Question about pruning zucchini plants

smonky(6 Western NY)June 20, 2007

I know its not good to lop off a whole stem from a zucchini plant. But w hat about just trimming back some of the large leaves in a U shape and leaving a smaller leaf.

Would this hurt the plant?

I guess I planted too closely and my zukes are overtaking a few other things that were too closeby.

I dont want to chop off the whole arm of the zucchini becaue I dont want to invite SVB.

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whynotmi(5/6)

Is it possible for you to train them upwards on a trellis or teepee? Not sure what your layout is and if it's a potential solution. I've attached a thread about growing squashes on supports.

Cheers

Here is a link that might be useful: vertical squash

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 11:26AM
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smonky(6 Western NY)

Yeah, but the zucchini is close to the center of one of my garden spaces. And putting up a trellis there would be too close to other plants I think.
Im growing my melons, tomatoes and cukes on a trellis system similar to the one Mel Bartholemew uses.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 11:28AM
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lelia(Northern Cal)

I've planted zukes too close together, and they don't seem to suffer at all from pruning. In fact, I generally prune all my squashes, especially the vining ones like winter squashes, because they don't always grow in the direction I want them to. I've also grown zukes too close together and not pruned them, and that works too (come to think of it, I always end up planting them too close). We don't seem to have SVB around here, so I couldn't tell you how pruning would affect that.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 12:27PM
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stacey_l

I always plant mine too close to. No matter how many times I expand my garden I run out of room. I've let them just grow all over each other. It doesn't look pretty and it makes it a little harder to harvest, but it doesn't seem to hurt the plants any. But then we don't have SVB either.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 2:29PM
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smonky(6 Western NY)

Its not that I planted the zucchini too close to other zukes, it's that I planted the zukes too close to other plants.
It's overtaking my broccoli :(

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 2:37PM
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stacey_l

Ah, okay. I always lose a few plant to that issue too! Wish I knew what to tell you. I just overplant so badly anyway that I let it go. I'd probably end up pulling out whichever plant I would prefer to lose based on how many I had in my garden.
Stacey

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 2:40PM
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orangeblood(7)

I asked a question a few weeks ago about cutting off entire stems, and after a little research it's my understanding that:

1. The SVB does not need you to give him an opening. If he's around he'll get in there naturally.

2. Trimming a stem or two won't harm the plant (though certainly it won't help the yield any).

I, too, had plans to train the squash up a stake or trellis, but discovered I have the bush (not vine) varieties. So that idea is out the window.

I cut two stems off each of my squash plants. But they've still grown so much that they are on top of other veggies. I wound up putting a round protector made out of chicken wire around my eggplant, and the squash seems content to just grow around it. :-)

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 3:43PM
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Violet_Z6(6a)

I know its not good to lop off a whole stem from a zucchini plant. But w hat about just trimming back some of the large leaves in a U shape and leaving a smaller leaf.
Would this hurt the plant?
I guess I planted too closely and my zukes are overtaking a few other things that were too closeby.

I dont want to chop off the whole arm of the zucchini becaue I dont want to invite SVB.

It's fine. Feel free to take off up to 1/3 of the older foliage around the plant. Squash Vine Borers don't need an invitation and will consume the plant whether you cut stems off or not if they want to.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 11:02AM
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