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Squash and the trellis...really?

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Squash and the trellis...really?

Post  jercarol on 4/30/2011, 4:18 pm

Ok. I am not sold on squash in a SFG. I have row gardened in the past and this is the first year SFG. I am going to plant squash (and cukes) in mounds behind my SFG (6 boxes). I am so afraid that the squash will take over my boxes like it did in my row garden.

Does anyone have a success story or method that might change my mind???? Shocked

Jerry

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Squash and the trellis...really?

Post  sherryeo on 4/30/2011, 4:37 pm

Hi jercarol,

I'm new to sfgs myself, but I've seen some of the more experienced people post photos of specially made smaller squash boxes - I think they were 3X3 maybe, I'm sure someone will post about them. I hope to make some before next summer's planting time - I love yellow crookneck squash, but it would take up most of a regular 4X4 just for one plant.

Cucumbers, I think, though, are great for training up a trellis in a regular sfg. They love climbing, though you'll probably have to assist them in getting starting climbing on the trellis. They aren't, so far as I can tell, anywhere near the space-hogs that squash are and by training them up the trellis, they take less room. Do you have the All New Square Foot Gardening book? It is really helpful in telling you how many of which veggies you can plant per square so that you can judge whether you want to devote that much space to that particular veggie. You might, with experience, decide you'd like a little more or a little less spacing for some vegetables.

There are some crops that in my opinion might not be best for your typical 4X4 sfg, like okra. I'm a southern girl who loves her okra, but I don't think I'd ever plant them in a 4X4 because the plants get so big. But I might make a longer, narrower version of the sfg for my okra one day!

Welcome to square foot gardening and to the forum! You've come to the right place to post questions about sfgs. There are many great folks here who are more experienced at it and love helping us "newbies" with our questions/concerns. I think you'll love it here!


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Re: Squash and the trellis...really?

Post  pattipan on 4/30/2011, 4:50 pm

jercarol wrote:Ok. I am not sold on squash in a SFG. I have row gardened in the past and this is the first year SFG. I am going to plant squash (and cukes) in mounds behind my SFG (6 boxes). I am so afraid that the squash will take over my boxes like it did in my row garden.

Does anyone have a success story or method that might change my mind???? Shocked

Jerry

I grew four types of squash last year in my SFG -- two summer squash and 2 winter squash. I made two 2 x 2 foot boxes for the zucchini and yellow squash, they were both semi-vining types. The zucchini was "vinier," and spilled over the sides of the box into the aisles. I think both the zucchini and the yellow squash would have been okay in a 4 x 4 box, but I would have to train the vines to not overtake other plants.



The winter squash were planted within four squares on the ends of 2 x 6 boxes. My hubby built ladders for them to grow up on (half the ladder in the box and half out). I grew spaghetti squash (Small Wonder) and a Buttercup (Bon Bon). I used twine to train them up the ladders.

Here's the ladder and spaghetti squash about mid-June. As you can see I also stuck some nasturtiums in the squares too. I grew tomatoes (on conduit trellis) and peppers in the remaining squares of same box.



Here is a late July pic with the winter squash at the height of their glory. Spaghetti squash on the left, buttercup on the right. In the center front is a 2 x 4 box of green peppers and just behind that is a 4 x 4 box with eight broccoli plants and a trellis shared by cucumbers and a cherry tomato.



Trellising works!

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Re: Squash and the trellis...really?

Post  shannon1 on 5/1/2011, 12:55 am

Wow those are beautiful!!!!!!!!

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Squash and the trellis...really?

Post  sherryeo on 5/1/2011, 1:21 am

Wow, pattipan, if I ever managed to grow gardens that looked half as good as yours I would be ecstatic!

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Re: Squash and the trellis...really?

Post  kilda on 5/1/2011, 1:26 pm

I can't speak to squash as I don't grow it, but I did cucumbers vertically last year and it worked great. I didn't have a trellis on that box (one square of cukes was my only vertical crop for that particular box) so I just grew it on a very tall tomato cage. It worked great. I did have to add some support mid season to keep the cage from tipping over - I drove a piece of rebar into the ground and ziptied the cage to it. I got tons of cucumbers and they stayed right where I wanted them.

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Re: Squash and the trellis...really?

Post  dhhatfield52 on 5/1/2011, 1:59 pm

Thanks for posting those pics! I'm inspired now and thinking about how I can build a trellis!

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Re: Squash and the trellis...really?

