Train your trail­ing pump­kins

Amateur Gardening - - Your Gardening Week -

I don’t know about you, but since plant­ing my pump­kins out­side back in early June, they’ve launched a ma­jor takeover bid of my vegetable beds!

These plants, along with other trail­ing squashes (such as but­ter­nuts and spaghetti types) are im­pres­sively ram­pant. Their stems can grow over one foot in just a cou­ple of days, so how do you keep them within bounds?

I’ve found the eas­i­est way is to train the stems as they grow. If you’ve room, curve them into an ever-in­creas­ing spi­ral. Peg the stems down as you go, be­cause they have the abil­ity to root along their length (thereby pro­vid­ing the plant with more sus­te­nance).

Small-fruited va­ri­eties like ‘Munchkin’ and ‘Baby Bear’ can even be trained up a tri­pod of stout bean­poles or over a wooden arch­way. Don’t try this with a large-fruited ‘At­lantic Gi­ant’, though!

This squash plant has been trained around a sup­port made from branches

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