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
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 3 to 4 feet
apart. 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 4 inches apart in rows 4 to 5
feet apart. Snip off plants to thin to one plant every 12 to 24 inches.
For extra early crops, start 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 about 1 to 2 feet apart after all danger
of frost has passed.
To hasten first harvest by as much as 2
weeks, use black plastic mulch to warm soil before direct seeding or
transplanting. Early fruits are sometimes wrinkled, turn black or rot
due to poor pollination.
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 cover before
flowering to allow pollination by insects or when hot weather arrives.
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 and destroy.
cucumber beetles - Construct tents of fine netting or cheeesecloth or
use floating row covers over young plants. Put in place at planting and
remove at flowering. Control of beetles may be a factor in preventing
Bacterial wilt (Erwinia tracheiphila ) -
Remove and destroy infested plants. If striped or spotted cucumber beetles appear control as soon as possible.
mildew - Avoid wetting foliage if possible. Water early in the day so
that aboveground parts will dry as quickly as possible. Avoid crowding
plants and eliminate weeds around plants and garden area to improve air
Scab - Avoid wetting foliage if possible. Water
early in the day so that aboveground parts will dry as quickly as
possible. Avoid crowding plants and eliminate weeds around plants and
garden area to improve air circulation.
Viral disease - Remove
and destroy entire infested plant along with immediately surrounding
soil and soil clinging to roots. Eliminate wild cucumber and milkweed
nearby. Plant variety Multipik to mask symptons on fruit. Control
aphids early in the season by washing off with water as needed early in
the day. A hard stream of water can be used to remove many aphids.