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SQUASH & ZUCCHINI


  How To Grow Squash


PLANT TYPE: Annual
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Cucurbita pepo - Summer | Cucurbita spp. - Winter
LIGHT: Full Sun
SOIL TYPE: Medium-rich, well-drained soil
pH RANGE: 5.5 - 6.5
MOISTURE/WATERING: Average
MATURITY IN DAYS: 50 - 60 from transplant
KNOWN PESTS: Striped and spotted cucumber beetles
KNOWN DISEASES: Powdery mildew



OVERVIEW:

Squash plants, which includes zucchini, are best known for the ease at which they can be grown, making any novice gardener look like a pro. Squash prefer soil with lots of organic matter such as aged manure or compost. Harvest squash and zucchini while they are young and still shiny, and before their seeds are well-developed. The many varieties of squash are used in everything from appetizers to desserts. Squash are excellent sauteed or steamed and when used in casseroles, breads or cakes.


PROPAGATION / SOWING OF SQUASH:

Plant squash after all danger of frost has past or when the soil has warmed to 21-27°C (70-80°F) as seed will not germinate in cool soil. For early plantings, use floating row covers to raise soil temperature, increase early growth and protect tender plants from wind injury. Sow summer squash 1” deep, 6” apart, thinning to 12” apart in rows 36-48” apart. Sow winter or vining squash similarly, using a spacing of 24-36” between plants with 48-60” row spacing.


COMPANION PLANTING OF SQUASH:

Squash do well with celery, corn, onion, radish.


CARE & GROWING OF SQUASH:

Squash prefer full sun and a soil pH of 5.5-6.5. Squash are moderate feeders; mix plenty of organic matter into soil as squash prefers a rich loamy soil of good fertility and moisture retention. Even and sufficient soil moisture is essential. Squash benefits from mild feedings with a fertilizer high in phosphorous to initiate fruit formation.


HARVESTING OF SQUASH:

Harvest summer squash when they are 4-8” long and when their skin is still shiny. Winter squash can be cut later in the summer or early fall before frost, or when the skin is hard enough so that you can not cut it with your finger nail. Simply cut from the vine leaving 4-6” of stem attached to the fruit. Store in a cool, dry area.












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Squash plants have male and female flowers on the same plant. Pollen must be transferred from the male flowers to female by bees. Try growering flowers nearby that attract bees.






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