How To Grow Butternut Squash In Small Space – Growing squash vertically seemed impossible – until I tried! This method of growing squash is easy and beautiful!
When I started gardening, I loved square feet of gardening. My mother used this method when I was growing up. He gave each of us a plot and all I wanted was straw. I remember they installed runners and completely covered every square inch. I do not care!
How To Grow Butternut Squash In Small Space
As an adult, I still loved the teachings of Mel Bartholomew. I loved the deep action that kept the weeds down. And I liked his way of using vertical space.
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One of the most exciting things about gardening is learning new ways to get great produce from a small space. A good way to do this is to train the squash to grow rather than tending the garden.
Squash is often grown on hillsides and then the vines run across the ground. While this is great if you have acres and acres of land, most of us have small garden areas and don’t want to dedicate several square feet to just one plant.
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There are many benefits to growing vertically! It takes up less space, you can see the cut, it protects the fruit, and it’s more beautiful.
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As we discussed above, planting a garden vertically takes up very little space. Most people do it for the same reason. If you plant some kind of trellis, you can plant one squash per foot. On the other hand, when it goes to the ground, the same squash will take up several square feet of your garden.
Pruning the squash helps provide nutrients to the fruit on the main vine. This is especially helpful if you live in a climate like mine in zone 6 – the seasons are short! We need to ripen the fruits as soon as possible in the short heat zone.
By pruning, you can allow the plant to focus on growing and ripening existing fruits that don’t have time to ripen, rather than wasting nutrients to set new ones.
Squash usually sits on the ground for a long time. Keeping the squash upright keeps it off the ground. Insects can attack your prized fruit when it sits on the ground for so long, so it helps to keep it bite-free.
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The fruit will be more beautiful as the squash grows less. It is more beautiful because sitting in the dirt doesn’t change its color or shape. This is especially important if you are using them for fall decorations.
In addition, your garden looks more beautiful! There’s something about seeing a squash hanging over an arch, or dangling from a trellis. It’s interesting and adds visual interest to your garden.
As I’ve been talking about, many winter squashes can be grown directly. You can’t grow Hubbard squash or large pumpkins this way. This puts too much pressure on the shaft and it can fall.
However, pie pumpkin, kabocha, butternut, delicata, buttercup, acorn and many smaller winter squashes can be grown this way without much trouble!
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You can use cattle panels that are attached to the ground with a post as you can see here. You can also use the square foot garden method of PVC pipe and nylon netting in this way.
My favorite way to grow squash vertically is to build a kettle panel trellis arch. I’ll show you how to do this in a future post! But here’s a before and after picture and I love how it makes the garden look!
Squash does not rise completely on its own. It needs some help, so you have to put in some effort. However, as thistles are free to have in your garden, it only takes 10 minutes to visit your garden every day to care for them.
The reason you want to keep doing this every few days is because the vines get thicker and stronger over time. Young vines are very hardy. You can easily tie them into a trellis. But as they get older, they get deeper and when you try to get them in, they often break. So do a little each day and you’ll be able to stick with it without making it difficult.
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I go into my garden every morning with my coffee. When I do, I look at what has grown since the previous day, pull out the weeds, and train my vines straight. It only takes a few minutes and it’s great to be in the garden with the morning sunlight and the dew still on the plants.
A squash plant can grow that big in a day. This is Ghent! After the summer heat, you will find that you will have new growth every day that you can follow.
Just take those tender new vines and weave them in and out of the trellis. I try to spread them out so they take up the whole space. At this point, you can also see where to cut the couple’s shoes while they are still young.
Another thing you can do at this stage is take the small squash and pull them through the trellis until they are inside. I had one at the top last year that I forgot to draw and it was a bear to harvest!
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Squash plants send out tendrils that hold the trellis firmly in place and keep them going. It’s really amazing! I usually need to use any of my t-shirt ties when I first tie the plant to the lower trellis when it is young. Tendrils do all the work for me!
I love straightening summer squash! I wrote a whole blog post about how I grow my zucchini this way. It’s very easy! Zucchini has a very thick stem. This makes it almost impossible to build a trellis like I do for winter squash. But the method I shared in my post shows a good way to grow zucchini vertically.
Melons can also be grown directly! I probably wouldn’t grow a watermelon this way, because like a big squash it puts a lot of weight on the stem.
But personal sized watermelons can be grown this way as well as regular watermelons. Because cantaloupe stems are a bit thinner than winter squash, you can throw them out to catch them if you think they’re in danger of falling over before they’re ripe.
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We absolutely love growing pole beans! Not only is it a lot of fun to look at, but it also takes up less space! In this photo, we had 25 plants growing on a teepee. He gave us a lot of food!
Cucumbers can also be grown on cattle panel trellises, or PVC pipe and nylon net trellises. They can also work in animal panel arcs between your squash!
When you grow vertically, you can plant the plants together as you plant them and the vines go down to the ground. I grow about a foot on either side of the trellis and have no problems. With this interval they are likely to get enough nutrition. Butternut squash plants are a type of winter squash. Unlike other summer squashes, it is best eaten after reaching the ripe fruit stage when the skins become thick and hard. It is a good source of complex carbohydrates and fiber as well as potassium, niacin, beta-carotene and iron. It stores well without refrigeration or canning and if cared for properly, each vine will produce 10 to 20 squash. Growing butternut squash in the home garden is easy and rewarding if you follow a few basic steps.
The butternut squash growing season begins when all danger of frost has passed and the soil is well warmed by the sun, about 60 to 65 degrees F (15-18 cm) 4 inches (10 cm) deep. Butternut squash plants are very tender. Plants will freeze with light frosts, and seeds will only germinate in warm soil.
Growing Butternut Squash In Containers And Pots
Like other vine vegetables, butternut squash cultivation begins on the hillside. Dig your garden soil into a hole about 18 inches (46 cm) deep. This allows the soil around the seeds and roots to warm up. Your soil should be well-amended and well-fertilized because butternut squash plants are heavy feeders. Plant five or six seeds per hill about 4 inches (10 cm) apart and 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep. Keep the soil moist, but not wet. The seeds germinate in about 10 days. When they are about 6 inches (15 cm) tall, thin out the weakest, leaving three plants on each hill.
Butternut squash has a growing season of about 110-120 days to mature fruit, so if
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