The Q&A Archives: vine length

Question: How long do patty pan squash vines get? I need to plan my garden and I'm thinking about trellis height. Also, is this a heavy plant? Will it require a very strong support? I have never grown vining squash before, only bush types. Is it like cucumbers inhabit? Also, is butternut squash a vine or bush? I saved seed from one I cooked, and wanted to plant it.

Answer: Patty pan squash is a group of squashes, so what size and whether it will vine or bush depends on the specific cultivar you plant. The seed packet or catalog description should tell you what to expect. You will need a good sturdy trellis though because the combined weight of the vine plus the individual little squashes, especially in a wind storm or when wet, is pretty substantial. YOu would probably want it at least four feet high.

Butternut also encompasses a number of different varieties and they can be bush, semi-vining or vining. The vining plants can be pretty huge. I should mention that your saved seed may or may not be viable and if it does grow, it may or may not produce good squash. The reason is it may be hybrid seed and not come true to the parent, or, it may have been cross pollinated in the field. It is more reliable in terms if results to use purchased seed for a variety that will produce according to your needs. Here is a little more information about growing squash you may find helpful.

Your local county extension should be able to tell you which particular varieties seem to perform best in your local conditions -- soil and weather. Enjoy your squash this summer!

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