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Learning the hard way

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Learning the hard way

Post  ModernDayBetty on 6/27/2011, 12:05 pm

I'm learning the hard way what needs 9 squares. The charts at the back of the book did not make sense to me. I knew that I would have to learn kinestheticly, the only way it would work out in my head was doing it and rereading.... now I've got a pumpkin and a zucchini taking over 2 different boxes.

So I'm planning ahead for next year. I'm wondering, do the summer and winter squashes really need 9 squares of MM or do they just need 1 sq but 9 sq ft of space? I'm thinking about building 1x1 boxes, or 2x2 boxes and fill the surrounding area with carrots or onions, then placing the boxes around the yard so they have plenty of space without crowding out my other goodies, like my hot peppers. Advice?
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Re: Learning the hard way

Post  Kelejan on 6/27/2011, 1:02 pm

krazikandiland wrote:I'm learning the hard way what needs 9 squares.

So I'm planning ahead for next year. I'm wondering, do the summer and winter squashes really need 9 squares of MM or do they just need 1 sq but 9 sq ft of space? I'm thinking about building 1x1 boxes, or 2x2 boxes and fill the surrounding area with carrots or onions, then placing the boxes around the yard so they have plenty of space without crowding out my other goodies, like my hot peppers. Advice?

A good question, kraki. Do the plants need 9sq foot for the roots or only one square foot? I do not know and avidly await our experts' advice. Very Happy
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Re: Learning the hard way

Post  middlemamma on 6/27/2011, 1:29 pm

It's not for the roots, it's for the vines...a lot of folks put them in a corner square so they can spill out onto the ground so they don't have to give up 9 squares....others are diligent about trellising the vines so they don't have to give up too many squares.

And still others are crazy like me and like to see their garden become a jungle and don't care.... Smile

Happy MONDAY!
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Re: Learning the hard way

Post  boffer on 6/27/2011, 1:31 pm

9 square feet is for the foliage.

I plant vining squash one per square foot, in a large box, with good results. I don't recall how large the root system is ie. do the roots travel into other squares like tomatoes do.

This year I'm playing with stand alone boxes for squashes for the same reasons krazi said, and they are more versatile. Some are 2x2, with 2 vining squashes planted, and some are 1x3 boxes with 3 vining squashes planted. I'm expecting both to do fine.
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Re: Learning the hard way

Post  Kelejan on 6/27/2011, 2:54 pm

Thank you so much, our experts. Luv ya!
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Re: Learning the hard way

Post  Patty from Yorktown on 6/27/2011, 3:29 pm

Disclaimer, I am not a squash expert as I kill them off on a regular basis. Stand alone boxes work great. I think that 1 foot boxes would be hard to keep well watered. I would do 2 foot boxes, as it will make them easier to rotate other crops through. Good luck.

Patty from Yorktown
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Re: Learning the hard way

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 6/27/2011, 8:01 pm

As much as I hate to sound like a SFG rebel, I don't know that I would put such space hogs in MM. It's just too valuable to give up to foliage above it and not IN it. I'm a cheapskate through and through, so I would amend some soil and drop them elsewhere in my yard. I save the MM for things I use/replant frequently or things I know I will have to weed. My guess is squash would shade out most weeds...leaving at least 6 of those 9 squares lying fallow.
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Re: Learning the hard way

Post  jymarino on 6/27/2011, 11:43 pm

I have one zucchini in a corner spot with a tomato cage over it. I have been training the leaves to go upward instead of outward. I have also pruned some of the bottom leaves off to discourage bugs. There was a post about someone who grows their squash vertically and prunes off the leaves as he harvests. I can't recall who did the post or when it was but you may be able to find it by doing a search. Good luck!

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Re: Learning the hard way

Post  ModernDayBetty on 6/28/2011, 1:47 am

Thanks everyone, I think I'm going to do a 2x10 for next year with three sisters, this will probably solve a lot of issues. I drew it all out today after reading some of these and I think I have it down for three crop rotations. I can do a winter box of cabbage, shallots, garlic, and parsnips for fall/over wintering. I can add a cold frame for early spring plantings to the spots where the cabbage is taken out. I also kind of like the idea of a 1x1 in the middle of the grass with pumpkins.... It sounds cute :o)

I've drawn out a handful of different box ideas. I went with simple pine 4x4's this first year and I can't wait to play with new designs and nicer wood. :o)
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Re: Learning the hard way

Post  Garden_State on 6/28/2011, 8:34 am

I use 3 gallon buckets (old kitty litter pails) filled with MM to grow Zukes and summer squash. No issues and the plants are thriving. I use foam pipe insulation around the lip of the bucket to soften the hard edge. Before doing this, the fruit would sit on the edge of the bucket and would get a deep dent from resting on the egde.
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Re: Learning the hard way

Post  Furbalsmom on 6/28/2011, 5:32 pm

I use foam pipe insulation around the lip of the bucket to soften the hard edge. Before doing this, the fruit would sit on the edge of the bucket and would get a deep dent from resting on the egde.

Why didn't I think of that?
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