Growing spaghetti squash vertically is easy. Going vertical reduces the likelihood of tripping on or breaking vines while maximizing the use of space in our gardens. Here in our NW Missouri Mittleider garden we grow vertically whenever possible. This system allows us to grow more plants in a smaller space by going vertically.
One of our favorite vegetables has become spaghetti squash over the last year. The children are very picky eaters and I was amazed when I gave them a sample of spaghetti squash and they asked for more.
This year we are going to grow two crops of the spaghetti squash with the second one being inside the in the garden green house. The first crop is out in the soil and many of the plants are already over 8 feet tall. Our best plant went over 17 feet long this year. Here is just one of the many squash growing in our garden.
Why grow spaghetti squash vertically?
Going vertical with all the crops in our garden has made our garden more productive and has put more food in our pantry and on the table. Getting the squash off the ground makes it so much easier to control the weeds. Those days of stepping on vines while trying to pull weeds from under it are long gone.
Having the plants growing vertically makes it easy to access the plants for pruning, spotting insects, inspecting for insect eggs and it makes harvest so much easier.
What string or twine will you need to grow spaghetti squash vertically
We use a baling twine rated at 170 pound test that has UV stabilizers added. Twine like the Tytan International wont deteriorate out in the sun and will last you several seasons.
We are a little short on room for growing all our vertical crops and decided to put in two more of the 30 foot long by 18 inch wide Mittleider grow beds. These grow beds will run north and south. To the west side of these two beds there will be a couple more grow beds for additional crops that won’t be grown vertically.
For grow beds/boxes that run east and west you want to put the tall crops to the north end so they don’t shadow out the shorter crops. For beds running north and south you’ll want those same tall crops to the east for the same reason.
Below you will see the garden area that’s been tilled and read to get started in the first picture. There will be a 5 foot wide buffer zone on the outside edge of our Mittleider garden with a 3.5 foot space between each 18″ wide bed. The portion of the garden to the right that has grass in it will be tilled several times and all that grass will be removed.
Here you see the t-posts going in that will form the support for our vertical gardening. They’re being placed every 10 feet, or 4 of these 4x4s in each 30 foot grow bed. Once the second grow bed t-posts are in place we will put another 8 foot long 4×4 on top to span the distance between each row.
UPDATE 20 May 2016 –
Just a couple pictures of more progress. We need to tamp the posts in a little more as it dries out a little. The support wires for both of the grow beds under this structure are up and tight. One of the two grow beds is formed up and will be finished tomorrow. Once done we’ve got another 18 tomatoes ready to go in the ground.
After this project is done we will continue to extend the grow beds to the right for a few other crops that are currently in seedling flats. Just like in our grow box for sweet potatoes, there will be a 5 foot border around these grow beds to help control insects and weeds.
These tomatoes are being grown vertically as part of the Mittlieder Gardening Method in Kidder, MO. They’re pruned and wound around heavy bailing twine to maximize the sunlight and air to the plants while making it easy to harvest. No wire cages to fight here! The 2×4 is just over 7 feet from the ground. Some of those tomato plants are 10 feet tall.
This week I’ve been attending a Mittleider gardening course and have had the opportunity see the system implemented and learn so much. I will have many more Mittleider posts in the future as I convert my traditional garden to a Mittlieder
Our quest to be self reliant and grow a healthy garden