QUESTION: I like growing squash for large harvests. I would like to add some squash container plants. Can you grow squash in pots? How big should the pots be? -Fred R
ANSWER: Squash can be grown in a container with a diameter of at least 24 inches. Container depth should be at least 12 inches. If you are short on gardening space, try growing squash in a container can help you to conserve space. Make sure to use a pot with good drainage and a lightweight potting soil that contains ingredients like peat, compost, or fine bark. Try not to use regular garden soil, especially one that can easily become compacted. It can smother the root system. Also, adding soil from the garden could contain pests and weed seeds.
You can plant two or three squash seeds near the center of the pot about an inch deep. Allow a couple of inches of space between each seed. Keep the soil slightly moist but not soggy for the first week or two until the seeds germinate. After two weeks, evaluate the seedlings. Remove the weaker seedlings and leave the strongest looking. Once the seeds sprout, reduce watering by waiting until the top two inches of soil dries out completely between watering.
Squash plants need a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day. Actually, the more the better. Use a time release fertilizer into the potting soil at planting time. Or, feed every four weeks with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer.
You can also grow a trailing or vining variety of squash plants. Be sure to use a trellis or some other type of support. Sometimes you can place the container at the bottom of a structure to train the vine. If you have tomato cages, they can be inserted into the container for a great trellis option.