Question about vining squash

dixielib(z6/7 Ga)August 17, 2008

Hi, I have always planted "bush" type summer squash...this was the year of their revenge. I have two crook neck squash 10 feet in diameter, the other 6 feet in diameter. With only 4 4 x 12 beds...they took up alot of room for the veggies they produced. Next year I would like to plant vining types I can train up a trellis but have never seen seeds for these. Tell me about them, please. Are their leaves as big as the bush variety? How tall do they grow? Anything else I need to know?

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Beeone(4 N. Wyo.)

Never seen a vining summer squash i.e. zucchini or crookneck. All the vining types I've seen have been winter squash, some of which can be had as bush types.

My experience with vining and bush type winter squash is that the vining types grow lower to the ground since they spread out on vines, and the leaves are just as big. If you trained them up a trellis, you may need to use slings to support the fruit as it grows.

The size of your summer squash sounds like you have good, healthy plants. If they are too large, you can prune them back.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 1:47AM
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'Tromboncino' is a vining summer squash and 'Black Forest' is a zucchini that climbs but the vines aren't as long as 'Tromcocino'. Bush varieties are grown for their compactness, a vining variety will take up much more space than a bush variety. The leaves are just as big with vining varieties as they are with bush varieties. The only difference, in terms of growth habit, is that the length of the internode is greater in vining squash. In general, a the main vine of a healthy vining squash will easily reach 20 - 25 feet (or many more feet depending on what you plant), with multiple secondaries going out around 12 feet.

Have you ever grown vining squash before? In general they take up tons of room and will 'devour' anything planted near them. You can stake the bush varieties to grow vertically, which will cause them to spread less. This year I staked my summer squash but they were still 4 or 5 feet in diameter. I consider that to be VERY compact. Staking them is easy to do, just put in a stake a few inches away from where you plant your seed or transplant. Then as your squash grows you can tie the stem to the stake.

Also if you had big lush plants with few fruit chances are you used too much nitrogen in your fertilizer.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 1:38PM
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dixielib(z6/7 Ga)

Hi, Beeone and Weirdtrev, thanks for the replies. Weirdtrev, you have given me alot to think about. I think staking my squash is the solution. I have never had squash do like these do...usually they stay fairly confined with new leaves and the fruit staying pretty much in the center of the plant. These sent off "vines" almost 1" in diameter. I can't prune because the new leaves and fruit are forming on the distal ends of these vines. The leaves in the center of the plant are yellow and dying so I will need to cover it with straw, I guess, to keep the moisture in where the roots are. We are getting tons of squash...all the energy of the plant isn't going to the leaves. I don't fertilize my beds, they are filled with compost, coffee grinds with filters, leaves, straw...anything I can find that will break down. I had picked up the seeds from a seed rack, they were just labeled as "crookneck squash" with not much additional information. I have a good many of the seeds left over, may see if they will germinate next year. The flavor is great, they are tender even when one hides and gets bigger that I like.

I was hoping to find a squash with the characteristics of cukes but guess there isn't such a critter.

Thanks again for the advice...Susan

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 6:42AM
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Tromboncino and cucuzzi are fabulous vining squashes - I enjoy them very much and also have bush varieties of squash. They stay on whatever trellis I give them. The thing is you have to keep the growing tip tucked where you want it, otherwise it will find its way onto your other plants/growing areas and take over the garden. The top of a long fence is a good trellis for vining squashes, if you happen to have that arrangement. They are worth the trouble because SVB does not bother these types - a huge plus.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 10:59AM
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seanter(z5 MA)

I trained two of my acorn squash vines to grow on a trellis I built out of 1/2" conduit and trellis netting (got the instructions from newest Square Foot Gardening book). The trellis is 5' high and 3' wide, and I planted the squash in a row at the back of my garden that was 1' deep and 3' wide. It was great to see the squash developing off the ground. You just need to check the vines regularly and very carefully weave them through the trellis netting. It worked out so well that I'll definitely be doing this again next year.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 7:48AM
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I have found a vining squash from my compos pile, that has large long runners-10 to 15 ft. large leaves 15 to 20 inches in diamter, with stripped dark green lines through the fruit, otherwise a light green rounded fruit. This fruit has the same type of leave structures as Zucchini, but larger, please help ?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 1:26PM
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