Pruning squash plants

orangeblood(7)June 4, 2007

So my two squash plants are growing really fast (both the zucchini and yellow kind). Some of the giant leaves are starting to push into or cover other things, like my eggplant.

I've already cut off a long stem from each of the two plants. I'd like to get a bit more aggressive however, with the goal of keeping the leaves away from other plants, and maybe even to encourage more upward growth. Will it harm the plants if I prune another one or two stems from each? How will it affect the yield?

By the way, I can't say definitively if these are bush or vine types because the seed packets didn't specify. I've never grown veggies before so take my opinion with a grain of salt... but they don't appear to have any inclination to climb, so I'm thinking they're the bush variety.

Thanks for the help!

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Most summer squash varieties are bush and don't spread out more than, say, four or five feet from their roots. You can prune some. But try to remove only growing tips so as not to leave large wounds to draw squash bugs. Also, after a point, the plant may stop thriving.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 4:25PM
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Thanks George! I pruned three stems away from each... we'll see how it goes.

I see you live in Tallequah... my parents are in Checotah. (But I'm a long way from them here in Va.)

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 11:54PM
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I have a similar dilemma, but with winter squash plants.

I am growing Buttercup squash for the first time in the NW UK. I usually grow marrows, so this is a new crop for me, and I foolishly thought the plants would be about the size of a large trailing marrow plant...

I think I'm going to have to prune the plants - they are well on the way to overgrowing and smothering nearby crops with the vines.

The problem is that most of the female flowers are developing near the ends of the growing vines. What I would like to know is, if I prune off the longer vines, will the plant produce new side shoots with more female flowers, or will I have cut off most of the potential crop?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 7:40AM
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lakedallasmary(8 - North Central TX)

YOU could try redirecting the vines. I read someone curled the vines around and around the center of the plant.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 7:38PM
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