Author Message
Nancy Reading
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

I've grown sharks's fin melon a few years in my polytunnel and it loves to climb!  
It's more like vegetable spaghetti than squash but keeps ages once ripe.  The noodles also freeze without going mushy so you don't have to eat the whole lot at once (they are quite big).  The plant is supposed to be perennial.  It hasn't survived outside for me yet, so I'm trying this year to overwinter a plant on the windowsill (along with a tomato) to try and get an earlier start to the year.  
My pumpkin nut pumpkins weren't very vigorous - cucubits generally don't seem to do that well for me - but did seem to climb a bit fir me.  I haven't opened the three fruit I have achieved yet to see whether there are any seeds.  I'm hopeful by leaving the fruit they may ripen so as to keep a few to sow next year.
Larry Streeter
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

I really like Gill's Golden Pippin squash.  It's a small good storage squash with excellent flavor.  It's bothersome to peel so I just cut them in half, scoop out the seeds and either bake them or put them in a pan face down on the BBQ using indirect heat.  It's OP so you can save the seeds.
Mike Turner
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

My sheep will eat the immature fruit whenever it grows out into their pasture and will sometimes eat the leaves if we have a summer drought and the grass in the pasture isn’t growing.
Tj Jefferson
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

Mike, I have Seminole as a parent of my landrace. I think it is likely the source of the trait. Plus they store amazingly. At least a year maybe two. Sheep eat around them as well which is hilarious! Thanks for your sheep input I’m in the game now!
Mike Turner
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

Seminole is the best climbing squash I have ever grown.   Here in upstate SC it will run 50 feet in all directions from the planting site (including up, if a tree is nearby) during my growing season and is not bothered by the borers and other pests that make maxima squash impossible to grow here.  In its native southern FL it can continue growing for years and cover acres of land if left to its own devices.
Ellendra Nauriel
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

Kc Simmons wrote:

Ellendra Nauriel wrote:
There used to be a hybrid pumpkin called "Snack Jack". It might still be around, although it's gone through several name changes over the years. What I liked about it was that it had both hulless seeds and tasty pie-quality flesh. I've spent more than 10 years trying to de-hybridize it, but it's not quite ready yet.



I'm thinking it may be called "Jack Be Little" nowadays, but not 100% sure it's the same cultivar. Have seen seeds, but haven't personally grown it.



Completely different.
Kc Simmons
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

Ellendra Nauriel wrote:
There used to be a hybrid pumpkin called "Snack Jack". It might still be around, although it's gone through several name changes over the years. What I liked about it was that it had both hulless seeds and tasty pie-quality flesh. I've spent more than 10 years trying to de-hybridize it, but it's not quite ready yet.



I'm thinking it may be called "Jack Be Little" nowadays, but not 100% sure it's the same cultivar. Have seen seeds, but haven't personally grown it.
raoul dalmasso
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?


This is a Tromboncino d'Albenga squash growing up an apple tree, this morning. The tree is a Pink apple from the Sibillini Mountain, a local heirloom. I wrote a short article on my blog about this fun fact: Ortomontano
Jay Angler
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

Ellandra Nauriel wrote:

At any rate, it's a bush pumpkin. No climbing whatsoever. I was under the impression that all the hulless-seeded pumpkins currently on the market are bush types. If you find one that climbs, let us know.

No one seems to grow them locally, so I didn't know they were all bush types. The articles I've read didn't mention it. Good luck on your "de-hybridizing" efforts! I hope all the other varieties aren't hybrids. Clearly I need to do more research... it never ends. I just know it's hard to get any nuts locally due to the squirrel pressure, so I'm looking for a replacement. Last I looked there was no "home-scale" mill for de-hulling sunflower seeds, so I'm thinking of trying pumpkin.
Ellendra Nauriel
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

Jay Angler wrote:No one's mentioned "Pepitas" AKA "Hulless Pumpkin Seeds". I've never grown them, but would love to get some seed and try it. I gather it takes a fair number as each fruit only provides about a cup of seeds and the squash flesh itself is boring (but good enough for animal feed).
Some varieties I've come across are: Lady Godiva Pumpkin.
Austria Oil Seed Pumpkin.
Gleisdorfer Naked Seeded Pumpkin.
Kakai Hulless Pumpkin.

Has anyone grown these?  A friend and I have been making and freezing a variety of pestos, about half being made with pumpkin seeds.



