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What squash climb the best?

 
steward & bricolagier
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The attempt to draw it out... Very not to scale or exact....

The red arbors standing up against the house wall, one end bends over by just walking it (pink and darker pink)
Yellow ratchet straps, hooks set 4 feet apart, are attached.
We are going to carry it to the green double row of T posts



Me and mom are purple dots, I carry from the inside, she carries the back. It's not heavy, those things are more clumsy than heavy, and the straps fix the clumsiness. It goes easily between the posts. I set my end down in the right spot, and we stand it up onto it's bottom. I adjust the position, then release the bottom strap first, so the force is held by the part of the post at the ground, then the top, which lets it shape into the arbor. Line the next ones up with it, and wire them all together.



This is so easy to do, the north one is inside of a chicken wire fence, we dropped the fence to about 14 inches high, and carried them easily to their spots, stepping over the fence with them.
REALLY worked well. We are both very pleased with how easy it was.

:D
Staff note (Pearl Sutton) :

Better version of this posted in Ergonomics...
https://permies.com/t/161173/purity/Ergonomics-making-cattle-panel-arches

 
pioneer
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I admit up front that I've skipped forward without reading all the posts. Please forgive if this suggestion has already been made.

After you get the structures for the vines to climb, another way to help the fruit stay on the vine would be to support each fruit, maybe with old pantyhose or some other soft, stretchy breathable material you can make a sling with ?? Scroll down to about the 3rd or 4th photo to see what I'm talking about here https://abundantminigardens.com/growing-watermelon-on-trellises/ . Apparently it also works for watermelons!

I like the idea of the cattle panel arched arbor. I will probably do something very similar  when I have the space for multiple winter squash at the same time.
 
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Air potatoes

 
Simon Torsten
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There are these little melons cucumber melons..

had the smarts to grow them in my berms without being sure they were edible first..

They haven't come back yet this hear hope they do.


I got the seeds because I gathered the little melons before hedge trimming a privet hedge.

I just tossed the little melons on my berms and they grew vines the next year.

And little melons....

I wasn't sure you could eat them when I moved them, But climbers are art of the design.....

You could do the same with cucumbers.



 
pollinator
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I am wondering if any one compare watering need for squash going up a trellis vs sprawling on the ground. Winter squashes naturally put out roots at the nodes for water and nutrients. I have a Rouge vif d'Etampes growing on heavy clay and it had been wilting in mid day while others growing on good soil look happy. Young fruits kept aborting too. I put compost underneath each vines and topped with a layer of wood chips. With days it has improved a lot and I saw vigorous new root growth.

My garden area gets 12 hours of full sun even if plants stay low on ground. Different scenario in a shady garden where plants reach up for more sun light. I am just wandering in such a garden, if one let the plants sprawl a bit, burying all the way past the secondary branch, then let them go up. That should make stronger plants and reduce watering.
 
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May Lotito wrote:

Young fruits kept aborting too. I put compost underneath each vines and topped with a layer of wood chips. With days it has improved a lot and I saw vigorous new root growth.

I've had issues at times with fruits aborting, and water stress is a factor. I haven't got specific experience with climbing vs not, but I've done 2 things to help the water issue:
1. I make and plant a "fake-it" olla pot - a terra-cotta pot (which will seep water) with the hole in the bottom plugged and a plate put on top - fill with water as it empties - but this way the roots can access at least a little water in the heat of the day when we don't want to be out watering.
2. I dig a shallow compost hole near them (12 to 18 inches deep and similar across) and try to fill it with lots of wet veggie scraps - things like outer cabbage leaves, carrot tops etc - and any rinse water from the garden. This again adds water under the surface where the squash roots can access it at will and builds soil organic matter at the same time.

Personally, I don't want to over water my squash as they won't keep as well. I'd rather have fewer fruit/plant and have them keep and have dense flesh, than have large, soggy fruit.
 
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yep gourds.... I haven't grown this but sourced this info for our community seed bank data base...   (Lagenaria siceraria); Heirloom;

Technically an edible gourd, Cucuzzi fruits are a staple in Italian kitchens, providing a nutty, rich, firm textured alternative to summer squash. Picked very young (less than an inch in diameter,) it is scrumptious sliced and sautéed, grilled, fried and even pickled. As it lengthens and increases in diameter, it becomes more firm, perfect slow roasted, baked or puréed for soups, sauces and fillings. The larger, harder skinned fruits are yummy halved and stuffed. Foodies know Cucuzzi's leaves and tendrils as tenerumi, featured in pasta preparations and soups.
In addition to its diverse culinary appeal, this robust variety is fun to grow with leaves that are fuzzy soft, white blossoms that attract night pollinators and when left to mature on the vine, elongated 3-4 foot fruits that dry for unique decorations. Cuzuzzi vines are assertive, requiring a strong trellis and management to tame sprawl (or allow to dominate its own space.)
A benefit to me is that Cucuzzi is the only gourd I grow so it is one less variety for me to hand-pollinate for seed purity.
It is easy to turn a mature Cucuzzi into a unique decoration. Leave the gourd on the vine until first frost. Harvest it with at least an inch of stem remaining and store it in a well-ventilated, warm, dry location (if drying multiples, don't allow to touch.) Over time it gets fuzzy - this is okay! Check on it regularly to rotate it and wipe it down gently with a dry cloth. As it fuzzes the skin hardens - the length of time for hardening depends on room conditions. When it has completed hardening, I wipe it once with vinegar to kill the fuzzies and leave it to dry a final time. If soft spots develop, remove the spot for a holed gourd or discard entirely (be sure to harvest the seeds from the hardened parts!) If you plan to harvest gourds, you can influence the shape of the gourd by changing the "pressure" on the growing end - for example fruits that come in contact with the ground begin to bend at the contact point, so you can get creative in bending!

