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How to Make a Garden Teepee for Climbing Plants

Vertical is the way to grow! Train your climbing plants, such as cucumbers, to grow up, and watch them thrive. Here's how.

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Courtesy of Chiot's Run
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Pick an area of your garden or raised bed that gets full sun. I plant my seedlings in a big circle, at least a yard in diameter. Be sure to choose vining cucumber seedlings or seeds, not bush varieties. As the plants start to fill out, assemble your teepee components: tall branches, wire to hold the teepee together at the top, and twine to tie up the vines. I drag some sturdy fallen branches out of the woods, four is a good number, or purchase bamboo poles at a nursery. An ample height for the teepee is 7 feet, so the vines can wind their way up as they grow.

 

Place the poles at the outside of the circle of plants, lean them together at the top, and anchor them together by twisting the wire around. It is surprising how fast cucumber plants grow, so keep an eye on them and start training them up the structure when the vines are about 2 feet long, being careful not to harm the yellow blossoms that are the nascent cukes. When you make your teepee, take care not to push the poles too deeply into the soil otherwise you can harm the roots of your cucumber seedlings.

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Courtesy of Chiot's Run

To tie up the vines, gently separate them (the tendrils reach out to other vines) and using twine or a vine clip, lightly tie them to the nearest pole. As the plants fill out, I continue to tie them as they grow longer and longer. In no time at all, the yellow blossoms will turn into small green fruit. Water directly at the base of the plant only when the soil feels really dry, and be careful not to overwater or water from above. I also like to mulch with a layer of seedless straw to keep moisture in and weeds at bay.

 

Now that you have your plants gracefully growing around your structure, get ready to enjoy some delicious cucumbers (or whatever climbing plant it is you decided to teepee)!

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