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Tips on Growing Summer Squash

Posted July 16, 2014

Summer Squash says summer!  Squash is fast and easy to grow in a wide range of climates and soils with so many varieties to choose from. Yellow straight and crooked necks. Greens ranging from dark to striped to a pale green. Ovals, flying saucers, scalloped round and yet all of them are delicious! 

Squash loves sunny locations with fertile well drained soil. Summer squash prefers and produces better in soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5 that is well drained. Spade in two heaping shovels of compost into each planting site. Dig to loosen the soil to at least 12 inches deep and add a handful of organic fertilizer such as a 3-4-3. Plant seeds in sets of 3, 3 feet apart. Thin to 1-2 seedling once they have poked through the ground. You can install protective row covers as soon as your done planting to protect you plants from bugs. 

Summer squash produce male flowers on bare stems, while the female flowers will have a tiny squash at their base. Female flowers precede male flowers. You can boost production using a small paintbrush to spread pollen from male to female flowers to supplement insect pollination. This is beneficial when plantings are fewer than five plants or insects or not present. 

Summer squash blossoms are edible and fun to cook up. You can harvest fruits from baby-sized for a delicate flavor or larger for making breads, muffins, drying into chips for a nutritious snack or stuffing them. Harvest often to keep production up. Use a sharp knife and sever at the stem. Use right away or store in the refrigerator. For longer storage time, freeze or dry blanched pieces of summer squash. 

Grow an array of colorful summer squash! Each year try some new varieties for more colorful side-dishes, pizzas and casseroles. 

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