Summer squash is a versatile plant that can include so many different types of squash, from yellow squash to zucchini. Growing summer squash is similar to growing any other type of vining plants. They also last a while in the refrigerator after picking, so you don't have to eat them as soon as you pick them.
How to Grow Summer Squash
In order to get the best crop of summer squash plants, wait to plant the seeds in the ground until after any danger of frost. In most states, planting summer squash should be done in early spring. Sometimes, however, it could be later, depending on climate.
When planting summer squash you want to start them in the ground by seed. Start about two to three seeds in an area that should be spaced 24 to 36 inches (61-91 cm.) apart. You can put four to five seeds in hills that are located 48 inches (1 m.) apart. Make sure to plant these seeds about an inch (2.5 cm.) deep into the soil.
Summer squash plants should be planted in well drained soil that has been raked well. When planted on hills, you will see vines and tendrils coming off the plants everywhere after a while.
You can rearrange your summer squash plant tendrils so they keep growing near or on the hill, but once the tendrils take hold, don't pull them or you might disrupt the growth of the plant. Be careful once you see fruits starting to form because if they fall off, or if you knock the flowers off your summer squash plant, it won't produce.
Summer Squash Planting Tips
Your squash will develop rapidly after the flowering stage of the plant. When harvesting the growing summer squash, you should decide what you want to use the squash for. You can use it in recipes and many different dishes. Since summer squash comes in different varieties, there are different flavors as well. Some are milder than others.
If you are looking for summer squash to cut up and cook as a simple vegetable, you might want to pick it earlier. When the squash is smaller, it tends to be more tender.
Just remember that the larger the summer squash fruit gets, the tougher the skin and seeds are. These are better for things like zucchini bread and muffins because you can grind them after removing the seeds, or for stuffing after scooping the seeds out. They bake up nice in the oven.
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Kathee Mierzejewski was with Gardening Know How in the very beginning, writing many of the site's foundational articles.
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