Growing (one) squash vertically

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by [rachael], Jun 15, 2021.

  1. [rachael]

    [rachael] New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Surrey, BC
    Hello! I'm a beginner gardener, and this is my first post here. :) This picture was taken yesterday at my plot in my local community garden. I've got a kind of square foot garden going. It's a 4' x 10' raised bed but this middle section is 4x4. It has two squash plants on either side with some sunflowers and alyssum growing down the middle in between them.

    This near one is spaghetti squash, and it's starting to creep into the flowers and over into my beans (and out of the bed altogether!) so I'd love to give it something to climb up. When I look online, all I see is large, tall trellises for multiple squash plants. Can anyone recommend something to support just ONE plant? Would tying it to a cedar stake work? Or maybe a bamboo tripod with some string tied around it?

    Another reason I'd like to get it off the ground is that yesterday I found one leaf at the bottom (which I removed) that had powdery white mildew on it. I hear that giving it more air/space will help with that.

    Thanks for your help!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2021
  2. Sulev

    Sulev Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    937
    Likes Received:
    260
    Location:
    Estonia
    Any sturdy enough stake will do.
    You must take into consideration, that squashes have pretty large (and pretty delicate) leaves, and therefore you should take care of possible wind forces also, not only weight of vines and fruits.
     
    [rachael] likes this.
  3. [rachael]

    [rachael] New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Surrey, BC
    Ah, thank you! Will take that into consideration as there isn't a lot to block it from the wind right now. The challenge is that I can't let it grow out of the bed as that's against the garden guidelines. Nor can I put up anything so high that it blocks the sun in the neighbouring plot. But I will start with a stake that I already have and go from there. :)
     
  4. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Contributor

    Messages:
    1,520
    Likes Received:
    457
    Location:
    South Okanagan & Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
    I am not seeing the image you attached

    Sounds like a fun project

    How tall are your sunflowers now?

    I think they will just grow thru the squash maze

    I think one matter that comes to mind is that squash vines are fairly soft so it’s not like staking a solid tree - PLUS you have your heavy squash pulling at it

    I have in the past raised up the squash by putting them on recycled perforated baskets turned upside down — I am not a fan of buying more imported plastic but dollar store might have some in basket department

    I have attached photo of some I got at dollar store for my spring bulbs a couple yrs ago

    Thé 355ml can of fizzy water is for scale
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2021
    [rachael] likes this.
  5. [rachael]

    [rachael] New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Surrey, BC
    Oops! I've tried again below. Should work now. :) Spaghetti squash is the near one, butternut on the other side of the flowers.

    The sunflowers are only about 12-18" tall right now but they are bushier than I anticipated. They are dwarf sunflowers, though, so they won't be getting too much bigger. Should have included that detail!

    That's good to know, makes me think a trellis-style support would be better than a stake with ties.

    Do you mean you put the actual fruit on the basket once it starts deveoping? Or laid the whole plant/vine on top? Sorry if that's a silly question, I'm very new to this! I appreciate the wisdom being shared here. :)

    IMG_1372.JPG
     
  6. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Contributor

    Messages:
    1,520
    Likes Received:
    457
    Location:
    South Okanagan & Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
    Look at that - a whole farm field in one four- foot square - Good for you and your fellow gardeners

    Everything looks really happy

    No silly questions at all

    A big part of gardening is learn by doing - of course in our climate we feel pressure to get the ONE chance (summer) perfect

    That said I can already envision some Swiss chard in your future (it lives rather carefully in Vanc winter) —- have a look at west coast seeds website West Coast Seeds | Organic Seeds

    ——-
    The squash - I raise it up to keep the vegetable drier and cleaner and the wood bugs (Sow bugs?) don’t munch at it in damp soil

    So when you see your infant squash forming - carefully (do not break stem connection to vine) lift it up and place it on something that drains through ... like a dollar store basket ... a few inches above the soil

    If you are determined to grow vertically - the price of lumber is huge these days tho I am sure someone has used a palette somewhere in Pinterest albums - make sure it’s not treated or painted wood

    I would also look at « Hardware cloth » metal fence like you’d use for a rabbit cage - it’s àso at the building supply and one can usually buy it by the foot like fabric

    —-

    Squash are sprawlers like trees grow vertically (generally speaking)

