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Grow Squash, Cucumbers and Melons Vertically

Written by WG on April 18th, 2007

If you are planning to plant cucumbers, melons, or squash in your vegetable garden this year, think vertically!

The main thing you want avoid are any varieties that are labeled or marked “Bush Variety” because those won’t climb properly.

Look for a “Vining Variety” because you’ll want to make sure it can climb your trellis, stake, or netting properly.

Here are some standard varieties that will do well:

Winter Squash:

Summer Squash:
Crook Neck
Patty Pan

But NOT Zucchini! For some reason zucchini is too heavy and won’t vine properly up a pole or netting.

Any that are vining type


Note: Many melons thrive on a trellis. But because they’re heavy, you may need to support them with cotton or nylon slings.

Make sure you harvest squash while they very small; when the fruit is only four to six inches long. Any bigger and they just don’t taste as good, and can get kind of woody.

Vertical Supports:

You can use string, netting or just a stake, as long as you place it very close to the plant. You can put a stake in the ground first, and then plant your seed or young plant around it. This way you don’t drive the stake into the roots of the growing plant.

Then gently lift and bend the plant up, and tie it to the stake or string. After you get it started up your string or netting, every few days it will have grown out a few inches, and you’ll need to train that new growth up the trellis. So every few days, just keep training the new growth up the stake, string, or netting.

The whole process is fast and easy and you will have saved a ton of room!

For more gardening advice go to:


4 Comments so far ↓

  1. Bob Ewing says:

    Great article I’d like to refer to it in today’s blog post at the shak.

  2. Hilary says:

    Hi Bob,

    Please go ahead. The more we can share information, the better.

  3. Ellen Peavey says:

    I have planted 3 Tennessee squash in a raised bed. They have really spread out I’m now using stakes to get them up off of the ground. Could I use wire and make a circle around them and train them to grow up the wire. Any suggestions for the type of wire?

  4. amanda says:

    Thank you. very well written article. It helped me a lot. I live in Maui. I am glad you explained the difference between hot and cool weather planting. I was going to do raised beds and now I know better. thanks

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