How To Build a Simple Cucumber Trellis

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Using a trellis to support your cucumber plants, or other vining vegetables, is the best way to grow beautiful and tasty cucumbers. Many gardeners have learned the hard way (including me) that letting your cucumber vines just spread upon the ground is a good way to not have many cucumbers.

The plants are much more susceptible to diseases, such as powdery mildew, and can cause the fruit to rot on the bottom when they are allowed to spread on the ground. Not only does a trellis help prevent this, but it will also help you to save space in the garden. Growing your cucumbers vertically can save you several square feet of garden space, which you could use for growing other vegetables.

Here is a very simple and inexpensive trellis that you could build in just a couple hours.

First, let’s discuss the trellis in a little more detail. The trellis has an overall height of 8 feet and is 3 feet wide. 20 inches of the trellis will be buried in the ground, to give the erected trellis a height of 76 inches (or 6 foot – 4 inches). You can make your trellis as small or as big as you need to fit your specific requirements. With these dimensions, the trellis will be able to accommodate about four cucumber plants – two on each side.

Materials for The Cucumber Trellis:

Materials

  • 4 – 2″ x 4″ x 8′ boards
  • 1 – box of  broad head Phillips screws (75/box)
  • 1 – 100 foot of plastic clothesline
  • 24 – deck screws or nails

Tools

The 2″ x 4″ x 8′ lumber was left over from another project, so I didn’t have to purchase that. The box of screws and clothesline came up to be %12.31 at Lowe’s. The lumber will probably cost about %20 or so depending on where you live. I recommend using pressure treated lumber. Pressure treated lumber will last a long time out in the elements over using regular lumber, such as the 2 x 4′s used in home construction. Also, I wouldn’t use salt treated lumber; there is a difference. Salt treated lumber has a chance of leaching salts into your soil, and this could pose a potential problem for your vegetables. Make sure you choose a good material to construct your cucumber trellis.

Another idea could be to buy the 2″ x 4″ material in a longer length, say 12′, if you prefer. This will save some money because you will have to buy less pieces, or if you have some lumber laying around that is extra, use that. You don’t have to use 2″ x 4″; you can use 4″ x 4″ posts, or what ever materials you prefer. The overall cost of your trellis will be determined by the size of the trellis you are building and how you purchase the materials, but should not be no more than %30-%40 to complete the entire trellis.

That’s it! That is all you need to build a very effective trellis for your cucumbers or other vines. Now, let’s get to building our trellis.

Assembling The Cucumber Trellis

    Cucumber Trellis Frame

  • First we need to build the frame of the trellis. The trellis frame in the picture was already assembled last year, so all I had to do was put the clothesline on; I’ll get to that part later. Basically, this is a box with two legs. Use one of the 2″ x 4″ boards and cut two pieces 33 inches long. Then cut four pieces 12 inches long – cut a 45 degree angle on each end of the 12 inch long pieces. This is best done with a miter saw. These will make the corner braces so the frame will be sturdy.
  • After all your pieces are cut, screw or nail the pieces together like the picture above to assemble the frame. I prefer using screws because they seem to hold up better than nails, but if you have nails, that’s fine. Screw the 33-inch pieces to the 8-foot boards, then take the second 8-foot board and screw it to the opposite end of the 33-inch pieces. Place a corner brace in each corner and screw them into place. Congratulations, your trellis frame is complete.
  • When you have completed the frame, it should look something like the one above. Now you are ready to use the flat head screws to hold down the clothesline.

    Measure Down The Trellis

  • Measure down the 8 foot long sides, starting at the top of the frame, and put a mark every 6 inches. Screw one of the broad head screws into the board at each mark until you come to the bottom 33-inch board. Don’t tighten the screw all the way down, leave it sticking up about half an inch so the clothesline will fit under the head of the screw. Complete this on both sides.
  • Insert Screws On Sides of Trellis for The Netting

  • On the top and bottom (the 33-inch) pieces, put a mark every 4 inches, and put a broad head screw at each mark, just as you did for the sides of the frame. Remember, do not tighten screws all the way down; leave them sticking up about half an inch. Now you are ready to start stringing the clothesline.

