This experiment will either be a colossal win or a colossal fail.
I found this video on Youtube (linked below) where a gardner had set up a wooden trellis on her raised beds for her squash, cucumbers and melons. I really liked the set up, and how efficient it was. It was really inspirational!
I already had a spot and plan for my cucumbers and melons, but I didn’t have one for my winter squash. I wanted to try something like this for my winter squash, but I am still working on my garden planning year-to-year, and I don’t want to build something permanent just yet. I didn’t know how I will be rotating crops in the future, and I wanted to be able to have something I could put anywhere.
What I decided on was using 1″ pvc pipes cut to 4′ x 8′, with some metal fencing I already had on hand attached with zip ties. I painted the piping black to protect it from the UV rays and degradation. I had used 1″ pvc for trellising my tomatoes, so I thought it might work for this too. But, it may be too light weight and not be able to handle the load. I really am concerned about it, but the pvc pipes holding up my tomatoes are doing it. Either a win or fail, like I said, but I believe it will work, at least for this year.
I drove steel stakes into the beds, and positioned them at either end of my 4′ x 12′ bed. I had already planted Blue Hubbard and Butternut winter squash, which has been growing very nicely. One other thing I could add to the trellis is some some support along the top, like the gardener in the video, but I think it might cause them to lean.
Above is the Blue Hubbard with a bit of powdery mildew that I am battling with Liqui-Cop. It is just at that stage where the leader vine is starting to take off and develop tendrils, so I am glad I got this completed over the weekend.
Below is the bed of corn and spaghetti squash I had posted about earlier, and the squash is getting really aggressive in it’s growth and straining to grow out of the bed at the bottom…
and the top of the bed!
It is still trying to pull my corn down, and I have to keep redirecting down into the walkway between the beds. These type of winter squash would do very well on a trellis rather than along the ground, and it would be much more efficient.
Here is some of the squash already on the vine.
And this big boy here – I am not sure what it is! I planted only spaghetti squash in this bed, so it should be light skinned like the others. This dark green skin is a mystery. I can’t think what other volunteer it could be…. a quick Google search tells me other people have spaghetti squash this color. So, I will chill out and just watch and see. It is definitely not like the others.