Summer Squash

My Zucchini plants

Tiny scallop squash plant

white scallop squash

Summer Squash: a prolific grower.

When to plant summer squash: Start indoors two weeks before last Spring frost or direct sow immediately after last frost. In my neck of the woods, the average last Frost date is February 11th, although we sometimes have Frosts after that date.  (Squash doesn’t transplant well due to long taproot but I have done well growing seedlings in a peat moss bag that can be planted without disturbing the root).

Spacing: 1 per 9 square feet.  But for square foot gardeners, 1 to 2 square feet.  Grow vertically for optimum space efficiency.

Companion Planting:

Squash helps: corn, beans.

Squash is helped by radishes.  Grow icicle-type radish around squash and allow them to go to seed to repel insects.  Nasturtium repels squash bugs.  Squash is also helped by sunflowers, buckwheat, catnip and tansy.

Avoid planting with: potatoes.

Other predators: squash vine borer and squash bug.

Diseases: powdery mildew.  Water the root – not the plant.

Time to harvest: 8 weeks for summer squash.

How to harvest summer squash: every three days; no later than when the blossoms wilt, or 6 to 9 inches long.  Squash loses its flavor as the seeds mature.

Storing: For summer squash: slice them, blanch in boiling water or steam for 3 minutes, cool in ice water for 5 minutes, vacuum seal or use Ziploc.  Can also cook and then store.

Zucchini Harvest

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