From https://greatlakesstapleseeds.com/products/siceraria-cucuzzi-squash?variant=14618309722154
a-gourdgeous-vertical-garden.jpg
[Thumbnail for a-gourdgeous-vertical-garden.jpg]
 
Pearl Sutton
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Dee Kempson wrote:yep gourds.... I haven't grown this but sourced this info for our community seed bank data base...   (Lagenaria siceraria); Heirloom;

Technically an edible gourd, Cucuzzi fruits are a staple in Italian kitchens, providing a nutty, rich, firm textured alternative to summer squash.

From https://greatlakesstapleseeds.com/products/siceraria-cucuzzi-squash?variant=14618309722154


Ha! Good  on your post. The cucuzzi seeds I planted didn't come up, this morning's task is to finish installing and mulching a cattle panel trellis (16 foot long by 4 foot tall, it'll stand on it's side so it's long but not too tall) and planting cucuzzi and cardinal climber on it. Should be done in a couple of hours I put posts in and dug and enriched the planting areas yesterday.

Thanks for that link, I haven't had time to look up cucuzzi, I'll read that one, looks even more interesting than I thought, I only knew it's edible when small.

 
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Dee Kempson wrote:yep gourds.... I haven't grown this but sourced this info for our community seed bank data base...   (Lagenaria siceraria); Heirloom;
From https://greatlakesstapleseeds.com/products/siceraria-cucuzzi-squash?variant=14618309722154



Yes, Lagenaria gourds are cool. They are used in India as well. They make a nice curry. They are used when they are about one foot to 2.5 feet long. Much tougher than a zucchini and need to be peeled and then cooked for a while, but I like them a lot.

But the photo above is not Lagenaria gourds and not edible gourds in fact. It is ornamental gourds, which are a totally different genus and species. Lagenaria are just pale green while immature and edible, and tan when mature and ready to use as a container. All the African gourd containers you've seen are Lagenaria, and that's why its English name is Bottle gourd.

I think I've read that those ornamental gourds are actually C. pepo, the same species as zucchini, and they are often very bitter so if you grow those ornamental gourds when you are growing zucchini, the seeds can make the next generation inedible. Lagenaria (cucuzzi or bottle gourd) does not have that problem.
 
Dee Kempson
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yes...a pic I found and hence named it  "gourdgeous"... was particularly interested in the structure provided, really...
 
Rebecca Norman
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Dee Kempson wrote:... was particularly interested in the structure provided, really...


True! The thread is about trellising squashes, and that structure is amazing and beautiful with all the fruits hanging down!
 
Pearl Sutton
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Yeah, that's one of my favorite pictures! I have had it in my "garden porn" files since I first saw it a few years ago. It's excellent inspiration!

Edit: Ah HA! Thought I would have posted that in this thread, I DID!!
https://permies.com/t/40/148329/squash-climb#1161453

Love that picture.... Want one... If I ever get married I want it to be under a squash arbor... Any man who would think that was silly isn't anyone I'd marry!
 
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Too late for this season but we've had spectacular luck with tromboncino or rampacante squash climbing on arched cattle panel trellises. It tastes a lot like zucchini or crook neck squash but is maybe a bit drier and it holds it's shape well when cooked. It stir fries, sautés, grills excellently, is good in Italian wedding soup and is wonderful in ratatouille. Grate it for breads/muffins and there is very little excess juice unlike with zucchini. I've thought about making hash brown type fried squash patties but haven't done that yet. We also use it to make sweet and dill relish as our cucumber beetles all carry wilt disease and we've almost given up on having enough cukes to process. The rampacante can be allowed to get big and ripen like a winter squash but we haven't done that either.

I thought maybe I had a photo to attach but I don't surprisingly. One thing: Like other summer squash once it gets happy you will be supplying friends, family and neighbors to the point that they might draw their shades and lock their cars...



 
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For those of you somewhere warm enough, I recommend choko/chayote as an excellent climber. It will happily scramble up fences and trees, and produces a truly massive number of cucumber-tasting squash. You can cook them as summer squash, pickle them, and so on. Seems to be pretty resistant to many pests, practically a weed here!
 
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One of my "Thelma Sanders" vines decided to climb the forsythia bush this year!  She is my favorite squash.

20210911_123329.jpg
Squash Shrub
Squash Shrub
20210906_134701.jpg
Vines
Vines
 
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