Summer squash seeds can be planted in late spring, early summer, or autumn, depending on your growing conditions. Seeds can be bought at local nurseries, gardening stores, or online at reputable web sites. Be sure that you plant the seeds just before freezing in order to germinate. Seeds should be planted about one to two feet away from their parent plant in a warm location where they can get plenty of sun. They will start to blossom in early summer, moving toward the light on the horizon as the months pass.
The most common summer squash seeds are Early Prolific, a flat, upright yellow squash; Yellow Bells, a bell-shaped yellow squash; or the Vine Seed, a tall dry root vine variety with a fleshy tapering base. The seeds should be planted in loosely packed clay pots and covered with well-rotted garden paper. Be sure that the plants are kept dry until the start of fall. Other popular heirlooms are the Coneflower, Dutchman's Squash, Fritillary, Longiflorum Lettuce, Pigtail, Shinewing, Tsuru, and White Leek.
Saving summer squash seeds for next year's planting is simple, if the plants have been properly prepared prior to planting. When the weather is still very cold, store seeds at a cool place, usually a refrigerator or a cold storage bin. Seeds should be stored away from other types of tender plants as they may survive milder temperatures. Drying out the seeds will kill them. Be sure to dry them completely before storing them.
Summer squash seeds come in many varieties. Most are available in the common supermarket with a few more being sold in farmer's markets or health food stores. Two of the most popular varieties are the yellow and white varieties. Yellow, or sweet potato, is very popular in American cooking. Many recipes call for the sweet potato. The plant comes with a hardy thick flesh that makes it ideal for eating just like the way it was originally cooked.
In Europe, sweet potatoes are cultivated in many countries including Italy, Spain, France, and the United States. The plant has a long history in folklore. It is thought to have been used as an antidote to poison. It is also thought to have been eaten by witches. While there is no direct evidence of this, many believe that it was used to grow a magic spellbound plant that would catch flies and cause them to die. The plant was eventually named after King Solomon's Garden because it grew very quickly.
Summer squash requires full sun to thrive. They are a perennial vine that produces a whole array of fruit when they are fully mature. The most prolific of the varieties is the purple or blue vine, which can reach up to ten inches in height.
If you are growing the fruit indoors, you will need to provide them with plenty of sunlight and fertilizer every four weeks during the growing season. The seeds will germinate in direct sunlight but you will have to provide fertilizer when the plant has finished blooming. Keep in mind that the seeds need to be planted in warm soil temperatures. Avoid planting the seed in shaded areas where the soil temperature may drop below 60 degrees F.
Harvesting your Summer squash is simple. When the rind appears, cut off the stem and discard it. The white skin will collect the leftover pulp and can be used in soups and stews. If you store the fruit in a refrigerator, it can last for up to two months after it has been harvested.