Squash, Zucchini & Cukes

When You Try To Relocate A Squash

As promised in an earlier post on summer squash, I’ve got a final verdict on the health of my relocated yellow squash plant.

Let me tell you, I gave it my best shot.

When I realized that my yellow squash plants wouldn’t grow vertically on a trellis, I tried to move a decent sized yellow squash plant to give its neighbors room to grow.

The good news?

The neighboring yellow squash plants TOOK OFF. I kid you not, they looked noticeably bigger and healthier the day after I gave them more space.

The bad news?

Squash don’t like being relocated.

The moved plant wilted for multiple weeks, but I was hoping it would rebound. It stayed alive, and it even bloomed (male blooms but no female blooms.) But, the growth was stunted and the color was a yellowish green which didn’t look very healthy. After giving it several weeks to catch up, I figured I’d save the soil nutrients, and space in my raised bed for the plants that were flourishing.

So, I made the call this week to pull the plug and remove the relocated squash plant. (I cut it at the base rather than literally pulling it – that helps to not disturb the root systems of the other plants.)

For comparison, here’s the side by side of the healthy yellow squash and the squash I tried to convince to move. See how the first one had a deep green color, and is about twice the size as the sad-yellow-relocated plant? It’s pretty clear that the one I moved wasn’t happy, so I put it out of its misery.

The lessons?

  1. When you sow seeds or seedlings, give your plants WAY more room than you think they’ll need.
  2. If you need to thin your plants, do it early, when they’re small. Certainly not when they’re established plants.
  3. It doesn’t hurt to experiment! I tried to relocate the squash, to give it a chance, and it didn’t work. But, now I know (and I don’t wonder what would have happened if I had only given it the opportunity.)

Do you thin your plants? When do you find the most success with it?

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