Return to the Garden Experiments Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
help making squash towers

Posted by kawaiineko_gardener 5a (jesusbeloved29@yahoo.com) on
Wed, Mar 27, 13 at 20:28

I'd like to make squash towers for winter squash as I do container gardening and I have limited space; making them would maximize this space without stressing out the plants (via overcrowding).

Basically I plan to follow the design of a tomato cage. People have recommended concrete reinforcement wire; would this work?

How wide should the openings be? I want the openings wide enough that I can reach thru and harvest the fruit without it getting caught.

I know this depends on the type of squash; I'd be growing acorn, butternut, kabocha (asian type of pumpkin; much smaller than American pumpkins), delicata, and spaghetti.

Would I have to train the vines up the cages? All the varieties I have are either bush or semi bush so they have shorter vines and take up less space than traditional vining varieties of winter squash.

How tall should the cages be and what size roll of the mesh should I get to start off with (I don't know how many cages I'd be making; would start with one roll of mesh and see how many cages I get from that)


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: help making squash towers

You don't say what sort of square footage you're talking about, but with the many varieties you've mentioned, unless you're planning on picking a couple and only growing one plant a piece, you may be pushing trying to do this as container gardening. Certainly I wouldn't put more than one plant to a cage. And not sure about the kabocha, but both butternut and spaghetti can be rather big and HEAVY. Delicata is wonderful for being small (and personally, I think the sweetest of all squash) - it might work best for you.
However - my suggestion is to get REALLY strong hardware cloth with 4 -6" openings. Make sure it's anchored deeply into your container. Plant three seeds around the cage (you'd weed it down to one after they're established). The cage might only need to be a foot or two in diameter because you are training the plant mostly around the outside, or at least, the blossoming stems. You'll have to keep a close eye on it the whole season to make sure it doesn't set fruit on the inside, since you'd run into that problem you mentioned above - fruit half in, half out of the mesh. Height of the cage I think would be decided by diameter - wider the diameter, the higher the cage. Oh, and I'd suggest careful pruning, too, as the season goes on to keep things manageable and to make sure it's balanced so it doesn't topple from too much weight on one side.
I should add that you may want to make slings for the fruit as it gets bigger - I do this with my heirloom tomatoes to keep them from breaking the stems - some of them can weigh a pound or more! Some of those squash can easily weigh 3-5 pounds.


 o
RE: help making squash towers

the season is over but you can research for the next one.
people are using livestock panels or 'cattle panels' to build small arbors. they are very sturdy.
i am sure you can grow small pumpkins on them. and whne they get heavier, you can rig a holding mesh bag for them and attach it to the structure. lots of interesting ideas in 'greenhouses and garden structures forum' on GW

Here is a link that might be useful: cattle panel arbor


 o
RE: help making squash towers

I have a buddy that grows butternuts vertically. He nailed some wooden lattice to his garage and lets the vines grow up on them. Seems to hold up pretty well.


 o
RE: help making squash towers

I would like some tips on growing snake gourd. What type of soil, seed source and trellis structure. Thsnks


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Garden Experiments Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here