Greengardenfaerie
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Planting summer squash, garden layout

Hi I'm very new to vegetable gardening. I actually haven't even planted anything in my garden yet but I did go out and buy some plants today. I'm getting a little nervous about planning my garden space. I bought A LOT of squash! Zucchini, yellow crookneck squash, and spaghetti squash. I also bought some eggplant. I've been reading that planting zucchini and yellow squash near each other can be bad bc of cross pollination. My question is how should I go about planning my garden layout? How much space should I put between each of the plants? Can I plant them all in one area or would it be best to plant them in separate areas all over the yard? (my yard is about an acre) I also read planting beans with squash can help. What kind of beans or peas would you guys recommend planting next to my squash? Again I'm really sorry. This is all brand new to me but I want to start planting as soon as possible! I also have some peppers, tomatoes, and okra. I'm not sure if planting any of those near the squash would be good. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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!potatoes!
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Re: Planting summer squash, garden layout

if you're not going to be saving seed from the squashes, you don't need to worry about cross-pollination - that will only affect the offspring of these plants. where are you located? hard to give other advice (kinds of beans, etc) without that info.

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jal_ut
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Re: Planting summer squash, garden layout

Planting squash. The crooknecks and zucchini have vines that get to about 4 feet long. I like to plant 5 seeds in a spot then take two steps and plant 5 more etc. They come up and the vines go out like the spokes of a wheel making a nice big squash patch. Hubbards, banana, and spaghetti squash have vines that keep on growing. they can run 12 feet to the fence then climb the fence. You can move the vines to run around in a circle or just prune them off about 8 feet long. Any way, point is you have to give them some room.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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jal_ut
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Re: Planting summer squash, garden layout

About companion plantings. I have always said: "Give each plant its own space and enough space and you will succeed!"
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Planting summer squash, garden layout

So you are somewhere in the deep South? Or Mexico? Squash, okra, and eggplants are hot weather crops. Most of the US, it is too early for them. Peppers and tomatoes are warm weather crops. Where I am in No. Georgia it is still too early for them. All of them would be killed if you have any possibility of frost yet.
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imafan26
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Re: Planting summer squash, garden layout

Please update your profile with your location. If you live in zone 9-13, and your garden center were selling the seedlings, it is probably fine to plant them now. Most of those plants like day temperatures in the 70-80 range. They are big plants and do need the space to spread. Cross pollination as Jal-ut says is not a problem as long as you are not saving the seeds. You will have to be on the lookout for squash bugs and other insects since they are in the same family they will be attacked by the same insects.
Eggplant is a small shrub. In frost free areas it is a perennial that lives anywhere from 3-8 years. Most of the time, I pull the eggplant when production drops. It will grow about 3-5 ft high and has a similar spread.
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applestar
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Re: Planting summer squash, garden layout

Don't get ahead of yourself -- first decide where you want to locate your vegetable garden. Think about sun exposure, access to water, storage shed, etc. Note the way rainwater drains. You don't want to choose a low-lying waterlogged area. Do you tend to have lots of rain or drought during the growing season?

Summer squash and eggplants are both heavy feeders and will need well-prepared garden bed to grow in.
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Greengardenfaerie
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Re: Planting summer squash, garden layout

Yes, I'm sorry I'll update my profile! I'm from North Louisiana so the weather is warm and wet here and our backyard goes down to the bayou. No worry about frost. We've done some more research and tilled an 8x10 space next to our storage shed to do a three sisters garden with corn, pole beans and yellow crookneck squash. We were thinking about tilling up another separate plot to plant our eggplant and peppers.

imafan26
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Re: Planting summer squash, garden layout

I keep eggplant in a pot. It does well in an 18 gallon or 20 inch pot and takes up less space than in the garden.
I have only grown bush type zucchini and crookneck squash they take up a 36 inch circle. The vining squashes need room to run. I let them run on a trellis, fence or out of the garden space. If I have more than one vine I let them sprawl on top of each other. Some vines need a lot of space as they can get 50 ft long so you will have to spend some time coralling them. Mine like to climb the trees so I have to constantly be pulling them down otherwise they would cover everything.

Most warm season vegetables like to be in full sun. Make sure your garden gets at least 6 hours of full sun. 8x10 is a good space. Plant the corn first. I wait to plant the beans until the corn is about 3 ft high. I do agree with James that the squash is best allowed an open space to sprawl otherwise it might decide to climb up the corn. Bush squash would have to be planted on the outside of the corn unless you are leaving 36 inch rows between the corn. I don't because my garden is small and the corn takes up all of the space so my corn is spaced 8-12 inches all the way around.
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Dirt
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Re: Planting summer squash, garden layout

Greengardenfaerie wrote: We've done some more research and tilled an 8x10 space next to our storage shed to do a three sisters garden with corn, pole beans and yellow crookneck squash.
Use caution here. When the Native Americans grew Three Sisters, they were using Dent Corn or other large, strong stalk. Their corn diet wasn't eaten on the ear like we do, but dried and ground into meal for bread. If you want to grow Three Sisters, you will need to grow a type of corn with a stalk that can support the beans (which will pull down the small thin stalks on most sweet corn), or you can grow sweet corn and stake the stalks and beans for support.

I grew a modified Three Sisters last year using staked sweet corn and yellow crook neck. It was moderately successful, just bear in mind you have some heavy feeders there.

If you want to be authentic, Burpee is selling a squash called 'Lakota', a recreation of an old Indian winter squash. I'm going to give them a shot this year, but won't be doing Three Sisters.

https://www.burpee.com/vegetables/squash ... 00936.html

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imafan26
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Re: Planting summer squash, garden layout

Corn is a heavy nitrogen feeder and beans are a good succession crop. I plant too closely to plant anything else with the corn so I can maximize the number of corn plants in the space. I plant 8-12 inches all around. I can plant up to three successive corn crops but I follow the corn with a nutrient scavenger like Asian greens in the fall. If I do plant legumes for nitrogen fixing, I have to inoculate the beans. I have grown cowpeas as a cover crop and nitrogen fixer and that could be grown with the corn if the corn is spaced at least 12 inches apart. Cowpeas don't do a lot of climbing so they should not pull down the stalks. If they are grown for the pods they don't fix as much nitrogen.

If you are trying to start an organic garden, it takes a while to prep it. It does take about 3 years for it to get up to speed. You may have a good soil to start with and can get away with a decent crop the first time out, but it is better to put the time into really preparing the beds well for the long run. Add the compost and manure and build the soil. Organic prep is usually better started 2-6 months before. Cover crops like buckwheat and cowpeas add green manure to help the sucessive crop. It is better to start with low nitrogen feeders. You will have to supplement an organic garden weekly with organic fertilizer, AACT, or fish emulsion to get enough nitrogen to support the growth of young plants.

Low-demand Vegetables
Arugula, beans, beets, carrots, chicory, collard greens, endive, escarole, fava beans, herbs (most kinds), kale, parsnip, peas, Swiss chard
Medium-demand Vegetables
Artichoke, basil, cilantro, sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, lettuce, okra, peppers (small-fruited), potatoes, pumpkin, radish, rutabaga, scallions, squash, tomatoes, watermelon, zucchini
High-demand Vegetables
Asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cantaloupe/honeydew, cauliflower, celery/celeriac, kohlrabi, leeks, onions, peppers (large-fruited), spinach, turnips
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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