How to plant:
Maintenance and care:
Germination temperature: 60 F to 105 F - Will not germinate in cold
soil. Wait to plant until soil reaches at least 65 F -- preferably 70 F
or more. Germinates best at 95 F.
Days to emergence: 5 to 10
- Should germinate in less than a week with soil temperature of 70 F and adequate moisture.
Seed can be saved 6 years.
Squash like warm soil and are very sensitive to frost. So don’t be in a
rush to plant early in spring. Wait until danger of frost has passed
and soil has warmed to about 70 F, or about 2 weeks after the last
you are trying to grow a long-season variety in an area that gets early
frosts, there’s really no need to start winter squash inside. Instead,
direct seed ½ to 1 inch deep into hills (which warm and drain earlier
in the season) or rows. Sow 4 to 5 seeds per hill. Space hills about 4
to 8 feet apart, depending on the size of the fruit. (The larger the
expected size of the squash, the larger the vine and the farther apart
you should space the hills.) When the plants are 2 to
3 inches tall, thin to 2 to 3 plants per hill by snipping off unwanted
plants without disturbing the roots of the remaining ones. In rows, sow
seeds 6 to 12 inches apart in rows 4 to 8 feet apart. Snip off plants
to thin to one plant every 18 to 36 inches.
If you need to
start plants early, plant inside in 2- to 3-inch pots or cells 3 to 4
weeks before transplanting outside. Sow 3 or 4 seeds per pot and thin
to one or two plants by snipping off the weaker plants to avoid
damaging the roots of those that remain. Harden off by cutting back on
water and reducing temperature before transplanting. Plant transplants
out in the garden at the same final spacings above after all danger of
frost has passed.
Black plastic mulch can speed growth,
especially in cool, short-season areas. At the end of the season,
remove or till in vines to reduce mildew. Use row covers to protect
plants early in the season and to prevent insect problems. Remove
before flowering to allow pollination by insects or when hot weather
Mulching plants helps retain moisture and suppress
weeds. Mounding soil around the base of the plants can discourage
squash borers from laying eggs.
Squash bug - Hand pick. Bury or compost plant residues after harvest.
Squash vine borer - Remove by hand. Butternut squash is resistant.
cucumber beetles - Construct tents of fine netting or cheesecloth or
use floating row cover over young plants. Put in place at planting and
remove before flowering. Control of beetles may be a factor in
preventing bacterial wilt.
Bacterial wilt (Erwinia tracheiphila) - Remove and destroy infested plants. Control cucumber beetles if they appear.
mildew - Avoid wetting foliage if possible. Water early in the day so
aboveground plant parts will dry as quickly as possible. Avoid crowding
plants. Space apart and eliminate weeds around plants and garden area
to improve air circulation.
Scab - Avoid wetting foliage if
possible. Water early in the day so aboveground parts
can dry as quickly as possible. Avoid crowding plants, Space apart and
eliminate weeds around plants and garden area to improve air
circulation. In autumn, rake and dispose of all diseased leaves and
fruit. Do not save your own seed.
Viral disease -Remove and
destroy entire infested plant along with immediately surrounding soil
and soil clinging to roots. Eliminate wild cucumber and milkweed
nearby. Control aphids early in the season.