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Pumpkins, Squash, Cukes... trellis or spill over?

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Pumpkins, Squash, Cukes... trellis or spill over?

Post  jkdistad on 6/5/2010, 1:03 am

I'm going to be putting some sugar pie pumpkins, butternut squash and cucumbers into large planters/containers out in my garden area and was wondering if I should try to jimmy-rig some sort of trellis for them to climb... which might prove challenging in containers, or just let them spill over out of the containers onto the wood chips I have surrounding my boxes. I'm inclined to just let them spill over as that would entail little to no work on my part, but was wondering if that might strain/stress to the vines to go over the edges of a container like that? I have the room to let them spill, so, that's not really an issue. If I should trellis them, how do I go about erecting something sturdy enough in a large planter?

thanks in advance!
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Re: Pumpkins, Squash, Cukes... trellis or spill over?

Post  Retired Member 1 on 6/5/2010, 7:27 am

I do a combination of both and have found that the trailing ones set more fruit. I haven't seen a problem with them coming of the lip of the bed, but my sides are 2" wide -- might be different on narrower boards. If that is a concern, you could place a short length of 2x4 on top of the soil at the edge of the bed where the vine come over -- that should even out the pressure and protect the vine from possible damage. That's what I did with a winter squash growing in the compost pile as it was coming over 1/2" plywood. I just added a second piece as the compost pile shrunk some more.

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Re: Pumpkins, Squash, Cukes... trellis or spill over?

Post  silverbug on 6/5/2010, 7:33 am

I have mine in a container along/under my daughter's wood play set. I have a 7 or 8 foot (however tall her playset is at the swing support bar) trellis rigged there, and I'm eager to see how it goes. I have smaller pie pumpkins along side medium "jack-o-lantern" types. It's an experiment year for me. So far, so good, but I bought the jackolantern's as seedlings and two of my pie pumpkins sprouted up. I'm fearful if I let all the vines go, I'm gonna be in big trouble, OR, the plants won't get enough from the pot. Great foliage coming in either way. I'll post pictures if it starts to climb.

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Re: Pumpkins, Squash, Cukes... trellis or spill over?

Post  supercraftygirl on 6/5/2010, 8:21 am

I have a similar question- If I allow my pumpkins, squash, cukes and melons to spill over - do I still need 2 squares per plant? I totally missed that, and now I have too many plants! Uh oh!

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Re: Pumpkins, Squash, Cukes... trellis or spill over?

Post  AliSmith13 on 6/5/2010, 9:21 am

It depends on the variety, but I remember seeing someone post that they have a bush type squash that needed pretty much the entire 3x3 bed and took up all 9 squares! So some varieties will definitely need a bit more room!
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Re: Pumpkins, Squash, Cukes... trellis or spill over?

Post  supercraftygirl on 6/5/2010, 11:50 am

@AliSmith13 wrote:It depends on the variety, but I remember seeing someone post that they have a bush type squash that needed pretty much the entire 3x3 bed and took up all 9 squares! So some varieties will definitely need a bit more room!

I think I have the vine type (or at least I'm pretty sure that's what I got!!). I did a little rearranging, and left space for each to have two squares just in case. It may be a non issue though- we got a hail storm last night and my babies are looking pretty rough. I think my pumpkin is lost for good. the main stem is broken :-(

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Re: Pumpkins, Squash, Cukes... trellis or spill over?

Post  AliSmith13 on 6/5/2010, 11:55 am

Oh no! That is so sad! Sorry for your crop loss. Sad I am on the verge of losing all of my bell peppers (7 plants)...they're clinging to life, so I will be very heartbroken if/when they give up the fight....Sad
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Re: Pumpkins, Squash, Cukes... trellis or spill over?

Post  pattipan on 6/5/2010, 12:24 pm

Last year I grew spaghetti squash (Small Wonder) in one of those cedar tub planters. It did very well and I let it "spill over," letting the vines trail through the aisles of the SFG (aisles covered w/ weed barrier and bark mulch).They did very well until the powdery mildew took over. It was a dilemma as to whether to let the squash mature as much as possible or pick them before the vines were totally dead. I left them on until there were no leaves on the vines and the skins were very firm. Despite how the vines looked, the squash was fine -- even if I only harvested six of them. They were delicious!




