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Hello from Santee, CA

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Hello from Santee, CA

Post  florenceq on 12/27/2010, 2:44 pm

Hi my name is Florence and I have always loved gardening but never been very good at it. My daughter purchased the All New Square Foot Gardening for me for Christmas and I am about half way through it. I am so excited by how easy it sounds! I am hauling my husband off to Lowes tonight to buy lumber and get started on my boxes. I have decide to start with a 4 x 8 box. The only thing I am confused about is how to plant and trellis squash (my absolute favorite). The instructions say one per 2 sq feet. Does that mean it take up 4 of my blocks? Do I place it right in the center of the 4 blocks? Any ideas or help would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Florence

florenceq

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Location : Santee, CA 92071

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Welcome

Post  ander217 on 12/28/2010, 10:07 am

Welcome, Florence. Things are a bit slow on the forum now, but they should pick up quickly when warm weather arrives.

What kind of squash are you planting? Summer squashes such as zucchini or yellow crookneck don't need to be trellised if you buy bush varieties, but they do grow to be large plants. I usually allow six squares for two plants, in a 2' wide x 3' long pattern in my box. I plant the first one near the middle of the first two squares, not centered in the square but a little closer to the outer edge of the row. I skip the next row, then plant the next squash near the middle of the third short row of squares, again closer to the edge of the grid. Plant your tallest plants in the center of your box so you can reach across the shorter plants to get to them, and the shorter plants in the center aren't shaded by taller plants surrounding them.

I plant butternut (winter) squash against a trellis and I plant one seed every other grid because the plants grow very large leaves and long vines which spread a great distance. So if you want one plant, plant one seed in the corner square-foot grid, then skip a grid before planting something else in the third and fourth grids. (Or skip the first grid and plant in the second if you prefer.) If you want two winter squash plants, plant one in the corner, skip a grid, plant another seed in the third grid, and leave the last one empty. It's okay to plant all four grids in the next row to something else because the squash plants will be growing up the trellis and not sprawling over into the second row of grids.

I hope this makes sense. Some of it depends on squash variety, too. Ask Megan about her rampicante squash last summer that tried to eat the entire state of Virginia. Some of the baby bush varieties of zucchini might do fine in one grid. Just do the best you can your first time and learn from the experience for the next planting. If you get it wrong at first, you'll be in good company here.

Keep us posted on how it goes.

glad you\'re here


ander217

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Re: Hello from Santee, CA

Post  WardinWake on 12/28/2010, 11:57 am

@florenceq wrote:Hi my name is Florence and I have always loved gardening but never been very good at it. My daughter purchased the All New Square Foot Gardening for me for Christmas and I am about half way through it. I am so excited by how easy it sounds! I am hauling my husband off to Lowes tonight to buy lumber and get started on my boxes. I have decide to start with a 4 x 8 box. The only thing I am confused about is how to plant and trellis squash (my absolute favorite). The instructions say one per 2 sq feet. Does that mean it take up 4 of my blocks? Do I place it right in the center of the 4 blocks? Any ideas or help would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Florence

Howdy Florence:

Mel states that vine crops on a trellis should be planted on the north side of the box so the other squares are not shaded by the vines. One exception to the "north side" rule (IMHO) is if you are planting shade loving plants or something like lettuce that bolt (goes to seed) in full sun. You may get a few extra weeks of lettuce picking when planted in a shaded area.

God Bless and Welcome to the Forum and SFG, Ward and Mary.

WardinWake

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Re: Hello from Santee, CA

Post  Megan on 12/28/2010, 5:59 pm

Welcome, Florence, to the forum and to SFG!!! cheers glad you\'re here

@ander217 wrote:Some of it depends on squash variety, too. Ask Megan about her rampicante squash last summer that tried to eat the entire state of Virginia. Some of the baby bush varieties of zucchini might do fine in one grid. Just do the best you can your first time and learn from the experience for the next planting. If you get it wrong at first, you'll be in good company here.


rofl I'll have to second ander, here. I actually had a second squash plant, yellow crookneck, started that died due to bugs and maybe shading. Plant what you love to eat, give yourself a few backups if you have room for it, and see how it goes. Worst comes to worst, it's only seeds. Like Ander said, bush plants won't sprawl but they tend to take up more "surface area" than vining plants do if the vines are trellised. (Unless you plant rampicante, in which case, it will absentmindedly eat the trellises and then go after your house for dessert.)

Not sure about squash, but in beans, vining beans (pole beans) set a bunch of little, continuous harvests rather than one big one all at once. The former is good if you want to eat them all season, but if you want to can/preserve them, the bush variety makes sense.

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Re: Hello from Santee, CA

Post  Furbalsmom on 12/28/2010, 6:48 pm

glad you\'re here FlorenceQ

You will enjoy using the All New Square Foot Gardening Book. The changes from the original book allow you to have a much more relaxing experience with your garden. No Weeding! No Hoeing!

As far as squash, the main concern is, are your squash a vine type or a bush type?
The vine type can be trained up a vertical support and would be planted in the middle of two squares (2 sq feet)
If you have a bush type, you may need 4 squares (four square feet) to contain it. Bush type take up more squares than vining, (unless it is Megan's rampicante in VA). Personally, I found few vining summer squash and will be searching some more in my new seed catalogs.

I like the idea of vertical growing, because then the fruit is not laying on the ground, where it is more susceptible to insect damage.

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Re: Hello from Santee, CA

Post  florenceq on 12/30/2010, 1:44 pm

Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I hauled my husband off to Lowes two days after Christmas and we purchased the necessary lumber for one 4x8 box. I was amazed that it only cost about $25. Now if only it would stop pouring raining so I could actually put him to work building the box and preparing the spot I want to put it. thanks

florenceq

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Re: Hello from Santee, CA

Post  Chopper on 12/30/2010, 6:11 pm

@WardinWake wrote:

Howdy Florence:

Mel states that vine crops on a trellis should be planted on the north side of the box so the other squares are not shaded by the vines. One exception to the "north side" rule (IMHO) is if you are planting shade loving plants or something like lettuce that bolt (goes to seed) in full sun. ....

God Bless and Welcome to the Forum and SFG, Ward and Mary.

Don't you worry Ward. In Santee there will be no issue with squash and lettuce growing at the same time. There isn't enough shade in the world to stretch lettuce into summer in that area. Very Happy Although I suppose you could plant peas shading lettuce but there is really no need.

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Re: Hello from Santee, CA

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