Squash Growing Racks Made Out Of Pallets

I have 4 x 4 raised beds in my veggie garden, and no matter what I do, my squash plants always outgrow them and run all over the gravel paths in between the beds. I've even planted one right smack in the middle of a bed, and it still outgrew it and ran all over the place. It makes it very difficult to walk around the beds without getting scratched up by squash leaves and stems (those suckers are MEAN) and do the watering (I don't have a watering system in the beds, so I have to do the hose dragging thing) breaking off leaves, stems and squash in the process.
I thought about just doing a trellis, but squash plants typically aren't big climbers, and their stems and leaves are big and heavy and will break off if you look cross-eyed at them. Not good candidates to attempt tying and/or stringing onto a trellis! But, I thought maybe they could handle climbing up a gentle grade on some sort of rack.
The materials and directions below are for one squash growing rack that will fit a 4 x 4 raised garden bed, but these can be made to any size you want and do not have to only be used in a raised garden bed. They can be used anywhere in your garden where you want to save precious gardening space and keep your squash plants from taking over.
1 - 4 x 4 pallet
2 - 2 2 x 4's
12 - 3 1/4 galvanized nails
Start by figuring out the angle of the finished rack so when it is placed in the raised bed, it will cover 2/3 to 3/4 of the south end of the bed. The idea here is to plant the squash on the north end of the bed, and as they grow they will climb up the side of the rack following the sun in the south. I cut my pallets to 3 and 2 x 4's to 2, which gives the rack approximately 45 degree angle.
Nail a 2 x 4's at each end of the pallet to make a rack.
I planted the squash on the left to the north so they would follow the sun in the south up the pallet instead of running all over the garden paths. I planted the marigolds on the south side underneath the pallet to help deter aphids and other pesky bugs who like to ruin squash.
The results were much better than what I expected! This almost worked TOO well!!! I planted two plants per 4 x 4 bed, and they just grew like mad and produced like crazy!!! I was constantly pruning them back because the plants were crowding each other out! I've never had squash plants get this big! Next year I will only need to plant one squash plant per bed because when I planted them this way, I got twice the amount of squash per plant than what I usually do!
And there was NO aphids at ALL on the squash plants I planted this way! And I know we had aphids around because my melon plants that were not set up this way did have aphids on them this year. Planting the marigolds where they grew under the squash plants really did the trick!!!
I hope you found this post helpful and will save you from a summer of tripping over your squash plants!
For more pictures of this and more home, garden, crafts and DIY projects on my blog click on the link below!
Michelle @ The Painted Hinge

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The Painted Hinge

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Rachel Bolejack
    on Feb 26, 2016

    how did you make the actual planting box? I know its probably a silly question but I have never done any raised gardening.

  • Nora Isaacs
    on Jul 1, 2017

    Hi! Love the idea! Think it would work for melons, or berry's? I did something similar only more up right for peas & beans, ripping pallet boards in 1/2 for plant steps to climb on. Worked well!
    • The Painted Hinge
      on Jul 25, 2017

      Hi Nora! I think it would work well for berries. It could work for melons too, but you would probably have to attach some sort of support for the melons as they grow.
  • Christine turner
    on Dec 12, 2019

    I am doing container gardening this year because the soil here is awful and i can't afford to amend it, but i was thinking of using old bamboo trellis i made for this year as well as pallets if i can get enough. do you have any suggestions for pole beans that wont cost more than 20 bucks. I am on limited income and no car so acquiring items can be a challenge. I will have a fence line that faces north west but is on the east side of my trailer. during spring and summer, my yard gets 12 hours of sun with only 2-3 hours early mornings will be in shade. the back side of my trailer is in shade all day. so i get sun from E, n, and west all day. I am new to growing in texas and in containers, so any help will be appreciated!

    christine Pacmomof2

Join the conversation

2 of 49 comments
  • Juanita
    on Feb 2, 2019

    What a great idea! Thank you!

  • Grandma D
    on Mar 4, 2019

    Absolutely everything you said about the issues with growing squash in a raised garden bed has proven true for me. This year, I'm going to follow your idea for zucchini, which is about the only type of summer squash my family will eat. And I'm even going to include the marigolds because I have the same bug problems as you and the pallets will show from my dining room window. What a wonderful idea! I can't wait to get planting; if only the ice would go away.

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