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Squash vine growth patterns?

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Squash vine growth patterns?

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/6/2013, 9:12 pm

I have a question about squash growth patterns.

Background: I have four butternut squashes planted in a neighbor's garden, as well as two zucchini. The butternut vines sprawl, covering four feet or more. The zucchini aren't really vining at all. Instead, the leaves just take off from the center of the plant as if they were the petals of a flower. Quite a few "petals," so to speak, but very little horizontal space is covered. They get to about a foot high, though.

I also have two butternut squashes planted at my own home, same variety. They do the opposite of the butternuts at my neighbor's place -- they act like the zucchini I've got at the neighbor's, growing up from the plant center but not out more than a few inches.

All the plants in both places look healthy. All have produced blossoms, though very few female ones and even fewer that weren't eaten by bugs, so I've only gotten one zucchini all season (two more on the way) and no butternuts.

So ... what makes squashes grow sprawling vines rather than throw more and more of their leaves out from a center point without covering more ground? Is it a good or a bad thing? Something I should try to fix somehow?

Thanks for any insights!

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Re: Squash vine growth patterns?

Post  camprn on 8/6/2013, 9:22 pm

That is just the genetic difference of the species. Take fish for example, here you have a small guppy, there you have a whale shark, yet they are both fish. Same with tomatoes, some are determinate some are indeterminate.

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Re: Squash vine growth patterns?

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/7/2013, 12:40 am

So I guess you're saying I simply got a different type of butternut squash in one place than another?

Thing is, I got all these from the same nursery, and they all said "butternut squash" on the tags and had the same picture/tag.

Anything's possible, I suppose. I just hadn't considered that they would mix and match.

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Re: Squash vine growth patterns?

Post  sanderson on 8/7/2013, 1:57 am

Marc,  If they are all healthy looking, then I would just roll with it.  Every plant comes from a different seed and if one plant is big and wide, another will be skinny and tall.  Same fruit, borne on different looking platforms.  Go figure.  So far I have gotten one zucchini and one yellow squash this year.  All the male flowers will bloom, then all the females will bloom.  They need match.com.

This is my first year and I figure this is the year for learning.  Thank goodness for SFG.  Now all we have to do is learn about the actual plants! study

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Re: Squash vine growth patterns?

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/7/2013, 4:25 am

You're right, as long as they produce, that's great. (Not that they're producing ... I'm awash in male flowers too, females not so much.) I'm glad to know that at least there's nothing wrong with them when they don't spread out.

I would like to know which ones vine and which ones don't, though. That would let me know which ones are better to trellis or plant in pots, and what my spacing in beds would be. If I had put the "bushy" ones where I planted the "viney" ones, with so much space between them, I'd have a lot of bare ground between plants serving no purpose. Unfortunately, the nursery wasn't specific about the two types of butternut squash they (maybe?) gave me. Or natural variation took over. Maybe I'll just start from seed next year so I know where I stand for sure, cultivar by cultivar.

As it is, I merely have some of my butternuts near an unused trellis. Not bad. I was kind of looking forward to seeing how they'd do on a trellis, though! LOL!

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Re: Squash vine growth patterns?

Post  RoOsTeR on 8/7/2013, 7:41 am

I've got twin boys. One is tall and lanky with blond hair. The other is short and stout with brown hair.
Last year on this forum, I posted about a packet of heirloom brandywine tomatoes I had purchased. Not only did every plant produce a different variety of tomato, but each individual plant did as well.

There is a recent thread on growing squash vertically.

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t15786p15-spacing-for-vertical-summer-squash

A search in the search bar below the Latest topics list, will also produce many more results of growing squash. Very Happy

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Re: Squash vine growth patterns?

Post  boffer on 8/7/2013, 11:17 am

I think a bush butternut is rather odd, but would chalk it up to natural variation.  I did find this
Most butternuts grow on vines, but the "Ponca" variety has a semi-bushing habit.

Rooster's post supports my theory:  Plants are like children.  Even though they come from the same respective seed stock, they can all turn out differently.

One of the advantages of having a larger garden, and being able to grow many of the same type of veggie rather than just a couple, is the opportunity to see the wide range of variance that is 'normal'.  From the same seed package, some broccoli plants might be short and squat, and some might be tall and thin, while most fall somewhere inbetween.

If a gardener grows 4 broccoli plants, and 1 is short and squat, while 3 are tall and thin, the tendency is to think that there is something wrong with the short one.  But what they are seeing is the normal variation for that variety.

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Re: Squash vine growth patterns?

Post  herblover on 8/7/2013, 11:21 am

@sanderson wrote:Marc,  If they are all healthy looking, then I would just roll with it.  Every plant comes from a different seed and if one plant is big and wide, another will be skinny and tall.  Same fruit, borne on different looking platforms.  Go figure.  So far I have gotten one zucchini and one yellow squash this year.  All the male flowers will bloom, then all the females will bloom.  They need match.com.

This is my first year and I figure this is the year for learning.  Thank goodness for SFG.  Now all we have to do is learn about the actual plants! study

I'll have my plants joing yours on match and maybe we will both have better luck!


Last edited by camprn on 8/7/2013, 11:51 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : fixed quote box)

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Re: Squash vine growth patterns?

Post  sanderson on 8/7/2013, 2:40 pm

Herblover,

lol!

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Re: Squash vine growth patterns?

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