Free Garden Plan: Squash Garden

by Daisy

Gourds (squash, cucumbers, zucchini) are one of the few families that play well with other members of their own family.

However, squash get the worst bugs imaginable: Squash Vine Borers and Squash Beetles. (That’s why they’re not in my Beginner Garden Plan at all.)

So, placement of beneficial plants is VERY IMPORTANT. I don’t care if you like radishes. Plant some anyway! They help with the bugs.

Here’s what you need:

A 4×4 box with weed blanket
5 bags potting soil
5 bags of different composts (discussion of the above items here and this book)
1 tarp
1 bunch onion sets
1 pkg corn*
1 pkg pole beans
1 pkg cucumbers
1 pkg chard
1 pkg petite marigold
1 pkg radishes
1 pkg zucchini
1 pkg pumpkin
1 pkg dill

*You need to give the corn weeks of lead time so there’s something to climb. If you want to plant it all in one day, just buy some string, short nails with a good head on them (not finishing nails), and four tall, cheap, wooden tomato stakes. I’ll explain how to assemble those at the end.

Get the $.20 pkgs if you like. The rest will have way too many seeds inside to use this year. But if you do get the bigger pkgs, be sure to store them properly for next year.

1. Assemble weed blanket under box. And mix dirt and compost on a tarp.

2. Fill box with dirt and water till it’s damp to the bottom.

3. With your finger or a yard stick (what have you) divide the bed in half both ways. Continue dividing evenly until you have 16 equal squares.

4. Poke 1/2″ deep holes in dirt thusly:

North Side

5. Put two seeds in each hole according to the above charts and cover.

6. Water tomorrow, the day after, and as needed after that.

7. Encourage your squashes to spill out over the sides of the box rather than creep in to the center and crowd everyone. Watch daily for squash bugs and consider an organic spray to keep away the borers.

*To set up some strong supports for your beans and cukes without the corn having a serious head start, pound a tall tomato stake in deep behind each of the four ‘climber’ squares. Put a nail in the top of each post and in the side of the bed–two for the cuke squares and nine for the beans (without the corn you have room for more than four beans. Tie strings between the nails thusly:
You might have to coax the plants to the right destination originally, but they should climb up vine on their own after that.


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rowena___. January 26, 2010 at 11:56 am

i wanted to let you know that i planted this garden last summer and it was FANTASTIC. the only change i will make to it this year is that i will be more aggressive in taming the pumpkin–that one single plant grew so big that it sprawled all over the yard! but it was fun and i was so proud. thank you!

Ivory Soap February 16, 2010 at 9:09 am

YAY!!! I was wondering how it turned out. And YES, pumpkins will totally take over. So will acorn, butternut, and spaghetti squash. TL and I love to see how far into the lawn they can run!

SweetP May 2, 2010 at 6:46 pm

How do you deal with an eager pumpkin plant that is growing in places you don’t want it to grow? Will you harm it if you trim it or do you just move the particular vine in a different direction?

Ivory Soap May 7, 2010 at 6:30 am

Can you tip it to the outside of your box and encourage the vine to take off across the yard?

Valerie May 16, 2011 at 8:32 am

I saw a video on youtube this year about squash bug control naturally, and after losing my garden last year to the squash bug and a back injury (I litterally could not go outside for almost 4 months and the darn things took over everything) I declared war this year. I am going out in the AM with the hose and lightly misting the center of the plant, causing the bugs to climb for higher ground. I then spray them with a mixture of 1 1/2 C water, 1/2 C rubbing alcohol (90%) and 1-2 Tbsp of dish soap, they are dead within 60 seconds. I still pick them off when I can catch them, but we have only been picking off about 5 bugs at most in the AM instead of 20-30, and I have seen no eggs in 3 days. This works for the yellow cuke bug too. When I pick them off I put them in a bucket of hot soapy water, and I also spray the soil around the plant every other day to help keep bugs down. I remember my grandmother and great-grandmother washing dishes in a tub in thier sinks and taking that out to the garden to water, they had little to no bug problems.

Leah November 12, 2012 at 8:52 am

This may sound odd but when you refer to the “box” are you actually meaning a 4X4 cardboard box? This is my first time to visit your site and I am on knowledge overload. Thank you for all the information.

Lalewin March 23, 2013 at 11:02 am

I love this! Easier when it is showing things I want to grow. =) Just wondering if and what I could change out for chard. I know nothing about chard.

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