    If I had a massive farm field in dry area like Keremeos BC then I would likely not do this - however you wish to harvest at least one you can proudly serve from your micro farm

    What are the three sisters in the Mayan garden (do people still garden at UBC Farm?) Meet the Three Sisters Who Sustain Native America | Native America

    ——-

    Home | CSFS at UBC Farm
     
    [rachael] likes this.
  7. [rachael]

    [rachael] New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Surrey, BC
    Thank you! Yes, I think it needs to go vertical simply because of space. If I decide to grow squash again next year I can plan it out better and install a better trellis ahead of time instead of on the fly like now. I got some bamboo stakes today and made a little tent and looped some string around it at the bottom, middle, and top. We'll see how it goes. Might have to keep fixing it and adapting as it grows. What an adventure! lol
     
    Georgia Strait likes this.
  8. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Contributor

    Messages:
    1,520
    Likes Received:
    457
    Location:
    South Okanagan & Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
    Looking forward to update pictures

    I notice you have nasturtium in your planter box

    No matter what I do, mine get a huge infestation of little black Bugs — some sort of aphid I think but I would have to verify

    So keep an eye out and if you see one or more - hose it off ASAP — or carefully pick the entire leaf (they hide underneath the leaf) and dispose of it in garbage

    I suppose you could try some sort of soap but if you want to eat your nasturtium flowers & leaves - probably best to restrict use of sprays etc

    Then again, maybe you planted nasturtium intentionally to attract aphids (a live trap) and keep the little pests away from your other crops

    Here’s an article Helen Chesnut: To deter aphids, avoid nitrogen-rich soil for nasturtiums
     
  9. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Contributor

    Messages:
    1,520
    Likes Received:
    457
    Location:
    South Okanagan & Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
    I have also seen an old patio umbrella frame used like this to support beans - and in this example - it is cucumber

    Someone must have an old one either metal or wood frame you could recycle -
     

    Attached Files:

  10. [rachael]

    [rachael] New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Surrey, BC
    I had some nasturtium seeds leftover from a few years ago and have had them in containers at home the last few years. And yes, they always attract those bugs! I usually do spray them. Oddly enough these ones seem to be doing okay, but the spinach right next to them was COVERED in those black bugs. It had bolted already (I was going to try to save the seeds) so I just pulled it up.

    I love the idea of recycled/repurposed materials for a trellis. We still have our old (untreated wood) crib kicking around and I was thinking that any or all of the sides of that would make a great trellis. Maybe next year!
     
    Georgia Strait likes this.
  11. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Contributor

    Messages:
    1,520
    Likes Received:
    457
    Location:
    South Okanagan & Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
    How is your squash doing ?

    I had to carefully tie mine up to a metal frame o salvaged from some old retail display !
     
  12. [rachael]

    [rachael] New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Surrey, BC
    Thanks for asking! :) It's growing like crazy and has nine squash growing on it! Here's a photo I took today. I've had to put up two additional bamboo tents for it. The bamboo & kitchen twine tents seem to be sturdy enough so far, even for the biggest one which is hanging down near the top of one tent. I hand pollinated a few of the ones that are growing now, but I probably didn't need to as I see bees there every day. They've clearly been doing their thing and pollinating the rest of the squash. :) My dwarf sunflowers are finally blooming and they love those.

    I've been dealing with powdery white mildew still. I had to cut off a lot of leaves in the last two days and sprayed the rest with baking soda + water solution this morning. I decided to just cut off the vine that was making its way into the beans. For the ones growing near the soil, I bought some of those plastic paper-plate holders from the dollar store. It keeps them off the ground a few inches.

    If I grow squash again next year I am definitely making a taller trellis out of the sides of our old baby crib! I love the idea of upcycling or salvaging something like you've done. I've had to make two bamboo tents for the butternut squash plant on the other side now too. It's not growing quite as fast as the spaghetti but it's catching up and finally starting to flower.
     

    Attached Files:

    Georgia Strait likes this.
  13. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Contributor

    Messages:
    1,520
    Likes Received:
    457
    Location:
    South Okanagan & Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
    That looks great!

    What a tidy garden.

    I still want to try re-using an umbrella (someone gave me a patio umbrella recently (they are moving) but it’s still too good condition to make it a bean frame :)
     
    [rachael] likes this.

Share This Page