Instructions for growing squash

Q. Would you recommend planting butternut squash in the grow boxes? Any special instructions?

A. You certainly CAN grow butternut, and all other squashes, in Grow-Boxes! Whether you’re growing in containers or in the soil the instructions are the same:

Any vining squash should be grown vertically, and T-Frames, with the plants guided around baling twine are the best way to do that. Plant only one row in a narrow box, with plants a foot apart, and prune off the sucker stems. Guide alternating plants to opposite sides of the wood, pipe, or wire you have placed on opposite sides of the T-Frames.

Short varieties, such as zucchini and yellow squash, should again be grown in a single row (two rows on opposite sides of a 4′-wide box or bed). These should be spaced at least 2′ apart, and pruning of leaves that touch the ground and that compete with their neighbors should be continued throughout the season.This is important, so don’t neglect it.

The large squash leaves block the sun, and leave the environment under the plant very conducive for fungus diseases to grow. More fruit is produced in conditions where there is adequate light, and the harvest will be much longer if you can avoid or delay the powdery mildew that so often attacks squash plants.