Summer squash is a vine that is closely related to the cucumber. It has a fibrous inner bark and flesh that is oval in shape. The seed is the endosperm, or black vein that grows from the middle of a seed. The skin on a summer squash is white and thick, and it has a strong, bitter taste when ripe. The best time to eat a summer squash is raw; boiled squash is sour in taste and loses most of its nutritional value.
Summer squash seeds are available at your local nursery and garden center. You can plant seeds in a variety of soils, which will depend on your local soil and climate. If you live in an area with heavy clay soils, you should avoid planting summer squash seeds in sandy soils, since the squash tends to break up in the clay, while the root system does not get sufficient support. However, some varieties of the vine are able to tolerate sandy soils, provided they have been allowed to grow to a good size prior to planting in that particular location. Before you start planting your Summer Squash, it is wise to check with your local extension office to determine the right type of seeds for your area.
Because they do not vine for long, many people grow them in urban gardens. Because these varieties do not vine, they are perfect for urban gardens, providing a healthy alternative to fruits and vegetables. Because these varieties don't vine, you do not need to be concerned about weeds growing around your fruit or vegetable garden. This is a major benefit if you are planning on planting Summer Squash in urban areas, because non-weed varieties are often hardier and more resilient than weed species.
Summer Squash is highly productive, produces large quantities of small, edible seeds, and has high yields. The small, edible seeds are used to produce delicious acorn squash, zucchini, and cucumbers. Summer Squash makes an excellent, cheap, and reliable food source, especially during the months of the year when fruits and vegetables are abundant, but yields are low. The small size of the squash allows you to be able to pick and eat the produce. Because it is so versatile, it is an ideal food for individuals who lead busy lives.
Most of the hardy variety of Summer Squash seeds can be planted in the garden one to two weeks before the first frost. Once established, these vines will remain green, producing small crops throughout the winter. If you are going to plant outside, you should allow them to reach at least one inch of ground before planting in order to get them started, since they will probably not be growing under that much weight at the beginning. If you plant them directly into the garden after they have grown in the ground one to two inches, they will need to help themselves, and you will need to leave room in the garden for them to climb up and out.
It is very important that you have prepared the soil in your area for the seeds, since these vines are actually a vine plant and cannot grow unless there is good, moist soil. The soil should be firm, with no loose soil, as squash vines tend to dig in to the earth in search of water and nutrients. Good soil conditions will also mean that your squash plants will be able to thrive even in areas with disease or poor soil, such as in the south. Make sure to mix the ground with sand, as well as rake it to make it loose and even. Three fourths of an inch of sand is usually good, but you may need to add sand to the remaining part of the soil if you live in an area where you receive heavy downpours or have water lagoons.
When growing Summer Squash, you should be aware that, like other squash species, they grow best in a warm, sunny location but they also do very well in partial shade or in partial to full shade. They also do very well on a high-quality, organic lawn. For these reasons, if you want to grow Summer Squash, you should try to put them in areas of your yard where they can get maximum exposure to sunlight. If you place them in areas where there is very little or no sunshine, though, you might not be able to guarantee that they will grow at all. You should know that some varieties of Summer Squash, such as the Bush Squash, will grow quite well in low light environments, but others, such as the hybrids, will do best in full sun.
To ensure that the Summer Squash you plant will yield tasty, nutritious, and delicious fruit, you'll need to know how to properly harvest your crop. In order to do this, it is important to remember that the best time to harvest your squash is late in the afternoon or early evening, after the last frost. However, if you wish to pick your squash right before harvest time, you can use a shears to cut them down to approximately two inches high. This will ensure that your squash is fresh and you will be able to enjoy its taste immediately, rather than having to wait for it to ripen.