ALL ABOUT SQUASH: Planting Squash

Now that you’ve decided your squash varieties for your garden, it is time to get to planting squash. Here are a few tips to keep your squash plants happy and healthy!

Summer squash needs full-sun, warm temperatures, and a steady moisture supply. Stock garden beds with plenty of compost matter and make sure drainage is plentiful. If you’d prefer to keep your squash growing contained you can do so. They thrive well in 5-gallon planter containers.

Directly sow summer squash seeds in late spring to early summer, once all threat of frost has passed.  Space your plantings about 1.5-2 feet apart, depending on variety. Typically squash plants can harvest in about 60-90 days. If you want to have a continuous supply, plant seeds in succession.

Winter squash appreciates well-drained soil and warm conditions, too. Prepare three-foot wide planting hills for your winter squash and loosen the soil to at least 12 inches deep. Mix in compost for a nutrient rich base. Plant six seeds per hill to later thin out to three seeds per hill.  Winter squash varieties can be planted throughout the summer up until about 14 weeks before fall frost dates are expected.

Protective row covers should be used on your winter squash varieties. Row covers can be used for various reasons – to hold heat, to keep plants from pests and disease, to guard from weather elements that can be damaging. Using row covers as frost blankets can give them up to 8 degrees of frost protection or can help your almost harvested crops continue to grow even in cooler temperatures.

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