Measure the Short Sides of the Cucumber Trellis

Finish Inserting the Screws All The Way Around The Cucumber Trellis

Stringing The Netting for The Cucumber Trellis

  • It is easiest to begin running the clothesline horizontally on the frame. Tie a knot in the clothesline around the first screw on the bottom, it doesn’t matter which side you start with. Once you have tied a secure knot, use the cordless screwdriver and cinch the screw down. Just snug it, you don’t need to tighten it too much, the line could fray or break.
  • Tie the Netting In a Knot Around the First Screw

  • Once you cinch the screw down, run the clothesline over to the screw on the opposite side, and then up to the next screw above that one on the same side. Run the clothesline over to the opposite side screw; you will start forming horizontal lines.

    Begin Running the Cucumber Trellis Netting

    Keep repeating this process until you reach the very top of the frame. Cut the clothesline with scissors and tie it in a knot around the last screw. The trellis should now look like this:

Continue Running the Netting for the Cucumber Trellis

    You are half-way there!

  • It is time now to start running the clothesline vertically. It is very important when running the vertical lines to loop the line around the horizontal line at each intersection. This will give the “netting” of the trellis extra strength.
  • Start at the first screw on the top of the trellis (doesn’t matter which side you start) and tie a knot in the line, just as you did for the horizontal lines. Once the knot is tied, cinch down that screw to hold the line in place. Pull the line snug and loop the line around the first horizontal line. Continue running the vertical line and looping it around the horizontal line until you reach the bottom screw.

Begin Running The Netting Vertically and Looping It Around Each Horizontal Connection

  • Once you reach the bottom screw, pull the line snugly around the bottom of the screw, then around the bottom of the next screw over. Then repeat running the line for the second row just as you did the first.
  • Continue running the vertical lines until you have reached the final screws on the opposite from where you started. The trellis will begin taking shape and should look something like this:

Continue This Until The Entire Cucumber Trellis Is Fully Netted

  • The last steps to complete your new trellis once you are finished running the lines, are to go around to each screw and cinch them all down. Remember, not too tight! After all the screws are cinched, take the scissors and trim off any excess clothesline where the knots were tied. Congratulations, your trellis is now ready to erect in the garden.

Putting The Cucumber Trellis In Place

Pick the spot where you want to place your trellis, and dig two, 20-inch deep holes that are 36-inches apart. I prefer using post hole diggers, but a shovel will work as well.

Dig Two Holes for The Legs of The Cucumber Trellis

Once you have the holes dug, set your trellis into the holes. The bottom horizontal board should be flush with the top of the ground. Begin pushing the soil back into the holes, and check it for plumb while doing so with a level. You can omit this step if you like, but it looks a little better if the trellis isn’t leaning. Getting it close to plumb by “eye-balling” can suffice.

After you have finished filling in the holes, take your foot and pack the soil down as best as you can. Make any adjustments to the trellis as you see fit. Now you are ready to plant your favorite cucumbers or beans! You can plant on both sides of the trellis.

Stand The Cucumber Trellis Into The Holes and Fill With Soil

There are many different ways to construct a trellis for your climbing vegetables. Lattice is a very good product to use as a trellis. I would suggest using wood lattice over using the PVC or plastic type. The plastic lattice will last longer and looks better, but the plastic type is also a little slicker, which can make it difficult for the vines to “grab” hold of and climb properly.

This is a very simple, inexpensive trellis that will keep your cucumbers growing and producing all season long. The trellis can also be used multiple times as it should last at least three to four seasons.

After planting your favorite cucumbers or beans, you can train them to grow up your new trellis. I hope you enjoy your new trellis… I know I do!

Plant Your Cucumbers and Train Them To Vine Up The Cucumber Trellis

Try These Delicious Cucumber Favorites!

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Comments

  1. This is awesome!! Can/should I trellis squash too?
    .-= karen´s last blog ..Sweet Escape =-.

    • Hi Karen! What type of squash are you growing? If it’s summer squash, like yellow squash or zucchini, they shouldn’t need a trellis. Although the plants can get large, they are really more of a bush than a vine.