There used to be a hybrid pumpkin called "Snack Jack". It might still be around, although it's gone through several name changes over the years. What I liked about it was that it had both hulless seeds and tasty pie-quality flesh. I've spent more than 10 years trying to de-hybridize it, but it's not quite ready yet.

At any rate, it's a bush pumpkin. No climbing whatsoever. I was under the impression that all the hulless-seeded pumpkins currently on the market are bush types. If you find one that climbs, let us know.
Kc Simmons
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

Jay Angler wrote:No one's mentioned "Pepitas" AKA "Hulless Pumpkin Seeds". I've never grown them, but would love to get some seed and try it. I gather it takes a fair number as each fruit only provides about a cup of seeds and the squash flesh itself is boring (but good enough for animal feed).
Some varieties I've come across are: Lady Godiva Pumpkin.
Austria Oil Seed Pumpkin.
Gleisdorfer Naked Seeded Pumpkin.
Kakai Hulless Pumpkin.

Has anyone grown these?  A friend and I have been making and freezing a variety of pestos, about half being made with pumpkin seeds.



I tried Godiva this summer but this year was an especially bad year for pests, and the grasshoppers & leaf-footed bugs finished up anything that didn't get taken out by the borers & squash bugs. I love to snack on pumpkin seeds so going to try again next spring.
Jay Angler
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

No one's mentioned "Pepitas" AKA "Hulless Pumpkin Seeds". I've never grown them, but would love to get some seed and try it. I gather it takes a fair number as each fruit only provides about a cup of seeds and the squash flesh itself is boring (but good enough for animal feed).
Some varieties I've come across are: Lady Godiva Pumpkin.
Austria Oil Seed Pumpkin.
Gleisdorfer Naked Seeded Pumpkin.
Kakai Hulless Pumpkin.

Has anyone grown these?  A friend and I have been making and freezing a variety of pestos, about half being made with pumpkin seeds.
Bryan Elliott
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

Here are a couple pictures of the Lofthouse squash I described earlier.
Bryan Elliott
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

I planted some Joseph Lofthouse Maxima squash this summer 7 feet from a corral fence 6' tall.  They grew to the fence over the top of it, down the other side and across a 14' alley and started up the other fence.  I wasn't using the pens this summer so cattle didn't tear them out.  And yes, producing squash all the way.  I don't know that they are the best climbers but they would compete! Possibly Tatume would give them some competition.
May Lotito
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

I got one luffa and a birdhouse gourd going up a tree. My three luffa plants produce over a hundred flowers per day, providing food for bees and even hummingbirds.
Kc Simmons
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

While technically a gourd, I'm surprised no one has mentioned luffa, yet, since the young fruit can be used as a summer squash. Although, I don't really know about the taste, as I'm not a big fan of squash, except for shredding and adding to dishes or breads.
Once they start growing and producing, they just keep going until the first frost. This week alone, I've picked about 30 young gourds from 3 or 4 plants, and I'm sure I probably missed another 15-20 fruits that will soon be too big to eat, so will be used as sponges. These are the only cucurbit that have never been bothered by squash bugs or borers, and they just laugh at the aphids and ants.
I'm going to try to upload some photos. The one growing up the electric pole was an extra seedling I needed to put somewhere, and has gotten no care since I watered it at planting. The one growing up the barn is actually planted in a big bucket, and I've watered it a couple of times. The one on the poultry coops has just been watered by the geese splashing in their water, and has survived (and produced) despite the fact that one of the turkeys spends the entire day on top of the coops eating every leaf that he can see.
The vines will grab whatever they can get, and can get heavy (especially when fruiting), so do best with strong support, but I've also had them crawl along the ground after a plant practically devoured the mammoth sunflowers I tried to use as trellises and didn't have anything else to climb.
Ian Young
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

I trellis all my winter squash to save space (urban garden). I've had the same experience as others with butternut needing some assistance to climb. Butternuts sure love to sprawl horizontally--I've seen single plants trained along the edges of neighbors' garden beds for 30-40'! But I guess they don't like "up" as much as "out". Delicata has been a good climber for me. Buttercup also worked well this year. It wanted to go horizontal, but it has very good adhesion so the only training I had to do was occasionally turn the leader in the other direction so it wound back and forth up its section of trellis. Gete okosomin also climbs well, and even hung on to its gigantic fruit without support for me the first year I planted it.
Pearl Sutton
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

