Metal trellis bad for cucumbers?

DreambigMay 29, 2013


This is a first year I am using a metal trellis for my cucumbers (I used bamboo sticks before and they worked great). They are growing well on the metal trellis but I am concerned about the soon-to-come hot summer weather and lots of sun that will heat up my metal trellis and potentially burn my cucumber vines. Am I being silly? Should I be concerned?

Thank you for your thoughts!

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squirrellypete(z7b AL)

I use a huge metal trellis that I built out of EMT conduit for the frame and galvanized cattle panel fencing for the trellis (2" X 4" openings). I never experienced any kind of heat damage due to the metal being too hot. This was ~100 degree temps at times. Just my two cents. Personally I think you'll be fine.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 12:40AM
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Thank you, squirrellypete! Sounds like a massive construction. Seing that your temperatures got so high and nothing got burned, I feel more confident using 4-ft x 7-ft Steel Remesh for cucumbers. I bet the leaves will cover up the whole thing anyway.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 10:45AM
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squirrellypete(z7b AL)

Here's a far away shot of my cucumber arbor/house the first year I built it.

The vines are only half grown in this shot. Not long after this they went up and over the top on both sides, completely covering all the lattice. My vines were over 12 feet long!! It was like an outdoor shade room with the cucumbers hanging down into the house ready to be picked. Very handy.

One problem, I made it too tall lol!!! It's about 9 feet tall at the center peak and I sometimes have to use a ladder to reach the highest ones. I love it though. I just grew English peas up the sidewalls for the first time that I just got done harvesting today. We also framed in a raised bed on the inside of the cuke house that I am growing lettuces and cabbages in. Also, expanded some raised row beds along the outside perimeter so I have root crops like carrots and radishes growing in front of the cuke vines.

The cukes are over a foot tall now so I'm about to yank out the pea plants so the cukes can start their runs up. If I can keep on top of the cucumber beetles this year I will have a lovely crop. They decimated it last year before I figured out what was going on. They are nasty carriers of Cucumber Wilt bacteria.

I am hoping once the vines are grown and the interior bed is nicely shaded it will help me grow cooler weather leafy crops through the hot months. We'll see!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 2:23PM
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Stellabee(7, Atlanta)

Hi, I just clicked on this link, as I'm trying to figure out better ways to build trellises for my plants. That trellis is awesome, Squirrelypete. I'm going to show it to my husband-maybe he'd be interested in building something like that.
Oh, might I ask what variety of cucumber that is? It seems to be doing quite well...

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 3:23PM
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squirrellypete(z7b AL)

Hi Stellabee. Thank you! I saw a picture of a similar trellis 15 years ago and it always stuck in my head. Put mine together 2 or 3 years ago. Had to modify/drill out a few fittings/pipes myself in order to join some areas that had 3 pipes running into it (like the gable peaks). Ran a bolt and nut through to join those. Otherwise, it was mostly readily available fittings, relatively easy to put together if you either have a couple of tall ladders to help you erect it upright or better yet, an extra warm body to help you.

The cucumbers are actually two varieties, one on each side of the arbor. Bonnie's Burpless Hybrid (not the burpless bush) and classic Straight Eight. By mid-season I honestly couldn't tell them apart. One initially started growing a little quicker than they other but they both soon equalled out. I planted 4 plants along each wall so a total of 8. I had hundreds of large tasty cukes all season. Couldn't even give em' all away lol.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 12:02AM
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Stellabee(7, Atlanta)

Hey SquirrellyPete, thanks for the building and cuke variety information. I am going to send this link to my husband, as we have a spot where a trellis like that would be perfect. Will be sure to construct height to arm's length/reach:-)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 1:06PM
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Squirrelly- Love the cuke trellis and story. I have a refrigerator pickle recipe, I gave it away with the cukes one year, even made them for my daughters wedding reception. You said you live close to the Alabama border, can I come see your daylilies in bloom, love, love, love them! Cant wait for the trade, your gaura is in a 1 gal, would be great if you could enjoy now.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 11:41PM
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squirrellypete(z7b AL)

OMG, Hi organic! I haven't visited the trade thread since it got cancelled, I had already forgotten lol. That's sweet of you to still have my Gaura, I will try my best to make the Fall swap.

Yes, you are absolutely welcome to come see my daylilies, I have some varieties divided and potted to share or could dig you some from the field if you visit. I'm very close to the GA state line on I-20. There are probably around 80 or so varieties currently blooming in the field with more to follow, I'm close to or approaching peak bloom right now. Just let me know a good day for you and we can go from there, you're welcome to e-mail me through gardenweb or directly if you already have it. I'm usually home most days.

Tomorrow I'm actually going to a local daylily farm in Georgia to buy some new daylilies (like I really need more lol). We always make a yearly trip to visit the folks who operate it and get some new stock plants.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 1:00AM
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I have a gorgeous red one, Could also bring for trade. I will wait for the fall swap on the quince.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 1:06AM
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Well sqirrelly is it peak yet, or did the heat wave slow it down? Most of mine are popping, seems like I am missing a few, though? I have a friend coming in from CA on Thurs, was thinking that would be a nice low key outing, to come out and see you. I am NE of Rome, right off I-75, which way should I come and when is good for you?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 10:32PM
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squirrellypete(z7b AL)

I think I'm at peak right now. I've never actually had so much overlap of bloom in my daylily field before. Seems like the earlies bloomed later and the lates are blooming earlier. Been kind of a weird year for my daylilies. They love all the rain we had and have grown like crazy but the bloom cycle is a little different and some of my taller ones are blooming on shorter scapes for some reason.

This coming week I would be available Thursday morning and early afternoon. Have a 6:00 appointment that evening. Friday anytime. Saturday morning/early afternoon. Sunday I'll be gone.

Let me know what day you'd like. You're welcome to e-mail me directly at if you prefer and we can swap phone numbers, etc.

Coming from Rome, the most direct route mileage wise would probably be to head to Cedartown (I think that's Hwy 53). You can take the Cedartown bypass to go around the town , after which you want to turn right onto GA 100 heading South toward Tallapoosa. When you get into Tallapoosa turn right onto U.S. 78 West. That will take you all the way to Heflin, AL which is where I live. E-mail me and I'll give you my street address/more exact directions, etc....

If you prefer interstates you can take I-75 to I-285 West to I-20 West. Our exit is the second exit across the Alabama state line (exit # 205) on I-20. Our house is about 4 miles off of the interstate.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 11:34PM
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i used a metal cattle panel, bent it over to form an arc... the only thing i will do differently next season is plant the cuckes closer to it... my original plan was to plant spinach beneath it and have it at a different angle. so the plants are actually about a foot away from the base of the 'trellis'. we live and learn!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 3:20PM
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