      Let me know what type of squash you are growing :)

      Tee

  2. Thank you Tee for the super informative, pictures and step by step instructions for building a cucumber trellis. I really appreciate you taking the time to post this. I am so excited to get started. I am trying to build a trellis for my new Goji berry vine also. Maybe I will use a version of the cucumber trellis. Thank you so so much.

    Toni

    • Hi Toni – Thank you so much for your kind words. I hope you found the post useful in your garden.

      This trellis isn’t the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen, but it works great, costs very little to make, and has lasted me for almost four seasons now. I should be able to get another four or five seasons from it :)

  3. Tee, yours is a great trellis idea. I am using thin wire fencing (like chicken wire only it has larger rectangle openings) and conduit for my trellis.

  4. Hi Sky – I’m still using this trellis and it’s going strong. It was originally built in 2009.

    The wire fencing and conduit sounds like a terrific idea. It should work really well and last several years. The larger rectangular holes are perfect for being able to reach in to harvest the cucumbers!

  5. Thanks so much for posting this! I made a modified version of this entirely out of stuff that I had lying around the house/yard. It’s 12 feet wide with one support in the center. Instead of stringing the clothesline I stapled a plastic mesh to it. It’s wonderfully sturdy and I can’t wait to have my cucumbers, pole beans and peas growing up it!

  6. What a brilliantly simple idea. I think even I can build this. Thank you.

    • Hi Kim – thanks! It is pretty easy to put together. You don’t even have to use wood. You can use PVC piping or whatever you have around the house.

      The one I built is not the prettiest thing in the world (And may re-do it next season) but it works really well. :)

  7. Hi there, I struggled with my cucumbers trailing all over the place and taking up so much space in my polytunnel last year. I have just made your cucumber trellis. Looks good. Will put it in place tomorrow. Thanks.

    • Hi Muriel! I’m glad you were able to use the instruction here to build your own cucumbers trellis. I think you and your cucumbers will enjoy it. It has worked well for me the past couple of seasons.

      Here’s to an awesome crop of delicious cucumbers!

  8. Shanelle says:

    Hi All,

    I am BRAND NEW to gardening. I recently got a garden in the community garden in my neighborhood. I planted my cucumbers a while ago. I did not realize they needed a trellis to grow. Now, I am freaking out. What do I do? Right now my cucumbers are planted next to my peas. Can the cucumbers and peas share a trellis. I am thinking of a trellis that looks like a tee-pee. Cucumbers on one side and peas on the other. It looks like I am going to have to re-plant my peas. I put a trellis about 2-3 inches away from the peas so it looks like my peas are dying off now. If, they can share a trellis, this would be a great time to move them (the cucumbers that are planted in the other box…all the other plants died off). All you gardening experts let me know your opinions. I am open to suggestions. Right now, I am winging it. :)

    • Hi Shanelle – Sure, you can grow cucumbers and peas on the same trellis. Cucumbers and peas are great companions. Just make sure one plant doesn’t grow over top the other. You can easily train them to go where you want on the trellis.

      A tee-pee trellis may work for the cucumbers, but it will take a bit more coercing to get the peas to grow up it, because the peas have smaller tendrils. The smaller tendrils (those little vine-like things that the plant uses to attach to things) make it difficult for the pea plant to attach to something with a larger diameter.

      The peas will still grow up it, you will just need to help guide it along as it grows.

  9. Hi Tee. I built a trellis similar to this for my peas and they have done well on it. Now that they are finishing up bearing, I’d love for it to do double duty for my cucumbers (which are just sprouting in peat cups). I’ve read that larger fruit, like cantaloupe, require a “sling/hammock” to hold the fruit as it matures due to the weight. Is that not the case with cucumbers? Thanks so much for posting …..we newbies really need it! Ashley

    • Hi Ashley – I’m glad you found the trellis useful! Yes, fruit like cantaloupe and watermelon need a different type of trellis, like the sling you mentioned. With these plants the fruit itself needs support because they get very heavy. Cucumbers do not get near as big and heavy so just supporting the vine works well.

      Even if you are growing the very large Armenian cucumbers a trellis like this one will support it just fine.

