Ive always been told with the vining types to plant in hill 2 to 3 plants per hill. But my packet instruction say to thin to 1 per hill. How do you prefer to do it? It makes sense with the bush varieties but what do i know.
I am weird but I plant them in rows. I always leave the last 20 feet of my garden for the vining things and let them go crazy. I germinate the seeds inside the house in wet paper towels in ziploc baggies. I plant the seeds about 12 inches apart in the rows and my rows are 4 feet apart. I let all the winter squashes and gourds intermingle when they vine out and I've gotten great yields ( except for sweet dumplings and delicatas)
The hill method never worked for me because I have severely clay soil and when I would water, it didn't penetrate and ran off the mound LOL! Now I make my rows a little recessed and the water and fertilizer stays where I want it to.
My soil is very sandy and dries out fast. Like Lori, I go down rather than up: I dig out some sand/soil, throw on lots of compost and whatever else I have around, sling an old tyre over the spot as a heat-sink, plant a couple of seeds, water heavily, pile on a ridiculous amount of mulch, keeping the seeds clear-ish.
I'm pretty confident using the tyres is a bad idea toxin-wise *shrug*
I use hills, leaving two vines. That way, if pests or disease get one, the other might survive.
I find that it really doesn't make a lot of difference in the yield. Two vines sharing a hill will produce fewer fruits apiece, a single vine, more. The definitive factor is the growing area.
I don't do vining squash, but I do bush squash and vining melons both in wide rows. I put them in the center of the bed spaced one plant at a time at the appropriate spacing. With our high humidity here, I prefer to give plants room to have good airflow.
Thanks for this topic! i also have been confused on 'hills' and have even heard at least one place that a 'hill' is not mounded ground, but just a spot where you sow multiple seeds...why is that called a hill then - idk.....in the beginning - I did the hills but was always frustrated that the packet said "hills" but didn't say something like 6" high and 10" wide, or 2" high and 5" wide or whatnot. When I did the hills, they all washed away with watering or rain before seedling emergency - so what's the point?
i just did 2 seeds experimentally in one of raised beds, and they are up - well at least one as of my morning peeking... it is that "Trombetta di Albenga" seed my first try at it, and i am beyond excited - 1 to sample it's tasty goodness.
I planted 2 before i read the instructions carefully, which said to sow 3- 4 seed 1" apart and thin to strongest seedling, having the next group 12 inches apart.
Did only 2 because i didn't want to potentially waste 3-4 seeds on this early planting fraught with the unknown temps ahead, but I am not a thinner nature.
1 - what a waste of seeds! i will only save seeds from the best plants of course (just a notice at this so far, and certainly not up to the complexity of curcubit seed saving). If a plant is truly performing subpar, you can take it out at any time, but to decide which is best at 7-10 days old - well one of the seeds cracked at day 3 instead of day 6 so it's bigger....not sure if that is a recommendation for it beyond a fast germinator.
2 - I know i'm a little nuts - but i feel some sense of responsibility to these things I have called into life. Nursing and fussing and coaxing them to live, I can't just cut them down as they emerge....I'd much rather plant the seeds for the number of plants I want, and then replant where there are holes. that's generally just 2 weeks or so, and give a bit of succession planting into the timeline (which i'm always not doing, lol.....I never saw a space i didn't fill to capacity with available seed, and then wonder where I'm going to plant the rest of the garden, lol!)
Anyhoo - so I've been doing it flat seeding, no thinning, with good results.
I had an early yellow crookneck last year, planted 3 seeds, they all popped up, and went their separate ways, one e one s one w and it ended up taking up 1/2 of a 4x8 bed. Lots of produce!
Did the same thing with a white scallop in another bed - only 2 came up, they got mad at each other and 1 went n and 1 went south, good yields and ds' fav summer squash so far!
My biggest problem is NOT giving them enough space because in early spring I cannot conceive of how big they are going to get!