The Easy Way to Prepare Summer Squash Seeds
Summer squash seeds are in plentiful supply, you just need to know how to find and store them properly. If you grow your own squash you will save a lot of money compared to buying bags of fresh fruit from a supermarket or farmer's co-ops. This is also a great way to get your kids interested in growing their own vegetables and fruits. Here are some simple ways to find and store your summer squash.
Summer Squash seeds are hardy plants, which means they can handle drought or high humidity. They love a lot of sunlight but can tolerate some shade. Squash usually grow best in mounding, so plant three to six seeds in a circle about a foot away from the center and cover with the right kind of soil. Plant seeds directly into the mounded soil three to four inches deep after the first frost. Squash can usually be started indoors three to six weeks prior to the first frost date
Different varieties of Summer Squash plants are available for harvesting. Three main varieties are edible (which you can eat right off the vine), sweet (also known as fry), and savory. Some varieties have hardier roots than others; some are tall and leery growing plants; and some have spindly looking branches. Determinate Summer Squash varieties have a tendency to be disease resistant while a variety that is annual does not. If you're harvesting for eating right off the vine, sweet, yellow, orange, and black striped Summer Squash should be ready by mid-August, and the other varieties by early September.
Once you've found the proper Summer Squash planting spot and have planted, it's time to make sure the ground is warm enough to germinate the seedlings. In order for seeds to sprout, the ground needs to reach 60 degrees Fahrenheit or better. Once you have your plantings established, you may want to water them occasionally during the months of May, June, and July. Don't water your plants when the soil temperature is less than sixty degrees Fahrenheit. Allow the soil to moisten up to room temperature before you water. Keep the water tamped out of the soil until after the first frost.
Summer squash features different cultivars that have distinctly different looks. These variegated cultivars are distinguished by the appearance of alternate star shaped leaves, which look like small, dark yellow bands on a white backdrop. The upper portion of the leaves has two pointed leaflets, while the lower leaflet is flat and cream in color. The terminal leaf on a sweet variety has three petals that have a creamy texture and a golden color.
Summer squash features an adaptable plant that is very sensitive to poor conditions, such as being planted in the shade in containers. However, they do extremely well under ideal conditions and will grow astonishingly well even in a variety of containers grown in any kind of climate. Many varieties of Summer squash are prized for their ability to grow quickly and reach high yields despite being raised in containers. These traits make them ideal for growing in home gardens as starter plants for food plots, as well as for commercial landscaping projects. They can grow up to twelve inches per year in most cases.
There are two kinds of Summer squash, the mung beans variety, which is used to make Chinese-style noodles, and the white rind variety, which is used to make pickles. Mung beans are native to Southeast Asia, while the white rind is a domesticated variety from China. Because they do not taste good unless they are eaten fresh, mung beans are often injected directly into a plant at harvest. The injection process not only gives the plant greater shelf-life, but also minimizes loss of flavor when cooking, since the crop is much smaller. Once harvested, the beans can be stored for up to two weeks in a refrigerator.
One of the biggest problems facing the grower of Summer squash craves is getting the plant off the ground. Summer squash plants are notorious for having high yield potential, but if you are not prepared to care for them, they will be dormant during the winter months. To avoid this, be sure to stake your seedling so that they can be transplanted in the spring. Another option for preparing Summer squash plants is to cut off the tendrils, which can be done with a sharp knife before planting.