Tips for Planting Squash

If planting fruits and vegetables is on your to-do list this season, make sure summer squash is at the top. Summer squash is popular for its ease of planting, limited care and hefty harvest. It also comes in a variety of forms, including crookneck, scallop, pattypan and, of course, zucchini. These options give you many choices of color, size and texture to add to your table or recipe. 
 
Before planting, decide which squash is most appealing to you. Or be adventures and try growing something different. Next, follow these simple tips to create an abundant crop this season.

 

Timing

Summer squash grows best in warm soil - 60 degrees is recommended. Wait about a week to plant after the last spring frost. You can plant this crop through midsummer.

Location

Find a well-fertilized pile at the edge of your garden or work to create a rich soil base. The site needs to receive full sun. Squash are heavy feeders and need nourished soil to grow effectively. If you have limited garden space, squash can grow in containers. Use a big pot to accommodate space for growth. Squash plants can be large.

Labor

Once the soil is prepped, plant several seeds at least one-inch below the surface and two to three feet apart. If using containers, plant about five seeds per pot and about one-inch deep. Water regularly to ensure the soil is moist, but not soggy. Don't let the soil dry out. Keep in mind plants in pots usually require more water than plants in gardens.

Harvest

Most people think the bigger the better for a good crop. That's incorrect with summer squash. Pick squash when the size is small and soft. They'll taste better. Most summer squash reach maturity at seven to eight weeks.