Building a simple cucumber trellis gives your plants a spot to climb on, which makes the plants happier and helps them to produce more fruit. If cucumber vines grow crawling along the ground, they are more likely to suffer from diseases such as powdery mildew. The cucumber fruit is also more likely to rot if it grows on the dirt than suspended from a trellis.
You can make a simple cucumber trellis to support your plants. The trellis is a quick project that you can finish in an afternoon, just in time for tending to the other plants in your garden. You'll need four pieces of wood that measure 2 inches by 4 inches by about 8 feet long, a drill, screws, 1/2 inch drill bit, about 100 feet of clothesline, a shovel and a saw to build the trellis. Have a pair of safety goggles handy when cutting the wood and drilling holes to protect your eyes. You may also want to wear protective gloves.
Cut one piece of wood into two 3 foot long pieces. Cut another piece of wood into four 1 foot long pieces. Leave two pieces of wood intact, so that you have two 8 foot long wooden pieces. Lay the 8 foot long pieces of wood on the ground and place the two 3 foot pieces between them horizontally, to form a rectangle. One 3 foot piece should be at the top of the 8 foot pieces while the other 3 foot piece should be about 3 feet from the bottom of the 8 foot pieces. The bottom portion of the 8 foot pieces will form the posts that go into the ground.
Choose wood that can withstand the rigors of the outdoors. You may want to avoid pressure-treated wood, which can leach chemicals into the soil. Also avoid woods that will rot quickly, such as pine. Cedar is a good, durable choice for outdoor use, but is very pricey.
Attach the 3 foot pieces to the 8 foot pieces using a few screws and a drill. Position the four 1 foot pieces into each corner at an angle. You'll have a small triangle in each corner of the rectangle. Attach the 1 foot pieces to the trellis with screws. The 1 foot pieces provide support and prevent the trellis from becoming lopsided or tilted.
Drill holes through the 8 foot wood posts up the sides. Also drill holes through 3 foot long posts. Space each hole about 4 inches apart. Make the holes across from each even so that your trellis isn't crooked.
Tie a knot on one end of the clothesline. Make the knot thick enough that will won't pull through the drilled hole. Thread the clothesline through the bottom hole on the 8 foot post on the left. Draw the clothesline across the middle of the trellis frame and through the bottom hole on the 8 foot piece of wood on the right. Draw the clothesline up and through the hole just above the bottom hole on the right and then back across the frame to the left hand side.
Continue to weave the clothesline through the holes on the 8 foot posts, until you reach the top. Once at the top, tie a thick knot in the clothesline to hold it in place and trim any excess clothesline. Tie a knot in the remaining length of clothesline and push through the hole on the left side of the 3 foot wood piece on the top of the frame.
Weave the clothesline vertically through the horizontal lengths until you reach the hole on the bottom 3 foot wood piece. Bring the clothesline through the bottom hole, then over to the next hole on the bottom. Pull the clothesline up through the hole, then weave it upwards through the horizontal lines. Continue weaving the clothesline across the width of the trellis frame. Once you reach the final hole on the bottom, tie a knot in the clothesline and trim off any excess. You should have a trellis with a large net in the center.
Place the trellis in your garden by digging two holes for the end of the 8 foot wood pieces. Dig the holes about 28 inches deep and space them a little more than 36 inches apart. Slide the ends of the trellis into the two holes, then refill with soil to secure the trellis in place. Guide your cucumber plant towards the trellis by gently moving the vine towards it. It should begin to climb the trellis on its own once it realizes it is there.