Post  jbh29 on 5/1/2011, 4:26 pm

Fabulous pictures, pattipan! Just what I needed to see. I will plan on trellising my cucumbers & spaghetti squash. Do you think watermellon, honeydew mellon and pumpkins (a smallish variety - 7 lbs fruits) would work on ladder trellises like these?

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Re: Squash and the trellis...really?

Post  pattipan on 5/2/2011, 11:24 am

jbh29 wrote:Fabulous pictures, pattipan! Just what I needed to see. I will plan on trellising my cucumbers & spaghetti squash. Do you think watermellon, honeydew mellon and pumpkins (a smallish variety - 7 lbs fruits) would work on ladder trellises like these?

Glad the pictures convinced you! Vertical growing works really well in SFG's.

As for watermelons, I have not tried them myself, but I am sure it has been done. Hoping someone here will pop in and tell us about their experience.

Our ladder trellis would definitely be strong enough for watermelon, plus we wired it to rebar staked in the ground. Those trellises were not going anywhere! Also, you can't see it in the pictures, but there is also a web of sisal twine that was added as the squash plants grew, some of the squash were growing from the twine, not the ladder! So if I were growing watermelon I would use a much stronger twine (check the tensile strength).

You will probably need to use a sling when the melons get really big. You can make the sling out of old t-shirts (something stretchy and breathable). I guarantee your watermelon will be the talk of the town! Here's an example I found by doing a Google search for watermelon trellis:


You may want to color coordinate your slings. Wink

pattipan

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Re: Squash and the trellis...really?

Post  ashort on 5/2/2011, 11:49 am

pattipan wrote:
jbh29 wrote:Fabulous pictures, pattipan! Just what I needed to see. I will plan on trellising my cucumbers & spaghetti squash. Do you think watermellon, honeydew mellon and pumpkins (a smallish variety - 7 lbs fruits) would work on ladder trellises like these?

Glad the pictures convinced you! Vertical growing works really well in SFG's.

As for watermelons, I have not tried them myself, but I am sure it has been done. Hoping someone here will pop in and tell us about their experience.

Our ladder trellis would definitely be strong enough for watermelon, plus we wired it to rebar staked in the ground. Those trellises were not going anywhere! Also, you can't see it in the pictures, but there is also a web of sisal twine that was added as the squash plants grew, some of the squash were growing from the twine, not the ladder! So if I were growing watermelon I would use a much stronger twine (check the tensile strength).

You will probably need to use a sling when the melons get really big. You can make the sling out of old t-shirts (something stretchy and breathable). I guarantee your watermelon will be the talk of the town! Here's an example I found by doing a Google search for watermelon trellis:



You may want to color coordinate your slings. Wink

pattipan

Ummm, do I need to start posting pictures of melon slings again? affraid

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Squash and the trellis...really?

Post  sherryeo on 5/2/2011, 12:02 pm

Ashort, Step AWAY from the computer! Do NOT post melon sling photos! Repeat: No melon sling photos from you this time!!! I kinda like having you around and would hate to see you banned from the forum forever n 'ever!!! lol!

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Re: Squash and the trellis...really?

Post  pattipan on 5/2/2011, 12:24 pm

Sherry Owens wrote:Ashort, Step AWAY from the computer! Do NOT post melon sling photos! Repeat: No melon sling photos from you this time!!! I kinda like having you around and would hate to see you banned from the forum forever n 'ever!!! lol!



Okay, Sherry I am a bit slow this morning, so it took me a minute to realize what you were talking about. That pic does have kind of a triple-E "look," eh? Am I allowed to say that on the forum? affraid

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Squash and the trellis...really?

Post  sherryeo on 5/2/2011, 12:36 pm

Hey, I was just trying to save him from himself! See his post right before mine! affraid

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Re: Squash and the trellis...really?

Post  pattipan on 5/2/2011, 12:41 pm

Sherry Owens wrote:Hey, I was just trying to save him from himself! See his post right before mine! affraid


Boy, I am slow this morning! I overlooked that post because I saw the image and thought it was my post.

Need another cup of coffee... sawing logs
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Re: Squash and the trellis...really?

Post  boffer on 5/2/2011, 12:46 pm

Bring 'em on, ashort, let's raise a ruckus! Old Hippie is here to help too! Wink

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Re: Squash and the trellis...really?

Post  ashort on 5/2/2011, 2:16 pm

boffer wrote:Bring 'em on, ashort, let's raise a ruckus! Old Hippie is here to help too! Wink

lol!

I don't wanna get crosswise of middlemama today Smile

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