Oh, I'm sure there are dozens. That's why I asked, to see what climbs for others. I'm looking for the pattern behind it, so I can see what would be worth trying. So far it sounds like the Moschata family may end up my best bet.
Mike Haasl
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

I'm guessing there are a dozen varieties that would climb well.  Maybe pie pumpkins, maybe something else.  Maybe the Master Gardeners in your area would have some localized recommendations?  Although us permies should have plenty as well
Pearl Sutton
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

Sionainn Cailís wrote:

This variety likes warm heat but nothing stifling. Afternoon temp of 25 is great, but 30 is not so good. This year was insane Martian heat climbing to 40 for weeks on end. Egads, NOTHING in my garden enjoyed that weather except the weird asian red noodle beans I have.:) Everything else shrivelled and burnt to crisps, including myself..


Thank you for the information!!
My climate is hot, and humid when it's not drought.... I don't think they'd like Missouri :)
Hopefully the information will help others who want more northerly climbers!
:D
Sionainn Cailís
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

Lots of interesting stuff listed here! Undoubtedly most of these I have never heard of, let alone eaten.  :)

I reliably grow winter pumpkin Rouge vif d'Etampes in my 5b Canadian urban garden.

I grow them up trellises, as I don't have any space to let anyone crawl along the ground.

"Red from Etampes" is what it translates to in english. These are very fiery roasted orange red colour, and shape is kind of  flat on the top, like a big fat cheese wheel. Medium sized eating pumpkin.

They store almost a full year on shelves in a finished basement that sits around 15 degrees (tested! ) and are very fragrant, creamy, and tasty for soup, pasta, or to make bread or dessert. Traditional french soup pumpkin. These are the best to leave a couple months before eating. They will dry out more inside and insensify the flavour and scent.

I don't know where you are. Seems a lot of people here like to live in tropical climates or deserts, which might be no good for them.

This variety likes warm heat but nothing stifling. Afternoon temp of 25 is great, but 30 is not so good. This year was insane Martian heat climbing to 40 for weeks on end. Egads, NOTHING in my garden enjoyed that weather except the weird asian red noodle beans I have.:) Everything else shrivelled and burnt to crisps, including myself..

They also love a good drink! A daily shower is even fine for them, and they will climb to the sky if they get lots of water. I dont think it is possible to drown them.

They need a big trellis though. Nothing rinky dinky or it will be crushed. My pergola trellis is solid wood- 3m high, 5m long, and 1m wide, and one vine will go all the way up, across, and expand at least halfway over the top of it. I use sisal or jute twine or those velcro garden ropes to anchor the vines as they go up. Once they find each beam to twirl around, they grip.

I have a second crop here growing for a late harvest. Pumpkins are still small on them yet, maybe canteloupe/ grapefruits sized. We dropped to a very fresh 1-2 degrees overnight for a few nights in a row. They didnt LIKE it, but they took it, and they didnt drop their fruits. Now it is back to 10-ish at night and they perked up.

Cucurbita Maxima.
---

Waltham butternuts reliably climb for me as well. Cucurbita Moschata. They have no problems setting fruits up a trellis.

----
Peter Ellis
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

We had white pattipan and blue Hubbard climb right up and over a 7 foot trellis and go on for several yards on the other side. Our round zucchini didn't climb the trellis because it ran out in the opposite direction and I didn't tell it to do otherwise ;) Butternut went through a fence rather than climbing it.
Carla Burke
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

We bought a dozen of the 'goat' panels for small goat containment. Then we bought big goats, too! So, we needed the taller 'cattle' panels. So, we're keeping a handful of the small ones for segregating babies, or other such, and I'll use the others for arbors & other projects. So, for me, the hardest part is the raised beds...

My plan is to arch them (2? 3?) from the inside walls of a pair of raised beds (with asparagus on one side & another, shade tolerant perennial, on the other side), to lift them a couple feet from the ground, so that anything hanging from the panels doesn't bonk me on the head, as I walk under. Those would be primarily for vining, trainable, or 'tie-able' annuals - beans, gourds, squash, tomatoes... After they die off, in the fall, then a covering can be pulled over, and more tender perennials, in containers can be moved in, to overwinter. A second 1 or 2 panel arch would be for a grape arbor. If I can manage a 3rd, it would be for vining/creeping roses and possibly other vining perennial flowers. The roses and other flowers/vines would be some of the varieties I use in my herbal formulations & culinary uses. I'm *hoping* to get them built in October/ November, so the raised beds can be filled with compost & dirt, and have a chance to do their thing, over winter, and be filled with the plants, next spring. Then, maybe I'll have space for all those plants & seeds I keep over-buying!

