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Vertically Growing Summer Squash

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Post  jmsieglaff 1/25/2013, 1:22 pm

Hello,

Last year we grew tromboncino squash as a summer squash on our cattle panel trellis. The flavor was decent (I like it a good bit, my wife wasn't thrilled with it), but the production wasn't very good.

This year we'll be trying 3 vining summer squashes: lemon, tatume, and table dainty. Does anyone grow these varieties? How do you like the flavor, production, and insect resistance?
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Post  JackieB999 1/25/2013, 11:05 pm

Hi JM... unfortunately I dont have your answer. But I'm growing some acorn squash (in Florida) and I'm going to try to grow winter squash vertically with a tomato cage. Had anyone tried this as well?
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Post  jmsieglaff 1/26/2013, 9:24 am

I would imagine a tomato cage might work if it was an extra large, very heavy duty, probably depends on the variety of winter squash (fruit weight and vine vigor). A $2 cage at the hardware store would struggle once fruits started accumulating I'd suspect. A 15' x ~50" cattle panel sections runs $20-$25--that would take anything you could throw at it (well except giant pumpkins or water melons) and last for ever.

I am surprised more folks don't grow vining summer squash since it seems very fitting with SFG methods.
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Post  johnp 1/26/2013, 10:49 am

For the past two summers I have grown my winter squash in straw bales with the same trellis netting that Mel uses strung between the fence posts used to hold the bales in place. The netting held all the squash vines that I put on them, roughly one plant per bale or four squash.
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Post  JackieB999 1/30/2013, 6:14 pm

Oops, I did buy normal round, metal tomato cages for my tomatoes, cukes, beans and acorn squash. I got the biggest one available for the squash and plan to grow it in an 18 gallon bucket for space and stability. Do you really think this won't work?
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Post  jmsieglaff 1/30/2013, 9:27 pm

I'd say give it a try. If you're worried about stability of the cage as the squash grow large--try pounding some stakes as high as the cage into the ground for stability. I do that with my tomatoes I grow in heavy duty cages (and also tie tomato vines to the stakes when they out grow their cages).
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Post  JackieB999 1/31/2013, 12:24 pm

Jim... I read somewhere that it's healthy to top the plant off when it reaches the top of the cage or lattice. The plant bushes and produces more, so I guess it depends on the width we'd want it to grow too.

Anyone have comments on that?
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Post  Lemonie 1/31/2013, 1:21 pm

I have done well w/ trellising acorn squash and all melons and pumpkins, but my yellow summer squash was a bit of a pain to try to trellis. The others took a few weeks of weaving on the trellis and the easiest was the ones I let climb my cattle panel arch. When fruits start looking a little big, I use a scrap of old T-shirt to tie them to the trellis (but mostly have smaller varieties.
It seems that everytime I tried to train the yellow squash up the netting, I would just end up snaping branches....might be a better one to carefully tie/secure to the support system instead of weaving on a trellis??? We're not big on yellow squash anyway (just had some free seeds), so I was hoping to try the trombone zucchini this year as I heard it is one of the better varieties for verticle growing. Now I'm questioning it w/ your experience. I might have to poll the audience on this one. thinking I've never grown zucchini before and need something cooperative. Laughing
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Post  jmsieglaff 1/31/2013, 4:51 pm

@Lemonie wrote:so I was hoping to try the trombone zucchini this year as I heard it is one of the better varieties for verticle growing.

I grew that last year, it will climb any trellis with ease, it is a vigorous plant. The fruit were good, but fruit production was much lower than I wanted in a summer squash/zucchini alternative--I'm going to try some different vining summer squashes this year looking for greater fruit production.
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Post  jmsieglaff 1/31/2013, 4:53 pm

@JackieB999 wrote:Jim... I read somewhere that it's healthy to top the plant off when it reaches the top of the cage or lattice. The plant bushes and produces more, so I guess it depends on the width we'd want it to grow too.

Anyone have comments on that?

I haven't topped my plants like squashes, it would be interesting to hear if anyone else has and what the results were. (I do top my tomatoes when they reach the top of the stakes that I tie them too; that's when they're ~6.5 feet tall and have about 3 main vines.
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Post  elliephant 1/31/2013, 5:21 pm

Tatume gets really seedy quick. Pick baseball sized, not soft ball. I've grown it for a couple of years, but not sure if I'll plant it this year.
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Post  jmsieglaff 1/31/2013, 5:29 pm

@elliephant wrote:Tatume gets really seedy quick. Pick baseball sized, not soft ball. I've grown it for a couple of years, but not sure if I'll plant it this year.

Thanks! How's the flavor to you?
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Post  elliephant 1/31/2013, 8:43 pm

@jmsieglaff wrote:

Thanks! How's the flavor to you?

