Squash come in all kinds of shapes and sizes from massive pumpkins to tiny patty pan squashes. There are winter squashes, such as pumpkins and butternut squash and summer squashes, such as yellow crookneck, yellow straightneck, and scallop, which are harvested when immature. They are all relatively easy to grow from seed.
Sow April - May
wo weeks before planting or sowing seed outdoors, make planting pockets 90cm (3ft) apart for bush plants of summer squashes and 1.5m (5ft) for trailing plants of summer squashes.
Do this by making a hole about a spade’s depth, width and height and fill with a mixture of compost or well-rotted manure and soil. Sprinkle a general fertiliser over the soil. Plant one plant on top of each planting pocket.
For indoor-raised seedlings, plant outside on top of your planting pocket in early June, hardening off (acclimatising) before doing so. Do this by moving them into a coldframe for a week or, if you don’t have a coldframe, move plants outdoors during the day, then bring in at night for a week. The following week leave them out in a sheltered spot all day and night.
You can also grow summer squashes in growbags or containers at least 45cm (18in) wide. Plant one or two per growbag, or one per container.
Keep the soil constantly moist by watering around the plants, not over them. As they need plenty of water, sink a 15cm (6in) pot alongside the plants when planting out. Water into this and it will help ensure the water goes right down to the roots and does not sit around the neck of the plant, which can lead to rotting.
Feed every 10-14 days with a high potash liquid fertiliser once the first fruits start to swell.
The fruit of pumpkins should be supported off the soil on a piece of tile or glass.
Harvest summer squashes when the fruit is still quite small. For winter squashes for overwintering, let the fruit mature on the plant and remove before the first frost strikes.
ie: Asparagus and Pumpkins
2 posts • Page 1 of 1