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How to Grow Summer and Winter Squash #vegetable_gardening

Soil requirements: Squash seeds decay in wet soil and develop defectively in cool soil. 6.0-6.5 is the optimal soil pH for winter squashes. Soil should be prepared up to a depth of 18-20” for growing squash as they require enough organic matter for their feeding. The pH range 5.5-6.8 is considered as ideal for squash. If the soil is lean then various organic amendments by incorporating compost and decomposing manure could be added.

Squash plant spacing: Different squash plants require much space whether they are planted in raised gardens or the conventional hills. Winter squashes need more space around 5-7 feet apart than the summer squashes that work well with 3-4 feet hills apart. If the seeds are planted directly than they must be sown 6-8” apart with 3 feet among bush varieties and 4 feet among the vines. Proper air circulation should be present while planting squash so that the diseases could be avoided.

Watering: Like the watering process of every grown vegetable or plant is necessary, similarly proper water consumption is necessary for growing spaghetti squash or growing butternut squash. When the soil gets dry;summer squashes like yellow squash requires water till the roots for deep utilization. To avoid fruit deterioration watering must be reduced. Drip irrigation is another method of watering. However, for regular squash production 1-1.5” per week supply is considerable.

Harvesting conditions: In order to increase the production rate harvesting must be done frequently .Summer squashes like patti pan are harvested before ripening of fruits and winter squashes like acorn are harvested in the fall (usually late September-October). Some varieties take about 60 days to get maturity. Zucchini cultivars are best when they are 4-8”, however maturing a single fruit may affect the productivity. Winter squashes are tasty when the shells are hard. In this case all ripe fruits should be picked before the frost by using sharp knifes in dry weather.

Temperature and storage: Summer squashes can be stored in the refrigerator up to 10 days and winter ones are kept in cool locations for 1-6 months at a temperature of 50 to 65 degrees F packed in a freezer containers. Summer squash grows best between temperatures 65-75 degrees F with soil temperature at approximately 60 degrees F. Winter squash grows well in air temperatures ranging from 50° to 90°F.

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