  10. I have a deep raised box (16′x8′), but I stacked 2 boxes so its about 18″ deep.

    I have two 8 ft long rows of cukes. The mounds are 2 ft apart, and each row has 5 plants for a total of 10 in 2 rows.

    I want to use your idea, widened to 8′ I will bury the legs and bolt them to the raised garden box and do a mesh on BOTH sides of the 2×4′s so both rows will have a side of the mesh to grow on..

    do you see any issues with this ?
    THX!

    • Hi Scott – Your plan sounds very good to me. Lengthening the trellis to 8 feet should work out perfectly. Have fun growing your cucumbers!

  11. Hi Tee, I just came across your site. There’s so much info here that I need to learn, I’ll be reading for hours, so thanks for putting together a great site! I was wondering if you could help out with advice for my tomato plants. We recently moved to the coast of North Carolina, where the soil is very sandy. My tomato plants have a few small tomatoes, but the plants themselves have not really grown much in the 2 mos since I planted them (not from seed). They’re not even a foot tall yet. Can it be the soil? What can I do to boost the growth of these things? Thanks very much!

    • Hi Karen – I’m glad you found the site! I hope you find the information to be useful.

      You may need to add a bit of compost to the soil around the tomato plants. You can also sprinkle a handful of organic tomato fertilizer around each plant and water well.

      Next year, I would recommend adding as much compost to your soil as possible. That is the best way to convert your sandy soil to a rich loamy soil.

      Good luck with your tomatoes. I hope they take off and start growing soon!

  12. Great design. I just built something similar to this, but use lattice in the middle. My only comment is that one might want to leave a little space between the bottom cross beam and the ground. Even with treated lumber, keeping that board from being wet all the time isn’t a bad idea.

    Good work!

  13. Hello Tee. I am growing vegetables in a small container garden on my deck for the very first time so your site has been very helpful, thank you for all the wonderful information. I have tons of questions but I’ll start with this: my cucumber vines have already grown to between 2 & 4 ft long and I have a few cucs already. Is it too late to add a trellis and train them to grow up? Some of my cucs are laying on the deck floor, which I doubt can be good for them, plus I want to control the space they take up. Thank you!

    • Hi Lynn – Yes, you can add a trellis for them to grow up. Just be very careful when moving or lifting the vines. The easiest thing to do is perhaps get a large sheet of stiff cardboard. Gently slide the cardboard under the cucumber vines. You may need someone to help you gently lift the vines as the other person slides the cardboard underneath. Do it inch by inch if you need to.

      With the cardboard underneath the vines, you can gently lift the cardboard up on one end and prop it up with something to get the vines out of the way while you install the trellis. Once the trellis is in place, slide the cardboard out so that the vines come to rest on the new trellis.

      Now you will need to take some time to “introduce” your cucumber vines to the trellis. You do this by carefully intertwine the ends of the vines into the trellis. Within a few days the vines should start latching onto the trellis.

  14. Thanks for taking the time to make this website. I found it a few weeks ago and have been on it every day since.

    I just started this year when it comes to a serious veggy garden as I have never had the room before.

    I did do some pole beans on the side of my gragae with some twine for the trellis as I thought I can always compost the twine as it starts to break down and just add on more.

    I was wondering if you think twine would support the weight of cucmbers on your trellis?

    Thank you

  15. I really enjoy your website! I’m going to try to build this trellis for my cucumbers this summer, but I have what is probably an ignorant question – what are “broad head screws”? I looked at the store and couldn’t find any with this label! :) Thanks.

  16. Henderson says:

    Thank you Tee: I am from Barbadois and I find this trellis to be exciting. Thanks for the idea.

  17. Well Tee, I’m sure glad I found your article about how to build a trellis because what I had in mind would probably have fallen over once it had any weight on it or if it gets hit by a strong wind. I will definitely have to secure it in the ground deeper than I had tought. thanks for the tips.

    I have a huge trellis that’s secured to our garage. It’s about 10 foot in length and 7 or 8 feet tall. It’s on the south side of the garage. I thought it would be great for growing cucumbers and won’t be casting a shadow over part of my garden.

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