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Squash pool blooming!

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Squash pool blooming!

Post  BeckieSueDalton on 7/8/2015, 10:37 am

This is what I fondly call our "squash pool".  This morning when I went out to water things, I found our pool showing off these beautiful golden blooms.   

Like nearly everything else in our little patio garden, I planted it before I knew about the SFG method.  It has two Amish pumpkin, eight acorn squash, and eight Black Beauty zucchini.  As lovely as all the blooms are going to be, I'm concerned that it's overcrowded.

Should I thin it out, perhaps snipping out four of the acorns and four of the zucchini?

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Re: Squash pool blooming!

Post  sanderson on 7/8/2015, 11:31 am

18 squash in a kiddie pool!!  Shocked  I would recommend (1) move the pool away from the beds (2) leave the 2 Amish pumpkins at one side so they have lots of room to sprawl (they are HUGH pumpkins (75-80 lbs. so I don't think they are good candidates for trellising!) (3) install a Mel trellis for 2-3 acorn squash over the middle to get them out of the way by growing vertically (4) leave 1 or 2 zucchini at the opposite side where they can fall over the side as they get bigger.  The exact number of plants depends on the diameter of the pool.  You do have holes poked in the bottom?

There are small varieties of pumpkins that would be candidates for trellising. You will get the hang of varieties that work best for you.

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Re: Squash pool blooming!

Post  BeckieSueDalton on 7/8/2015, 12:12 pm

The pool (from our local PetSmart) is roughly 3' across.  I drilled holes in the bottom and around the lower edge, put a single flat layer of pinecones in the bottom for root aeration (as recommended on a lot of container garden blogs), and then filled the rest of the way with garden soil, coconut coir, and mushroom compost mixed together.




1.   It's currently positioned so the pumpkins can trail across the patio area and around our non-working hot tub.  We have too many trees and kudzu in the yard, so I'll have to see if we have anywhere else with good light that I could get my son to move it to for me.

2.  I'd planted all four seeds that came in the pumpkin packet.  I'm kind of glad that only two came up, as we're going to have a lot of pumpkin if these two vines bear fruit.

3 & 4.  I made a PVC pole with four strings in the center thinking the zucchini could climb it, but I could probably add companion poles at the four points and then twine a basic trellis net for the thinned out acorn squash to climb up around the edges and leaving just two zucchini in the center.  I'd read that it's bad to disturb squash roots once they're any appreciable size, so I'm a little hesitant to move them around within the pool?


Last edited by BeckieSueDalton on 7/8/2015, 12:23 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : forgot to list the coir in the soil mix)
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Re: Squash pool blooming!

Post  boffer on 7/8/2015, 6:26 pm

@BeckieSueDalton wrote:...I'm concerned that it's overcrowded...

I thought I was only one who overcrowded my squash, but you win!  Razz

I just looked at the seed planting instructions on 11 varieties of summer and winter squash.  The recommendations were similar: thin to 2-3 plants per hill, and space hills 3-4 feet apart.  Your pool is the equivalent of one hill.

You will have serious overcrowding that will prevent bees from getting to blossoms, and insufficient space for some of the squash to develop without getting distorted.  

I would transplant most of the plants and hope for the best.  Or, in your climate, won't you have sufficient time to start seeds again elsewhere (even in 5 gallon buckets) that have a shorter time to maturity?
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Re: Squash pool blooming!

Post  BeckieSueDalton on 7/9/2015, 1:03 am

Well, one seed means one squash at harvest time, right?*  >_<

We won't even talk about the two buckets into which I sprinkled carrot seeds, and then a few more, and then just one more little shake to be sure we'd have at least a few carrots to come up.  I thinned out or transplanted well over one hundred seedlings from just one bucket.  My kids asked me to leave the second one as is, as they think the carrot ferns are pretty and want to see what'll happen when/if the carrots start to grow, while the Boy has a running bet with them that the 5-gal bucket will crack.



   Clearly, I gots me a lot of diggin' and snippin' to do in my squash pool this week!



* These headdesk moments this first year when I do the research AFTER going all seed happy are sure going to make for awesome stories and laughter in years to come.  Smile
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Re: Squash pool blooming!

Post  boffer on 7/9/2015, 10:39 am

@BeckieSueDalton wrote:... These headdesk moments this first year when I do the research AFTER going all seed happy are sure going to make for awesome stories and laughter in years to come.  Smile

Welcome to the club!   Most of us have similar experiences under our belts; it's a rite of passage!  

When I plant a tiny little seed, it's hard to imagine the space a mature plant will need.

Here's 5 squash plants about 3 feet apart.

June 1



July 1



The back side.  They weren't supposed to grow this direction!




(The construction orange fence is a temporary deer fence. They love squash blossoms, and will take one sample bite from every single squash they see!)
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Re: Squash pool blooming!

Post  sanderson on 7/9/2015, 2:25 pm

Becky, Start a written journal. It's so interesting to re-read during the winter to see what worked, what didn't and all the learning you did your first season. I used a college notebook and it is amazing what I did that first year.

I gestimated the diameter of the pool at 3'. I grow one vining squash per square foot with 8' high trellises. Also, one summer squash per square foot IF they can fall over the side of the bed.

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Re: Squash pool blooming!

Post  BeckieSueDalton on 7/9/2015, 2:57 pm

Got a "Gardens" Notebook going in Evernote so I can add notes and pictures directly to it from my phone, plus keep up with how the weather is each day and my To Do and Did It lists.  It's been incredibly helpful, even in just these last eight weeks or so of my first garden.  Smile
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Re: Squash pool blooming!

Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/9/2015, 6:46 pm

Live, and learn....both, if you are lucky!Cool
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