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Garden Help/HowTo

Squash Guide

Squash is part of the cucumber family, Cucurbita, which also includes gourds and pumpkins. The squash have large, broad leaves and 4 to 6 stems or short veins that grow from one central root.

Soil Preparation:

  • Full sun
  • Loose, well-drained soil
  • Till the soil to remove roots, rocks, weeds and other debris. Add compost or other organic material to the soil before planting.
  • Soil pH of 5.5 to 6.8 recommended

Planting:

  • Space plants 24 to 48 inches apart, depending on if they are a bush variety (zucchini) or vining variety.
  • Plant squash on raised hills.
  • Hills should be 6 to 12 inches tall and 20 inches across.
  • Make sure to use the Homegrown Gourmet plant tag as a marker so you know what is growing.

Watering:

  • Keep soil evenly moist, but not soggy.
  • In hot weather, squash will need more water.
  • Water deeply in the early part of the day.

Maintenance:

  • Side dress squash with compost tea every 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Once fruits form, it is a good idea to set them on a wooden plank rather than have them sit directing on the soil. This helps prevent insects from damaging the fruits.
  • Add a layer of mulch to keep weeds down.
  • You can train the vines to go in the direction you want by slowly turning them. Move them a little each day in the direction you want them to go.
  • Remove tertiary vines to promote large fruit growth.
  • Bury vines with an inch or two of garden soil to encourage secondary root growth.

Supplies Needed:

  • Garden Trowel
  • Garden Hose or Watering Can
  • Potting Soil or Compost
  • Shovel
  • Gardeing Gloves
  • Squash Plants
  • Fertilizer

Other Information:

Summer vs. Winter -

Summer - Produces thin-skinned fruit that is eaten with the skin on. Does not sotre well. Homegrown Gourmet varieties: Yellow Straightneck and Zucchini

Winter - Produces fruit with a thick skin and can be stored for long periods, into the winter months. The skin of winter squash is not eaten. Homegrown Gourmet variety: Spaghetti

History -

Cultivation began in South America and seeds eventually made it to Native Americans. With the arrival of the Europeans to America, squash seeds were quickly utilized and shared. Before long, winter squash was growing in gardens around the world.

Did You Know?...

Almost all pumpkin weigh-offs also have a category for giant squash? Giant squash can grow over 1,000 pounds!



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