How to Prune Squash Leaves

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Squash plants in the garden often grow quite large as the summer progresses. When the leaves on squash plants become extremely large, you may notice that they create an overabundance of shade on the developing squash fruits. If you prune squash leaves to remove them from the plants, you achieve two goals. You open up the plant to allow more sunlight and air to hit the squash and you can also help the plants redirect energy toward producing more vegetables.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Bucket
  • Remove any yellowed or brown leaves by clipping them off with the pruning shears. Cut these leaves off near the base of the plant whenever you find them. Collect the leaves in the bucket and discard them.

  • Cut off the largest green leaves from the squash plants after the plant sets at least four squash. Use the pruning shears to remove the leaves and stems near the base and place the leaves in the bucket. Remove only two or three leaves on each plant -- just enough to increase sunlight and air circulation to the interior of the plant.

  • Prune the squash vine to control the growth. Find the point on the vine where the last squash grows. Look past this squash to find two or three leaf nodes, which are the points where leaves grow. Cut off the vine at the third or fourth leaf node past the last squash.

Tips & Warnings

  • Squash vines and leaves can make a savory side dish. Cut the greens coarsely and saute them for a few minutes in olive oil with onions and garlic. Season the greens to taste.

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References

  • "The New York Times 1000 Gardening Questions & Answers"; Leslie Land; 2003
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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