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Learning how to grow squash for the first time?
These gourd-like veggies are both fun and easy to grow. Plus, not only are they good for eating, but they also make great holiday decorations.
Read on below and discover everything you need to know about how to grow squash, in this gardening guide!
About Growing Squash
The genus Cucurbita belongs to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae of herbaceous vegetables. The vegetable originates from Mesoamerica and South America (the Andes) where it is believed that it has been cultivated for over 8,000 years.
There are dozens of squash subspecies to choose from, ranging in size, shape, color, and taste. As an ingredient, it is used in everything from soup to bread, pie, pudding, and even drinks.
Traditionally, indigenous peoples utilized the vegetable for religious purposes as well (such as painting them for celebrations or making ceremonial rattles with them).
In the following sections, we discuss everything you need to know about growing squash!
Quick Squash Growing Information
|How much light is needed:||6 hours of sunlight daily|
|How much water is needed:||About 1.5 inches per week|
|Is it best to start with seeds or plants:||Either|
|The best month to plant:||Not before temp. reaches 70 F|
|Preferred climate/temperature:||In the growing zones 3 through 10|
|Is indoor or outdoor growing better:||Outdoors but indoors growing is possible and not hard|
|Do indoor plants need to be pollinated:||Yes|
|Level of difficulty to grow:||Easy to grow|
|Plant height:||Can grow more than 20 feet tall|
|Time from planting to harvest:||80 to 110 days|
Tips for Growing Squash
1. Use Organic Compost and Liquid Nutrients
Like many garden variety vegetables, squashes do best growing in rich organic compost. Liquid nutrients of some sort (even just a general-purpose fertilizer, with an NPK of 2-2-2 or 5-5-5) help promote healthy thriving plants.
We suggest giving the Down to Earth all organic all-purpose fertilizer mix a try!
2. Provide Something for Them to Climb on
Squash, like many plants that grow on vines, benefit greatly from having something to climb on. Trellis, tomato cages, fencing, or some other sort of support work the best.
When squashes are able to climb up and spread out, each plant produces more and each individual fruit may be larger and healthier than the ones growing and lying on the ground.
3. Keep the Soil Constantly Moist But Well-Drained
Squash plants do best in soil that is constantly moist, but soil that says well-drained. Again, for this reason, it is best to use organic compost.
Adding an inch or two of mulch around the base of the plants (covering the soil directly above their root system) helps retain moisture and nutrient uptake levels.
Squash Growing FAQs
What is the Best Way to Grow Squash?
Squashes grow best outdoors in well-draining rich and organic soil mixed with compost, somewhere that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. They require 1 to 1.5 inches of water weekly. Further, squash greatly benefits from having a trellis or some sort of support system to climb up and spread out over.
What Month Do You Plant Squash?
There is no singular best time to plant all squashes, rather each species should be planted at a certain time of the year. That said, most squash may be planted in February, March, April, and May. Winter squash on the other hand needs planting in July, August, or September.
How Many Squash Will One Plant Produce?
Most squash plants that are grown for eating may produce up to five or more individual fruits (some hybrid species may grow almost twice as many squashes). However, larger species, like pumpkins, may only grow between one and three mature fruits.
Suggested Reading: How to Grow Broccoli: Gardening Guide
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