Guest Post: Train Up a Cuke in the Way it Should Grow

As many of you know, Mary Beth and I began our foray into vegetable gardening last summer. It was an experience, indeed. We both brought a good deal of knowledge to the bed, the result of good parenting I guess. Nevertheless, we made a few blunders.

One in particular concerns the effective utilization of support when growing cucumbers. “Wait. Do you mean to tell me that a vine which produces, on average, 5 1-2lb fully mature cucumbers needs something to grow on?” Well, it wasn’t quite like that.
Last year we were convinced that running a string from the fence to the deck, which had multiple strings running vertically, would suffice. Suffice it to say, it didn’t. Before we were able to train the tendrils to grow up the hanging strings, they had already spread themselves out and started producing cucumbers. Ever try lifting 10lbs of cucumbers while untangling the vine from 5 other cucumber vines without destroying vine, leaf or cucumber? Had you happened to mosey on by the Diva household (I guess since I am guest blogging I must accept the terminology) on this occasion, you might have wondered if an anthropological explanation for the Diva and her man playing twister in their garden exists.
I digress. Much like a child we have learned that it is easier to beat the cucumber into submission early on…I mean carefully train… This enables each plant to soak up the sun, not crowd one another out, and produce lots of tasty treats.
I write this somewhat tongue in cheek. As the picture indicates to the observant gardener, we may have planted too many too close. But, in the case of my parents, sometimes it takes two attempts before the third turns out perfect.

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