Supporting Zucchini/Squash in containers

ribbit32004July 24, 2008

How do you support your zuccini or crooknecked squash in containers? I was using tomato cages, but I had to remove them as the leaves kept bending over and breaking and all of the flowers were getting squeezed out and not opening all of the way so the bees couldn't get to them. (I know it sounds strange, but I watched them give up this morning.) Now, that tuft that was growing through the cage can't support itself and is flopped over. Looking for an easy fix, preferably something I may have lying around the house. I have some wood pieces and yarn that I could use, but I'm worried about puncturing roots as well as winding up in the same situation as before as the yarn would have to go around the plant.

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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

How about placing the containers on something high up and letting the plants hang downwards? Or next year going for bush zucchini varieties that don't vine?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 5:25PM
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ribbit32004

These are the bushing type with no vines....not that I realized that when I bought them and hence the tomato cage. Big mistake. They just have one shoot with no root of it's own since it was suppoted by the cage and it's larger than the main root and falling over. I tried to support it with more soil and so far that seems to be working. Any idea if there is a way to make that section root?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 9:28PM
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weirdtrev

One stake near the base of the plant or two stakes (one on either side) further away is all you need. You absolutely should not wrap the leaves when you tie up the plant. You only tie the vine to the stake not the entire plant. What you do is stick a piece of string in to the center of the plant wrap it around the vine and come back out of the plant in roughly the same place you went in, avoid wrapping around any leaves. Just let the leaves spread out and do what they want only support the vine in the center of the plant.

Personally I use limbs from my butterfly bushes that I cut off in late winter. They alway produce an abundance of branches that are very straight and 3 or 4 feet long. They are perfect for stakes.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 10:28PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

I am now having trouble envisaging this plant. If it is a non vining bush plant (which is the sort I grow) why does it need support? Mine just grow leaves from a central stem and do not have vines at all. They just sit on the ground and produce their fruit and leaves. They will only produce roots from the single central stem so you can earth that up a bit to hold it steady.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 12:00PM
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opal52(z7b GA)

Flora_UK,

I'm growing a "bush" type zucchini this year. Mine are in ground, but if it were in a container, I could see that it would need support. I took a photo to help explain. The new fruit grows at the end of the plant to the left. It is rooted in only one place, at the beginning of the plant on the right hand side of the photo. Although is is a bush type plant and supposed to be suitable for small urban gardens or containers, it has grown to be a large plant and looks to me like a shorter version of a regular zucchini plant. The bush plants I'm growing have a "non" vine that is about 1-1/2 ft so far. They take up much more space than was advertised for the mature plant. But the zucchinis are good, so no complaints :~).

Ribbit32004, does you plant look something like this? Just curious.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 1:20PM
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ribbit32004

Yes, except for the fact that it grew straight up instead of horizontally because I had it trapped in that tomato cage....Flora, I didn't know it wasn't vining when I planted it. Stupid new gardener thing to do, I know.

Anyway, since it was growing straight up, the flowers were getting crowded out and would bloom, but didn't have room to properly open. I removed the cage and backfilled the now falled vine with soil to "prop" it up a bit. So far, seems to be working, but I don't know if it will space itself out. We'll see.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 3:23PM
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