Radial hook is specially designed for cucumber plants that are grown with umbrella system in low-level greenhouses. It can be used for other plants, which have stems that are grown over trellising wire and need support.
There are several types of growing methods for cucumber plants in greenhouses, such as umbrella or pinch system, drape system and high-wire system. Main differences between these methods are the number of support wires, side shoots permitted to grow and yields in the main stem and side shoots. In this article, we will focus on umbrella system because plant directing hook is designed for needs of this method. In umbrella growing method, after main stem reaches trellising wire, pruning of side shoots stopped. Growers allow side shoots to grow along with trellising wire and back downwards towards the ground. Plant directing hook is used in this process in order to prevent stems from breaking and create structured and tidy rows of plants.
In order to attach the hook, hook side is hung on trellising rope above each cluster. After that plant stem is placed inside of the other side of plant directing hook and hook is closed. No other action is needed and the side shoots are ready to grow safely and quickly. The number of radial hooks per plant depends on the number of laterals that grower lets grow.