Need advice on compact squash

daylilyfanatic4(Zone 6 SE NY)March 11, 2010

I'm looking for compact squash and zucchini to fit in my small garden I'm including my garden plan to show you what space I've got. Each group of squares that is labeld squash or zucchini is for one plant. The ones with colored bars otside the box have a trelliss.

Thanks for the help

PS: any other suggestions about my plan would be appreciated

sorry about poor image quality

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Dan Staley

I presume a square is 1 square foot. If so, you'll want much more room for summer squash and zucchini than that. They do 3'x3' easy, maybe you can get lucky and find one that does 2x2, but I don't know of any vars this small for 1 sq ft. Your pepper might get shaded from the tomatoes as well presuming north is up.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 3:31PM
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daylilyfanatic4(Zone 6 SE NY)

Your right to assume that each square is one square foot and north is up. I want to make it clear that each group of squares that has squash in it is 1 plant. 1 yellow squash in the bottom bed. In the top left bed the zucchini will have 4 sq feet (lettuce and spinach will be gone before it goes in) Same goes for the yellow squash. The other Zuke will be on a trellis so I figured I could do with less space. I really am looking for varieties that will fit in that space since I don't have an option to give them more space. As far as the pepper getting shaded it probally will but its not that important since I have other peppers.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 6:55PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

I haven't tried any varieties that could count as compact. You can make that a keyword as you search descriptions of seeds though. You could also call one of the seed companies and talk to them directly and you may get more help.

When I put summer squash in a bed, I like to place it on corners so that some of its mass extends into the aisles. I don't know if I would waste trellis space on one unless I was certain that the variety could be trellised (most aren't). I would consider swapping the zucchini with the spinach and lettuce. Doing so may allow the zucchini to shade the spinach and lettuce which may keep it cooler and extend the harvest of those.

If you do find compact varieties or a zucchini that can be trellised, please report back as I know many would be interested.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 11:59PM
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There are some summer squash that can be trellised. I grew something called Gem Squash last year and it grew fabulously on a trellis. They are commonly grown in South Africa and maybe also Australia and the UK.

You can see the little green baseball sized squash. That is two plants in the picture, taken August 6. The plants were started indoors in April and planted out around May 20. Once these started producing, I got one or two squash almost every day!

You can take them early like a zucchini, anywhere from golf ball size to tennis ball size, and cook and eat them whole, seeds and all. If you leave them to mature, the pale white flesh turns yellow, and they become more like an acorn squash.

Yummy both ways!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 9:12PM
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Dan Staley

Check out the old-school downtube shifters and the rake on that fork! Nice. If my trellis space wasn't already taken this year, I'd try that. Good find paully.


    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 11:33AM
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Dan, what would you really like to try, the gem squash or the bike?

The Gems were my most successful vegetable grown last year. Given the amount of cucumber beetles at the allotment site, that is no small feat!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 11:22PM
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sparks5478(Zone 7 LI, NY)

A few years ago, when I was gardening in containers only, I grew Raven zucchini. It was definitely compact, the squash were full size, and the plant was extremely productive. It worked in the container, so it should be good for your SFG too. You'll need more than one square for it though.

Here's a pic from when it was just getting started.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 7:49PM
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daylilyfanatic4(Zone 6 SE NY)

Raven sounds really interesting since it won't sprawl but that plant looks huge how many sq feet does it take up?

Gem squash looks weird but it could be an option. Does it taste like a zucchini?

I've heard butterstick is compact is that true?

thanks for the help.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 6:30PM
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When you pick the gems young, they are like a zucchini, with white flesh inside, although I find them much tastier. The way to cook them is simply drop them whole into some boiling water until they are soft, maybe ten to fifteen minutes, depending on size. Cut'em in half, butter, salt and mmmmm...

If you let them grow longer, they get yellow/orange inside and taste more like winter squash like acorn or pepper squash. The skins get really hard and thick so the boiling water cooking is the easiest way to get inside them too.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 10:19PM
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daylilyfanatic4(Zone 6 SE NY)

Can you cut them in to strips and stir fry them? or cut them in to chunks and roast them? How about BBQ rounds? Thats how I like to eat my squash. If I have to eat them like acorn squash then I guess its ot for me.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 8:06AM
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