Forgot to mention...
This year I planted them in the end of a 2 x 6 box. DH built a folding-type ladder trellis for them to vine up on. I'll take pictures later when they get bigger.

Patti
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Re: Pumpkins, Squash, Cukes... trellis or spill over?

Post  Wyldflower on 6/5/2010, 12:38 pm

I've put seeds into containers for pumpkins, squash and melons that I'm planning to have spill over. I'm hoping that my containers are big enough for the root systems. I used half garden soil (from Lowes) and half Mel's mix in VERY big plastic containers... I think they are 14" containers - about the size of a five-gallon paint can.

I didn't think about the problem of the edge of the planter cutting into the stems - so what I think I'll do is pick up a used garden hose at the thrift store or a yard sale, and cut them to fit around the edge of each pot. If I 'slice' them lengthwise, I think they will slide right on and provide a soft edge for the plants to spill over. Any other ideas?
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Re: Pumpkins, Squash, Cukes... trellis or spill over?

Post  Megan on 6/5/2010, 6:52 pm

@Wyldflower wrote:
I didn't think about the problem of the edge of the planter cutting into the stems - so what I think I'll do is pick up a used garden hose at the thrift store or a yard sale, and cut them to fit around the edge of each pot. If I 'slice' them lengthwise, I think they will slide right on and provide a soft edge for the plants to spill over. Any other ideas?

1 liter water bottle sliced open on its side?? All you need to do is make the radius of the edge of the planter broader/softer, right?

Count me in on the trellis question. I have two squash plants (early yellow crookneck and zucchino rampicante) and a watermelon that I want to try to trellis. Then there are the cukes....
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Re: Pumpkins, Squash, Cukes... trellis or spill over?

Post  castoral on 6/5/2010, 7:46 pm

Granted, this is my first year, but I did cantelope, watermelons, sugar pumpkins, jack o lanterns, and my squash/zuchinni outside the raised beds because I read how much space they would been. Squash and zuchinni are in galvanized containers and the others are just strown about in our landscape beds. All doing incredible well! I have one extra section of cow panel, a few pieces of scrap wood/2x4s, and an old wooden ladder I made DH keep. As the plants grow, I'm going to see what needs what. The main ones I'm concerned about though is the squash and zuchinni because they are in limited space (I think I have 2 plants in each 20 gallon tub) and because the side is "sharp." My thought was to put the ladder between the two planters and let them trellis on that. I've also read great things about trellising melons and small pumpkins on trellis and "holding" the fruit with panty hose. Thank goodness I never wear mine to work...haha!

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Re: Pumpkins, Squash, Cukes... trellis or spill over?

Post  camprn on 6/5/2010, 8:18 pm

The ladder idea, brilliant! thinking
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Re: Pumpkins, Squash, Cukes... trellis or spill over?

Post  chocolatepop on 6/5/2010, 9:05 pm

you could try foam pipe insulation. It is already cut down the middle. and is cheap
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Re: Pumpkins, Squash, Cukes... trellis or spill over?

Post  jkdistad on 6/5/2010, 9:09 pm

Thanks so much everybody!

Spill over it is! And I'll just keep my eyes on the vines on the edges of the container, and a sharp lookout for the mildew!

The ladder idea is really great too... if I decide to trellis, that would be an easy fix to set up a ladder between my two containers of squash and pumpkins.
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Re: Pumpkins, Squash, Cukes... trellis or spill over?

Post  Nurse Grams on 6/5/2010, 11:18 pm

Check around local swimming pools .... some kids beat up their swim "noodles" pretty rapidly and I've found the parents just toss them out. I've slit them down the side and have used them for LOTS of uses already. Thanks to this forum, I just found another use for them.
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Re: Pumpkins, Squash, Cukes... trellis or spill over?

Post  jkdistad on 6/5/2010, 11:26 pm

Nurse Grams, that is ingenius!
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Re: Pumpkins, Squash, Cukes... trellis or spill over?

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