question....

Post  landarch on Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:42 pm

Last year I did cucumbers on a 4' wide cattle panel trellis and was pretty aggressive with seed spacing...14-15 seeds in aobut 3' (Juliet Tomato at the end).

Here's a pic when cucumbers were forming...already taking over the Juliet tomato on the end. I grew Counry Fair cukes...supposed to be the only variety that is bacterial wilt resistant. They didn't wilt but with the drought and heat about 50% of the cukes we harvested were inedible (extremely bitter).

This year I will be trying County Fair, Marketmore, and Chelsea English...all on 4' wide cattle panel trellises.

If you also notice in the pics, I leave a bit of room north of my tomato and cuke trellises...I get a few more weeks for early cold crops (beets, radish, lettuce, spinach, etc.) in the shade of the vines/ trellis.

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Re: Another cucumber question....

Post  jmsieglaff on Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:14 pm

+1 for the cattle panel trellis. I used standard SFG cucumber spacing and the variety was Sweeter Yet Hybrid, great results and a great cucumber.


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Re: Another cucumber question....

Post  quiltbea on Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:02 pm

Yolos.....Stringing my cukes last year didn't get a chance to work for me. A critter got in the bed and destroyed my young plants before they were tall enough to matter so I can't say how well that method would work.
This year they are going in another bed without fencing so I can't string them. I'll be back to cages of reinforcing wire panels this year.

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