I prefer Tromboncino's flavor.
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Post  NAR56 1/31/2013, 11:05 pm

I am going to try to grow yellow and zucchini on a trellis this year after after watching a video on growing squash up a stake.
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Post  efnjim 7/18/2013, 7:52 pm

Vertically Growing Summer Squash Dscn1534

 blue hubbard squash is holding up pretty well on my new trellis. july 18 n.h.
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Post  RoOsTeR 7/18/2013, 8:17 pm

Wow, that's a great looking squash Vertically Growing Summer Squash 3170584802 

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Post  sanderson 7/18/2013, 9:51 pm

Jim, Beautiful, and look at all the box space you saved!
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Post  jmsieglaff 7/26/2013, 9:18 am

Very nice! I'll have to post a couple pictures of the vining summer squash varieties we're trying this year. So far we're quite happy--good production and tasty squash.
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Post  jmsieglaff 9/29/2013, 9:27 am

Thought I'd share our results of vining summer squashes we tried this year (picture to follow if I remember).

Tatume and Table Dainty:  Both germinated quickly and grew vigorous vines that climbed the cattle panel trellis well.   The fruit production was good and tasty.  Definitely best to pick them young as most have said, otherwise you're scooping out a decent amount of seeds.  These squash showed no ill effects from an insects in 2013, however did eventually lose to powdery mildew by August.  The plants were slightly outgrowing the mildew, but I pulled them anyway.  Will grow both again.

Lemon:  Germinated and grew a bit slower than Tatume and Table Dainty.  These plants really didn't produce vines that climbed the trellis, rather more like a traditional zuke with a very strudy central stem that grew upward.  I kept this growing vertically by using twine to tie the main stem to the cattle panel.  The lemon squash was slower to produce, but once it did produce it was prolific and had a bit better flavor than the Tatume and Table Dainty, with fewer and smaller seeds.  No ill effects from insects in 2013, same issues with powdery mildew.  We will also grow these again--might try starting from seed indoors in cow pots to try to get them to produce a bit earlier.
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Post  sanderson 9/29/2013, 3:29 pm

I'm limited to growing everything vertical (you know what I mean). I know cantaloupe isn't a squash, but I grew 2 vertical vines in a 1' x 1' x 1' old wood planter box with an existing fan-shaped trellis. With lots of hand pollinating, I got 2 melons to survive. They were about 5", cashew shaped !!, and oh so sweet and delicious.  Better than any we bought this year.  I will definitely try them next year. No photos - they were Gone in 60 Seconds.

Here they are Aug 15.  The "big" one on the left plant is hiding behind a leaf.
Vertically Growing Summer Squash Cantal13
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Post  CapeCoddess 9/29/2013, 5:45 pm

I have a few Sugar Baby watermelon plants growing up a trellis.  There are 2 fruits between all of them which, so far, are more like sugar infants  Rolling Eyes ...the largest being tennis ball size, if that.  Can't wait to try one but I'm leaving them on a long as possible to see if they will grow a bit more.

My Patty Pan squash has given up producing squash and will be pulled out any moment now.  It did fine growing up but I thought it was too much work.  The real plus was growing it away from the in-ground squash garden, which saved it from the squash vine borer, but not the PM which was it's demise.

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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 9/30/2013, 12:59 am

@sanderson wrote:I'm limited to growing everything vertical (you know what I mean). I know cantaloupe isn't a squash, but I grew 2 vertical vines in a 1' x 1' x 1' old wood planter box with an existing fan-shaped trellis. With lots of hand pollinating, I got 2 melons to survive. They were about 5", cashew shaped !!, and oh so sweet and delicious.  Better than any we bought this year.  I will definitely try them next year. No photos - they were Gone in 60 Seconds.
I have a cantelope growing in my raised bed garden that I grew on a trellis of sorts and it has done spectacularly.  I've lost count of how many we've already eaten, maybe 6 or 7 large ones and there are 7 still growing.  We have a 4 inch layer of wood chips on top of the MM and when the melons are ripe they just fall off and are in perfect shape due to the cushion of the mulch.  This garden is now in my greenhouse so we'll see how long we can baby it - who knows, Cantelope for Christmas?!


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Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts 9/30/2013, 1:10 am

I grew both spaghetti squash and butternut trellised this year. We harvested 23 spaghetti squash off of 2 plants. I replanted 2 more after pulling the first up and we have 8-9 growing on the new ones. It's a race to see how many will be able to mature before our first frost and with the trellis I can cover them with blankets to avoid the first early frosts.

We got 7-8 butternut squash out of one very large plant, I planted a new one that will be in my greenhouse so we'll see if we can keep it growing.

One of the things I've learned with experience, is that I don't have to support any of the squash, their stems are plenty strong enough to handle supporting the fruit. I've never lost a fruit off the vines that was pollinated.
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Post  2SooCrew 10/1/2013, 2:32 pm

This is SO Cool !!

I have to try this next year !!!
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Post  sanderson 10/1/2013, 2:46 pm

@audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:

One of the things I've learned with experience, is that I don't have to support any of the squash, their stems are plenty strong enough to handle supporting the fruit.  I've never lost a fruit off the vines that was pollinated.  
+1
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