How to Grow Summer Squash - Secrets For Growing Squashes the Simple Way
There is a season for every garden vegetable and for Summer Squash, that season is early spring. If you do not start early, you miss the best chance to get the best fruit and vegetables. It is the off season for squash. They should be started within three weeks of the first hard frost. If you wait until the first summer frosts appear, squash will never produce good quality fruit or vegetables.
To plant: Once you have identified the variety of summer squash seeds you want, dig a hole in the center of a square foot and fill with dirt. Squash usually grow well in mounded soil, so dig up some loose soil and spread three to five summer varieties per hole. Plant seeds at least one inch deep in the mounded soil, but preferably two inches deep.
Planting depth depends on whether the seed is in the ground already or just needed to be planted a little deeper. Be sure the seed is not exposed to frost. Squash should be planted in six-inch circles about an inch apart, but three to four feet apart if they are being grown in garden planters. The summer squash that are harvested should be planted up higher so the leaves do not get tangled together. Harvested seeds should be kept in a cool place until needed.
Three good varieties are the yellow squash, the orange squash and the pumpkin variety. Since there are not as many varieties of squash available in the grocery store compared to other vegetables, you might consider starting several varieties to give your garden variety options. This will also increase the amount of produce you can purchase since there is always something to eat with every variety.
When you buy seedlings, make sure that you get them from a reputable company that has been in business for at least a few years. Seedlings that are bought direct from a grower may have been exposed to more heat and pesticides than seedlings that came from a nursery. Seedlings that come from nurseries will also be under the watchful eye of knowledgeable staff members who will be able to tell you what to look for and when to expect the plants to grow fully. Seedlings that are grown under this type of observation usually turn out healthier, but all varieties have to go through a growing period to ensure their proper development.
Some people prefer to buy at the store instead of going through the trouble of collecting and planting their own seedlings. It takes at least a week to get the new plants well established, although some people have reported having plants within three days. Many people like to save money by buying in bulk and then saving the seeds for planting a specific year. There are some very popular brands of Summer Squash Seedling that can be found at most garden centers or in specialty nurseries.
Another reason to purchase these seeds in bulk is because of how fast they will germinate. Once they are planted, it will only take a week for the roots to develop and then the new plant can begin growing. To ensure that they remain viable until the new season arrives, make sure that you have them covered with a plastic cover or blanket so that they don't get damage from harsh weather conditions. You should make sure that you plant your squash in a healthy soil with good drainage. If you are in an area where temperatures stay below freezing for long periods of time, you should make sure that the soil is at least perlite based to maximize the nutrients that the plant receives during the growing season.
There are two different methods of sprouting your summer squash, either indoors or outdoors. There are also two different cultivars, each with its own set of special characteristics. The more common cultivar is the Shasta 'Santolina' and the more rare cultivar, the Golden Vine 'Rooibos'. Both of these seeds are available at most garden centers and some health food stores for a price that shouldn't put a dent in your summer squash budget.