I think squash are an amazing variety of plants. It's incredible at the amount of foliage and produce that comes from a single seed. There are varieties of squash for both summer and winter. Each have similar characteristics, so the 5 garden tips on squash listed below refer to squash plants in general.
Harvesting happens all at once with squash plants. One day there will be some small fruits appearing on the plant and then suddenly there are too many to count. Checking the plants daily will eliminate the risk of animals getting your crop of squash plants.
Plant 2 to 3 summer squash seeds per hill and place these hills 3 to 4 feet apart. This will allow for ample room between plants, so squash can expand. The winter squash varieties are more commonly vines, which means these will need plenty of room to grow. Hills for winter squash seeds should be 5 to 7 feet apart.
Plants usually enjoy regular watering and squash plants are no exception. Their fruit is mostly made up of water, so these plants thrive on lots of it. It is possible to over-water squash and cause the fruit to rot. Be sure to keep an eye on the fruit that is present after many days of rain have occurred.
Sunshine is the key to happy squash plants. They like to bask in warm sunshine as much as possible. Their large leaves gather as much energy as needed for fruit production and shade the dirt beneath them to conserve water. I make sure to plant squash in their own section of the garden where the trees won't cast a shadow on the squash.
Most squash plants prefer the heat of summer, which means you need to make sure not to plant squash seeds too early. There should be plenty of growing days for your squash plants without planting the seeds so early that there is a great danger of frost.
Using these garden tips for your squash plants might make it easier to have a successful crop. People who live in areas with short growing seasons don't even mess with planting seeds. They go straight for purchasing seedlings from a nursery. Do you have a particular type of squash you enjoy growing most of all? What makes this your favorite?
Top Photo Credit: Betty Jo
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