Growing winter squash vertically

rayama(7b Birmingham, Al)August 25, 2009

I just started growing winter squash this year, and I'm in love. I'm already planning for next spring. My bed along one side of our deck. The wall is white-painted brick. I'm planning on getting some white outdoor chain and tying it to the railing and letting the squash grow vertically. Assuming I choose a variety with smaller fruits, will this work? I've got squash hanging in my camillia bush right now, but will they go straight up? What varieties have grown successfully this way? Thanks.

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tcstoehr

People have done it but there are problems:

Vines and leaf stems are brittle and easily broken. Growing on a trellis makes them vulnerable. Wind is more damaging to large leaves when up on a trellis rather than spread out across the ground.

Aventicious roots that form at leaf joints will be unable to take root. You want as many of these to root as possible to prevent wilting and maximize nutrient uptake.

Vines branch and spread agressively, your trellis will will be hard pressed to handle the weight and spread of a vigorous grower.

Sunlight may be restricted as leaves on top of each other shade each other out. Or leaves may receive sunlight only on the sunny side of the trellis.

I've never done it but some have, so it is possible. I think it requires some judicious pruning and vine management.

I know what you mean about getting hooked on growing these things. All the sizes, shapes, colors, textures. When I open a seed catalog I love to go to the squash section. It's like opening the centerfold of a girly mag.

Another strategy is to grow the squash vines at the outer perimeter of your garden and guide the vines towards unused space. The vines are very easily convinced to go whatever direction you guide them to. The don't resist at all.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2009 at 12:08PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Rayama

It works for me, I am growing Chinese pumpkins on a cattle panel

Silvia

    Bookmark   August 26, 2009 at 4:36PM
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dancinglemons(7B VA)

I agree with whgille

In a word - cattle panel. They are super sturdy.

DL

    Bookmark   August 27, 2009 at 3:21PM
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