I'm planning my first garden and would love to use the practice of companion planting. I've read that you can pair sunflowers with cucumbers, and if so, I would like to plant so Russian Mammoth sunflower. Based on my garden plan on smartgardener.com, the cucucumers are taking much space. Is is possible to train the cucumbers to grow up the sunflower?
A lot depends on the plant varieties. Sunflowers have very heavy heads and may need to be tied up themselves. If you plant them in a row, you can use metal grid fencing and tie them ALL up to it. No need for the cucumbers to lay all over the ground. If you decide to do this, you may want to use a medium to small fruited cucumber. Enjoy! Experiment! Have Fun!
One idea I had when growing Three Sisters and the beans seemed likely to overwhelm the corn is I tied the tops of the cornstalks together in groups of 3 or 4, creating tipi-like structures that could hold up a lot more vines. Perhaps you could plant the sunflowers on a grid pattern and plan to do this later, after they flower, so as to provide a stronger trellice for the cukes. Another year, I simply planted the corn in hills (clusters) of 3-4 plants each. When the vines began to climb these the vines themselves tied the stalks to each other and so made a good support without any attention on my part....
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