short wire cages for zucchini

hunter_tx(7bTx)June 10, 2002

I'm trying something new this year with the zucchini (and will do so next time with they yellow squash). I put up a short wire cage (about 18-24 inches tall) around one hill of the zuke plants this year. The diameter is about 36 inches or so. When the plants started really branching out, I directed the leaves to grow through some of the wire openings (I used 2x4 welded wire). The stems just sort of rest on top of the cage rim and the vines that are producing the fruit are growing upward in the direction of the rest of the stems. I also placed a "watering well" of sorts in the middle of the hill for watering. I have found that the cage has been helpful in a couple of different ways. I can water them directly at the base of the plants much easier, I can inspect for squash bugs easily, the fruit is kept completely off the ground and all the pill bugs we have this year, and they are, so far, taking up much less space than they typically do. I don't know that any of you have tried this before, but it really seems to be working well here. -Mrs Hunter

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kimmydoodle(7bTX)

I think that's a great idea. I trimmed back my some of my zukes & squash this weekend because they were getting too unruly! I left some unaltered too. Is that a bad thing to do - trim back? (I am a first time gardener with unexpectedly incredible luck!) I did companion planting in raised beds (my own version of "french intensive" and apparently planted too closely, so therefore I have created a vegetable monster!) Is it too late to put the cages around them if I am careful? The plants are about a yard tall now. I can already imagine the benefits of the cages and have enough plants doing well that I would be able to risk it. The squash bugs are irritating - since I see that you are in my zone, 7b, tell me what you do about them. A neighbor told me to vacuum them up! I'm trying to go organic, but Sevin keeps calling to me! Anyway, I will experiment with a couple of my vines this weekend and keep you posted! Thanks

    Bookmark   June 11, 2002 at 7:03PM
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hunter_tx(7bTx)

Well, fortunately, I haven't had squash bugs for the past three years. I planted rue around where I plant squash (it supposedly repels them). I don't know if that's what is keeping them away or not, but I won't pull them up to find out! Before I planted the rue, the squash bugs were uncontrollable. I have also made great improvements in the dirt which could have had a positive role also. Don't know for sure. Just glad I'm not having to deal with them. You can probably go ahead and cage them. Just be careful not to break the stems and vines. You will proably need someone to help you by holding the plants cradle-style while you place the cages. It really had been great for growing the zukes this year.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2002 at 11:18AM
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KAYGARDENER(BAY AREA--CALIF)

I ALSO USE 24" HIGH WIRE FENCING (ABOUT 1" OR 2" HOLES) FOR MY BUSH CUCUMBERS... SEEMS LIKE ALL THESE PLANTS DO BETTER W/ THE LEAVES SOAKING UP THE SUNLIGHT IN THE FRESH AIR...K

    Bookmark   January 29, 2003 at 8:38PM
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