is it possible to grow squash in containers?

kawaiineko_gardener(5a)April 1, 2009

I'm interested in growing squash eventually. I don't plan to do so now, as it's too late for me to do so because of where I live. I also don't really have the space to plant any type of squash. Any information acquired from this post is for FUTURE reference.

Also with the varieties of squash I'm growing I plan to use compact/bush varieties of the squash varieties listed below.

The squash I'm interested in eventually growing are:




*Summer/yellow squash

I would like to know if it's possible to grow the above listed varieties in containers.

If so, then what size container would you need (please specify this information in gallons) to grow each variety listed above (acorn, butternut, zucchini, and yellow/summer squash) in.

The other question I have is, do you have to train the vines of each of the above listed squash to climb a trellis? If so, then do you have to stake the vines of the squash like you would a tomato plant? If you do have to train the vines to climb a trellis and you do have to stake the vines, how would you go about staking the vines and "training" the vines to climb the trellis?

Here are links for the different seed varieties of squash I'm interested in growing:

NOTE ABOUT THE LINKS:I don't know why, but it won't just let you click on the link and then redirect you to their product page via opening a new window. You'll have to copy and paste them manually into your web browser. Once you've done this, press enter and it should redirect to the product pages of these seed varieties.

This is going to seem like a really dumb question, but for the links with the zucchini and summer/yellow squash I would like to grow, they ARE bush/compact varieties correct? I have little experience with growing anything

that vines, and have very little experience with growing anything in the squash family, that's why I'm asking.

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uncron1(z6 OH)

I grew a six foot long gourd from this pot.

Here is a link that might be useful: long gourd

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 3:22PM
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susanne_in_nl(z6-7 Netherlands)

I grew acorn squash last year in +/- 30 gallon plastic construction tubs (used for mixing cement, etc). Drill plenty of holes in the tubs and elevate on bricks to aid the drainage and use a good soil mix that won't get too compacted (VERY important!). I over-planted and started with 3 per pot but thinned later to 2 per. The plants turned out to be 2 vining and 2 semi-bush, I think. That's probably because the seeds were saved from a squash I bought for eating. This year I'm going to try purchased seed of a semi-bush variety. I'd actually have preferred a true vining type to take advantage of the trellissing but the variety is limited here in Holland. For growing in pots I don't think you could get more than 1 per pot of the true bush types because they'd block each others' light too much. Maybe someone else can help with that info.

I placed the pots about 2-3 feet from a fence and leaned 4 x 6 foot plain metal garden-fence trellis panels from the base of the pot to the stockade fence. The holes in the trellis were about 6 inches square. As the squash or pumpkin grows you will need to gently guide the vines toward the trellis and upwards. Squash aren't natural climbers even though they do put out anchor tendrils (suckers?) that will twine around the trellis. Use either coated wire, clips or fabric to loosly tie the vines up. The thicker the anchors the better, as the stalks are hollow and break or bend easily. This year I found some thick foam coated wire specially for tying up plants and it should work well. Last year I used plastic C clips and moved them as needed to areas that needed support. The suckers will help anchor the vines but aren't super strong so you can't rely on them alone to keep the plant on the trellis, especially once the fruit gets bigger.

One of the plants really took off and ended up growing along the top of the stockade fence, which was fine with me! I didn't bother tying it up a lot at that point, just looped it around so it would stay put.

My plants last year didn't produce a whole lot. I had trouble with blossom end rot and later from mildew. But when the fruits did start to form I gently guided them through the holes of the trellis so that they hung on the back side of it. So the vines and leaves were on the outside of the trellis and the fruit had plenty of room to grow on the fence side.

The bushier plants didn'd need any support until later in the summer and I used some 1.5 foot high shelving units from a small portable greenhouse to support the short vines with fruit that grew over the side of the pots. Anything about the same height as the pot should work, like a plastic deck chair or something. I just was afraid that the vine would break if it just hung over the side with a squash dangling in mid-air.

It was great fun and a good experiment, growing these. We made a big event out of eating the 2 biggest squash and then enjoyed the little ones in a nice stir-fry.... :^D

Hope you have as much fun.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 4:37AM
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For bush type varieties of summer/yellow squash and bush type zucchini, do you really need a container as big as 30 gallons?

You said you found construction tubs. Do you know where you can acquire these? Is it possible to ask at construction sites and will they willingly give them to you? If so, where would I find these, and how would I go about acquiring them via a construction site?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 9:14AM
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susanne_in_nl(z6-7 Netherlands)

Maybe some of the more experienced growers can verify or negate this, but my thought is that container size shouldn't be different for bush or vine types. They both have similar root systems (I think) and the main difference is just the sprawl of the plants' above-ground parts.

I bought the tubs at a local home supply store and they're very common here in Holland. I would imagine you could get something similar at any Lowe's or Home Depot. Look in the area where they sell cement mix and mortar. There should be various sizes of mixing containers available.

Happy hunting!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 3:32PM
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I have grown zucchini in rubbermaid containers. For drainage, I drilled a few holes around the sides about an inch from the bottom. They are cheap (less than $4) and work well.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 1:19PM
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bleedenver(z7 GA)

The earthbox is a commercial gardening container system with about a 15 gallon soil area.

Their recommendations are 2 to 4 plants in potting mix for this area + 2 cups of balanced fertilizer. See link below:

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 7:21PM
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