A list of the most productive vegetable plants would have to include squash.
Zucchini, summer squash, crooknecks, pattypans — they all provide an
abundant harvest. Squashes grow best during the long, hot days of summer, with
maximum sunshine and warm nights. The plants won't tolerate cold temperatures.
1. Prepare. Loosen soil
to a depth of 8 to 10 inches using a shovel or tiller. Mix in some compost
or slow-release fertilizer to provide plants with nutrients. Then rake the
soil smooth, removing any large clumps and rocks.
2. Plant. There are
squash varieties that form long vines and bush varieties that form a low
mound. Sow squash seeds in a row, about an inch
deep and 6 inches apart. Or, plant them in hills (flat-topped mounds), sowing
4 to 6 seeds in a 3-foot-diameter hill. To plant, either poke a hole with your
finger and place the seed in the hole, or use a hoe to create a shallow furrow.
Cover seed with soil and press gently.
3. Grow. Once seedlings
are a few inches tall, thin them by removing extra plants so the remaining
ones are about 2 feet apart, or 2 to 3 plants per hill. Water soil to keep
it moist. Pull weeds that sprout nearby. Apply organic mulch,
like bark chips, to control weeds and conserve soil moisture, keeping the mulch
an inch or two from stems.
4. Enjoy. Harvest squash
when they're small and tender. If any get too large, harvest and discard rather
than letting them remain on the vine. Frequent harvesting encourages plants
to continue producing.
Garden Seed Association (HGSA) |
P.O. Box 93, Maxwell, CA 95955 |
Phone (530) 438-2126 |
AT A GLANCE
Planting time: After last spring frost
Planting depth: 1 inch deep
Spacing in row: 6 inches apart; thin
to 2 feet apart or 2 to 3 plants per hill
Time to harvest : 50 to 65 days,
depending on variety.