Thursday, June 24, 2010

The State of my Squash

Before I give a report about my squash plants, here's what I picked out of the garden last night.
Those tomatoes are from the stupice plants. The heirloom. These are the first two we've picked and I don't know what I was expecting them to taste like, but they just tasted like really good tomatoes. They were really hearty and meaty and incredibly juicy. We sliced them and ate them with dinner, sprinkled with salt and pepper. (this was our 4th squash)

Because I got a request on to the state of the squash:

First, I should say that Mel would be disappointed to see how closely together I planted our squash. He recommends that 1 squash plant take up TWO squares. (you cut or remove the middle divider) I have 4 squash in 4 (almost 5) squares. The left most squash has started to grow into the vacated square beside it. It definitely makes me wonder how big they would get if they had more room to expand.

The reason they're like that is because I planted extra seeds. The "just in case" one doesn't survive, it's ok. There's another one thing. Well ... all four seeds grew into hearty seedlings and quickly into strong plants. Truth be told, I didn't have the heart to rip up a perfectly good squash plant.

It's hard to tell when one plant ends and the next begins but I tried to get decent pictures of each of them. I also used a pair of standard scissors as a point of reference on size. Basically, the plants have a squat base where the vegetables grow out of and then long stems with huge leaves branching out.

These are all four plants. They take up 4 (almost 5) squares so what you're looking at is 4ft X 18ft of squash.

The first one. Notice the scissors on the bottom leaf to give you an idea of how big the leaves are. And see the squash only growing out of the base (would this be called a bush, M?)

The second one (it seems to have the smallest leaves and the fewest blooms/squash. I would guess that's because it's doesn't have enough room.

The third one. It's a good producer, but also has smaller leaves.

The fourth one. I remembered to use the scissors again. You can almost get an idea of how big the main "base" is by them. This is the plant that's growing into the next square. It also has REALLY big leaves, like the first plant.

I have a suspicion that if I pruned off some of the stems and leaves (making the plant smaller), they might produce better because there isn't as much energy going to the leaves. I don't know yet. I have to do some research.


Mandy Mc said...

Thanks for posting these. I'm going to put some pics up of mine soon (hopefully tonight) so we can compare notes. Mine is trying to escape it's square. It seems to be trying to grow up more or something. I don't know, but it's driving me nuts. We've had lots of blooms, but no squash. Boo to that.

christy ross said...

Did you get All New Square Foot Gardening? (the second one) That's the one we have and it talks a lot about building things to help plants grow UP. maybe you should try letting it grow up.

Mandy Mc said...

Yeah, we (Chad) built the trellis thingy, but the "stalk" seems a little too thick to train it to go around the delicate netting. I really think it's a bush that needs to be in a bigger area. Bleh. I'll post pics later...