Sharing everything I know about how to grow squash on a trellis, including links to everything we use!
I had lofty goals for our very-first garden. It would be lush and filled with plants growing every direction. I desperately wanted to grow squash on a trellis. So, I insisted Matt help me put one up, even though I had no idea what I was doing.
Welp, I should have spent more time reading about compost and soil fertility, and less time reading about trellises. Our squash barely grew a foot off the ground. All the old farmers kept stopping by and asking, “does that poor girl want me to drop off some manure?”
I was totally embarrassed! Matt must have sensed it, because he didn’t even tease me about it, a rarity around here. But as we know, failures truly are our best teachers.
The following year, I amended the soil properly, and our squash were so vigorous, they took over most of the garden! I knew it was time to tackle the trellis again, and it was a success. Now, people stop by to ask how we do it!
Read below for my best tips on how to grow squash on a trellis. However, if you want to know exactly how we amend our soil , there’s a free guide at the top of this blog post.
How to Grow Squash on a Trellis
Amend the Soil
In case I didn’t drive home how important this is, it’s imperative that your soil has the proper nutrients. I break this all down into detail in that free guide I mentioned, but essentially, you want a lot of nutrients because squash are heavy feeders.
We use Re-Vita Pro because it’s what we can get locally, but it’s a combination of organic material like laying hen manure, feather meal, bone meal, sulfate of potash, leonardite ore, kelp, and calcium. Compost is also a must: usually a thick layer over the entire bed. We also add azomite minerals and then foliar feed bi-weekly.
Construct a Sturdy Trellis
There are many trellis ideas and designs out there for all your aesthetic needs. For squash, I prefer something sturdy like cattle panels, because squash vines can get heavy! You can construct them straight, like a wall, or bend them into hoops for tunnels. We buy ours locally at Farm and Fleet, but you can get them at just about any local farm store.
To construct the trellis, pound 6-foot t-posts into the ground about 5 feet apart. Secure the panels about a foot off the ground with wire or zip ties. We use both–just depends what we have on hand.
Choose the Right Squash Varieties
Pretty much any vining squash variety will do. Avoid bush or compact varieties. Some will tell you to choose varieties with smaller fruits, but as you can see in the photos, I’ve had some fairly large fruits. You may want to avoid massive pumpkins and large hubbard squash.
Some of my favorites include Winter Luxury Pie Pumpkin, Spaghetti Squash, Tromboncino Rampicante, Butterscotch Butternut, Delicata, and Cha Cha Kabocha.
Plant and Support
Direct sow 3 feet apart after your last frost. I like to sow three seeds to each spot I want a plant to ensure one germinates. If all three germinate, I remove the two weakest ones.
At first, you may need to help the squash cling to the trellis. I like to use flagging tape to secure the vines to the trellis, as it’s softer and easier on the vines. If you want to give fruit extra support, you can create fruit hammocks out of nylons, but I haven’t done this!
OK, that’s a wrap. Are you ready to grow squash on a trellis? If so, I’d love to see it! Tag us @petalbackfarm on the gram.
Did you find this helpful? If so, I’d love it if you shared it with your pals.