How to grow…Squash

We purchased some Early Butternut Winter Squash seeds this year. We planted from pre-started plants last year, and while they took up a lot of room, they were quite tasty.

Planting

  • Plant 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.
  • Can be started indoors 3-4 weeks ahead of last frost date. Sow 1 seed into a jiffy pot and transplant out after all risk of frost has passed.
  • 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.

Growing

  • Full sun and a soil pH of 5.5-6.5. 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. Benefits from mild feedings with a fertilizer high in phosphorous to initiate fruit formation.

Harvest

  • 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.

Pests & Diseases

  • Striped and spotted cucumber beetles can be controlled with Rotenone or Trounce.
  • Powdery mildew can be prevented by using a sulphur or copper fungicide during humid, damp weather.
  • Poor fruit setting in cold weather can influence fruit set and rainy periods often hamper pollinating insects.

Companions

  • Celery
  • Corn
  • Onion
  • Radish.
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