If you have grown squash (Cucurbita spp.), you know that its vine has a tendency to keep growing and growing, reminding you of those classic Energizer bunny commercials. If space is limited, that thriving squash plant can take over the entire garden area or grow into your well-manicured lawn. If garden-fresh squash is on your gardening agenda, learn a few tricks to keep the vine under control. Use just one or two control methods and you can enjoy not just the squash, but the rest of your vegetables this year as well.
Things You'll Need
- Cloth or twine
Grow squash plants in front of a trellis, spacing the plants at least 2 to 4 feet apart. As the vines grow, check on them every three to four days. Encourage the plants as necessary to grow up the trellis by lifting them and tying them loosely with cloth or twine, or by weaving them through the openings.
Insert a stake into the ground about 2 feet from the base of the plant. Lift and turn the vine to grow around the stake. Then, move the stake 2 or 3 feet away, along an imaginary circle around the base of the plant. Lift the vine again as it grows to grow around the stake. Continue to move the stake and lift the vine to grow around it, forming a spiral around the base of the plant. Do this for each squash plant so it grows in circles rather out toward the rest of your garden on yard.
Wait for your squash vine to produce fruits that are about 4 to 6 inches long, and select the healthiest one on each branch of the vine to keep. Remove the others, and pinch off any other new fruits that form and their branches. This process keeps a squash vine from growing endlessly throughout the growing season.
Plant squash in a sturdy 5- to 10-gallon pot. Then, as the vine grows, lift the vines to grow around the container in spirals. This works well on a patio or another area where space is limited. Grow one or two vines per pot.
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