Out-of-control squash

September 13, 2010 | By | Comments (6)

Remember the potato towers? The area looked really bare when I first built them in April. We thought a little greenery in the understory might look nice around the reed screens, so we planted a planted two winter squash thinking they would fill in the space.


Picture 1

See them? They look like sweet little puffs of green on either side of the front towers.


Well, they grew….


Picture 3


And grew (and grew, and grew, and grew). Now I have this mess:


Picture 6


The potato towers have long been harvested, and now that entire area is just a mass of green. We’ve had to actually cut the plants back several times (something I’ve never done before) to prevent them from devouring that tiered planting bed you see on the right. The plants didn’t even care! They are the most vigorous squash plants I’ve ever seen!


Picture 7


Here you can see how they’ve climbed up the trellis filled with drying beans (leftover from the hummingbird garden) and are actually producing squash hanging on the trellis.

They’re unbelievable! Winter squash isn’t ready until the vine actually dies. These plants seem a far way off from that point — they are still flowering and producing new squash! When will it end? This is the test garden, and I’ve got new gardens in the works!


  1. Susan W. Mingee

    I’m having a hard time getting compost bins that I can keep up with. I’ve purchased two really big tomato cages & have a lot of landscape fabric to tie around the inside of them. the thought is…to start w/composted soil, poke holes in the fabric, add plants all thru the tower for spring bloom. Thru the winter I’m hopefully going to fill the center of the tower w/scraps & soil or manure to settle down as the base of my growing medium. I do need help as I’m old but not giving up on composting..

    August 25, 2013 at 8:17 am
  2. Sarina

    Young squash leaves and tendrils are edible and delicious. Here in South Africa they are cooked like spinach, or steamed with a bit of onion, tomato and, optionally, a handful of peanuts.

    September 18, 2010 at 8:55 pm
  3. Johanna

    Ha! Thanks. That makes me smile. It always feels like quite an adventure indeed….

    September 14, 2010 at 7:34 pm
  4. Jason L.

    That’s awesome. I love reading your adventures in gardening…

    September 14, 2010 at 3:40 am
  5. Johanna

    Yes. Winter squash is confusing in that way — we think “winter” and we think we can plant it later. But the time to plant it, believe it or not, is late spring/early summer. There’s always next year. Or hey — I’ll share some of mine with you!

    September 13, 2010 at 6:59 pm
  6. Kimberly

    Ohmy. I guess it’s too late to plant my winter squash in the Bay Area then?

    September 13, 2010 at 6:19 pm

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