Transplanting Squash, Cukes or Melons

Just received this email today and thought it worthy of a detailed post. Read on if you’ve ever considered or worried about moving plants mid-season.

Hi Amy, How are you? I have a quick garden question for you. I have one of those gutter gardens and there is a zucchini plant that is growing pretty fast, seems like I should take it out and replant where it has more room. Is this a bad idea to move it at this time?

wine box zucchini

So, firstly, a gutter garden is a shallow-rooted container. Zucchini don’t have deep roots, so this may work well, but I’d be concerned about supporting the weight of the fruit as they came in – seems like it would topple the plant over and out of the gutter. If this were my garden, I’d do an experiment and leave one in the gutter and transplant another to a garden bed.

As for whether the plant takes well to transplanting, zucchini, squash, melons and cucumbers are cucurbits and have similar growth patterns and demands as plants. As a rule of thumb, these squash plants do not like to be transplanted and may falter. For the most part, I suggest only transplanting once when the plant is a small start. Mid-growth cycle may be too challenging for the plant. That said, if you NEED to move a plant, it’s not the worst thing to just give it a try. Be sure to transplant with a bit of fertilizer (a gentle combo of nitrogen & phosphorous) when you replant. Annnnd….keep me posted about your successes and failures!