shaefins
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So...how does squash grow?

First ever garden. I have two squash plants started at opposite corners of a 3'x3' square. I have trellises at the ready, to help space out the vines.

Which leads me to this question...They *do* vine, right?!?!? When? DO they send out the little runners like cukes that I train onto the trellis? Right now they're just putting out *huge* leaves. What can I expect here?

TIA!

timberjet
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You can expect the squash to take over that space. Don't know if you can train it very well as Mine overtook the intended trellis I had last year but did not really grow up it at all. What type of squash did you plant? Sounds like it's doing good anyway.

shaefins
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Packet says "Summer squash - early, prolific straightneck".

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applestar
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Here's my Yellow Crookneck (summer squash). They are not growing under ideal conditions as they are surrounded by "weeds" in my Sunny Meadow Garden (only open spot I could sacrifice). There are 3 plants clustered in a hill here, but the biggest is currently over 3 feet across. Largest leaf in the photo is 16" wide and 18" long, not counting the stem. I only harvested the first squash (young 6" size) today, so they're only just starting. The mulched area in the foreground is where two of the vines are *supposed* to grow into.
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image7149-1.jpg[/img]

Here's a slightly earlier photo with a close-up of the vines:
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image7207.jpg[/img]

shaefins
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Hmmmmm.....these are *not* the kind of vines I was expecting. I'm thinking the trellis isn't going to work, and now I fear the planting spots are totally wrong. One plant is near my beans, and the other is close to my peppers. If they just sprawl from where they are, they're going to overrun the other things.

*sigh* Rookie mistakes. So mad at myself.

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applestar
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Now, I might be wrong about this because I'm still experimenting with this particular squash variety, but Benning's Green Tint Pattypan squash is much much smaller. with 6" leaves so far and starting to flower at about 12" across. It's possible it's not in a ideal location and it can grow larger, but this one might be more your size for the spot you have in mind. It's not too late to take the other ones out and sow this one instead. I got my seeds from Southern Exposure Seeds Exchange (I think).

I've photos in my camera but they're not uploaded yet.

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jal_ut
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Summer squash do not vine like cucumbers. They have rather short stout vines. Those vines will get up to 4 feet or more in length though. For a hill of summer squash with 4 to 5 plants, you really need to plant them in the center of an 8 x 8 foot space. Here is a pic of a typical summer squash planting. They do get large.

[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/crookneck.jpg[/img]
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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applestar
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:lol: Ha ha, that's why I included that caveat about "not growing in an ideal location" -- didn't want anyone to think that my wimpy 3 foot plants :bouncey: are in any way typical size. However, jal's examples, so far as I can tell, can carry the caveat of "under ideal conditions" and will be atypical on the maximum end of the range. 8) :wink:

shaefins
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OK, so...what should I do? The two plants I have are obviously in bad locations...but they're growing *beautifully*. One of them is actually a transplant from a seedling that came up alongside the larger plant. While I've read that squash are one of those plants that prefer to be direct seeded and not transplanted or moved, the transplant is doing quite well, albeit just a little bit smaller than the other. I really don't like the idea of pulling both of them. :cry:

However, if it comes to that or not having any squash at all....I suppose I'll do what I need to do.

Do I pull these two, take down the trellises and direct seed a new plant in the center of the 3'x3' area (I think they're 50 days, should have enough time before first frost in mid-October). Or do I transplant one of them to the center of the area? Or neither? Is there any way for me to train one plant to grow towards the rest of the area from their corner locations? Staking or something???

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applestar
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Well, what are planted around them again? If they're tomatoes, you may be able to prune the lower leaves and suckers and let the squash grow underneath, if they're bush beans, they might possibly be done before the squash gets there and might be removed, etc. If what you have is lawn beyond the edge of the bed, you might let the squash escape out into the grass. (Vertical trellis is not possible -- yes I would take it out so it doesn't crumple up the leaves as they grow, but I've heard of setting up an angled/ramp trellis out of stiff wire material like concrete reinforcing wire and hogwire fence. Squash will start growing tendrils after they're bout a foot long and *can* grab on.)

I would pick one to stay and let it grow from the current location. You can "train" them by gently shifting the leaves, using sticks or bamboo stakes pushed into the ground to hold them in place, and by leaning the vine in one way or another, direct the way it grows, though once the vines start to branch, you may run into some trouble, but let's cross that bridge later, shall we?

How big are they? Every reference says squash really doesn't like to be moved, but I suppose you won't lose anything by trying to transplant the other one with PLENTY of soil around it -- i.e. Pick the SMALLER plant to transplant. Have a hole dug for it already where it is to go, then use a big shovel not a trowel, have something like a large shallow tub on hand (I use an old plastic saucer sled for operations like this) so there's no chance of losing the root ball to accidental crumble. If you don't have one, I would line that tub with something a plastic garbage bag so you can easily lift out the rootball. Fill the hole half way with water, then slide that baby into the hole.

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jal_ut
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I think I would let them grow. When they begin to vine, head them toward the trellis. I think you can get them to climb with a little help. Tie them to the trellis if you have to with some srtips of rag. They wouldn't take kindly to being moved. They will start to bloom and have some fruit long before they reach the size of those in my picture.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

crobi13
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What about pollination? Are they self-pollinating? Or will the bees do their part? :?:
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jal_ut
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Squash need an insect pollinator. Do you see bees in your garden?
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crobi13
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Yes, the bees like my garden. I see them every day.
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applestar
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FWIW, Here's Benning's Green Tint pattypan squash and it's starting to "take off" -- very much smaller:
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image7355.jpg[/img]

JoshT
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shaefins wrote:OK, so...what should I do?
I'd let them grow and see what happens. 8)

garden5
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Personally,I think they sound fine where they are. Since summer squash really don't send out a vine (they call their growth habit "bush") you could remove the trellises all together and just let the plants do their thing.
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