Get creative with bamboo poles. Make your own abstract-design trellis and use it to support climbing plants. This contemporary feature also makes an artsy screen for a small space.
■ TIME IT RIGHT You can grow trailing squash
plants vertically—it’s a good use of space. Put squash plants in during early summer when the danger of frost is over; the other plants can go in at the same time.
Paint the bamboo poles with exterior wood paint; we chose black gloss for a bold, modern look that would contrast strongly with the plants. Leave to dry completely.
Start with two long upright poles positioned at either end of the trough. Measure the distance between them and cut two poles to size with a good overlap.
3Tie these shorter poles at right angles to the uprights, one near the top and one in the middle. Do this securely by wrapping green garden wire several times around the pole intersections, then twist the ends together and cut off any excess wire.
To plant, add
a layer of gravel or crocks to the base of the trough for drainage, then fill about two-thirds with multipurpose potting mix. Remove plants from their pots and position them in the trough, digging planting holes if they sit too high, then fill around with more potting mix and firm in. Water thoroughly.
RANTING V? S
Try climbimg green beams as am dtemature to squash. Greem beam pods cam be greem, yellow, purple, or mottled deep pimk amd cream, amd will also provide am appealimg contrast to the background color of the bamboo poles.
‘Watering Containers above ground level are more exposed, so water often in the growing season, especially if hot and sunny, and while plants are establishing.
Feeding Add diluted liquid fertilizer to the water monthly in the main growing season. Squash needs more fertilizer than the other plants for fruit production; try misting them with diluted fertilizer as well, but not when in direct hot sunlight or the leaves might scorch.
General Care Remove damaged foliage in the growing period. Some plants are not frost hardy and will die back if left outside in winter. Reduce watering in winter to minimal. Top off or change the potting mix in spring.
Squash needs plenty of water and fertilizer to produce a good, tasty crop.