The key to a good part of that is tying. The vines don't have to naturally cling to the framework, if you can reach to tie them. The hanging fruits,  if too heavy, can always be tucked into panty hose or bags tied to the framework, to support them.

Mike Haasl
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

Found another picture.  About a month after this was taken, the vines had taken over the pergola and squash were dangling down like in Pearl's photo.  I did have to guide them up there though :(  I think nearly any squash should be fine dangling overhead.  Melons would be a different matter.  

For the curious, the squash were volunteers from the compost pile on the left.
Rez Zircon
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

Sounds great! look forward to seeing pictures once it's set up. Not to mention once it's growing :D
Pearl Sutton
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

I'm planning to arch panels at 5 foot wide, and run squash and beans up. I'm short, so I can walk through it easily at that size, my garden gate is done that way.
Rez Zircon
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

Occurs to me that one could easily prop cattle panels at an angle, to approximate that wonderful Tunnel of Squash, only shorter.
Pearl Sutton
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

I was cleaning up some stuff I got out of the trash (I'm a dumpster diver) and realized I have a bunch of things that will hook to my cattle panels to be support for the fruit. If not, I'll use cloth, I have lots.
T Melville
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

Rez Zircon wrote:...a few hanging baskets/buckets hooked to the trellis would solve that problem (at least at the small scale). Or a suspended tarp. Anything so it doesn't go SPLAT.



I think I've read that some folks take old pantyhose and make a hamock or sling under the fruits to keep them from falling.
Rez Zircon
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

Pearl Sutton wrote:A picture off  the net I have had for years, don't recall where I got it from...
This is what I dream of!! :D



Wow, that's really cool!!

Only problem I can think of is for fruit that turns loose of the vine when it's ripe, like cantaloupe -- would fall down and break open. But a few hanging baskets/buckets hooked to the trellis would solve that problem (at least at the small scale). Or a suspended tarp. Anything so it doesn't go SPLAT.
Ellendra Nauriel
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

Pearl Sutton wrote:A picture off  the net I have had for years, don't recall where I got it from...
This is what I dream of!! :D



I've seen enough squash slip from the vine, that I get the urge to duck whenever I see that picture!

That said, the ones that took over the bean trellis seem to be holding on just fine.
Ellendra Nauriel
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

Rez Zircon wrote:

When I had the man-eating spaghetti squash -- looked to me like the tendrils actively sought out and strangled competing weeds. Pretty much did away with bindweed and mallow foolish enough to grow underneath it. Left the corn alone, tho wove between the rows.




I wonder if that trait was once selected for, and that's why so many squash are "ramblers" but not climbers?

A squash that strangles weeds but doesn't attack tall plants like corn or sunflowers, could be very valuable as a living mulch.

I might test that out next year.
Pearl Sutton
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

A picture off  the net I have had for years, don't recall where I got it from...
This is what I dream of!! :D

T Melville
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

Pearl Sutton wrote:Cthulhu squash!



Awesome! Save me some seed?
a )Cthulhu has wings, so no need to trellis.
b) Probably perrenial. "That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die."
Pearl Sutton
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

Rez Zircon wrote:

Pearl Sutton wrote:It's also strangling grass where it's on the ground.



When I had the man-eating spaghetti squash -- looked to me like the tendrils actively sought out and strangled competing weeds. Pretty much did away with bindweed and mallow foolish enough to grow underneath it. Left the corn alone, tho wove between the rows.



I had a spaghetti squash like that volunteer out of the compost one year. It ate the entire side yard. Put out something like 23 squash, without being watered r anything. I was very sick, and just let it run.
Rez Zircon
Post     Subject: What squash climb the best?

Pearl Sutton wrote:It's also strangling grass where it's on the ground.



When I had the man-eating spaghetti squash -- looked to me like the tendrils actively sought out and strangled competing weeds. Pretty much did away with bindweed and mallow foolish enough to grow underneath it. Left the corn alone, tho wove between the rows.