My follies with trellising squash

I have been planting Burpee’s hybrid zucchini and butterbush squash for years. This year I decided to trellis the squash to conserve space. The zucchini was easy to tie up to the trellis when the vine was small but as the vine grew wider and stiffer it became more difficult. We had a relatively mild summer storm and this photo is of the top of one vine that had broken off of one of the plants. What broke off was about 1 ½” of the tip of the vine with about 2-3 small leaves and blossoms. I had hoped the plant would start a new branch but it eventually died.

Both zucchini plants had a problem with the leaves in back buckling and falling forward over the tip of the vine and damaging the new blossoms. I had to be vigilant at removing them from that area.


The clincher is, the plants were growing approximately the same place as last years non trellised squash. Last year the squash grew across the pathway and up against the next bed. This year the trellised squash leaves grew with in 3-4” of the adjoining bed, so I only saved 3-4” of space.


The Butterbush squash were planted about 10” in front of the trellis and a dowel rod placed from the plant base to the trellis. It was easy to tie the vines to the dowels.


It became obvious that the vines did not want to grow north although there was plenty of sun. In this photo you can see about four times the growth toward the south as there is to the north. I decided to let them go where they wanted and sacrificed the onions planted to the south of them.


The vines are dieing back and the squash are ripening. There will be about 25 squash, enough for my wife and me but not very many to give away. This is the same area that the squash grew in last year in a conventional hill planting and I will be doing a comparison post about last years yield to this years SFG style of gardening. As usual, all comments are welcome. John


Categories: Square Foot Gardening | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “My follies with trellising squash

  1. As much as I loved the Waltham butternut I planted this year, I didn’t love those 20-30 foot vines. I see your Butterbush takes up much less room.

    I planted a hill of zucchini up close to the fence, and it does the same as yours. It bends and breaks where it hits the fence, and I’m really not saving any space.


  2. jbest123

    Hi Granny, when the family were all home we grew the butternut also. To me the butter-bush has the identical flavor and texture and is the perfect size for two.


  3. Mariposa

    Love your square foot garden!!! I needed a bit more visual help when doing this square foot thing, purchased
    4 plastic 12 inch rulers, bolted together to make a square…kinda helps me in placing things EXACTLY 12 inches apart
    ( on the bigger stuff)…
    What sort of backer boards did you utilize with your squash?? From the photo I’m not sure if I’m seeing wood or hardee plank… If untreated wood ( which is what I would assume you might use) how long does that last for you in your climate?


  4. jbest123

    Its untreated wood and I don’t know for sure but I hope 4-5 yeard. John


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