Fall is right around the corner, which means flavorful fall recipes aren’t far behind. For us, nothing is better this time of year than a comforting soup, savory salad or decadent pasta. The thing that unites them all? The humble, magnificent squash.
Growing squash may seem like an undertaking, especially when working in a small space. We’re here to tell you that not only can you grow fall’s most iconic veggies at in your home garden, but you also grow squash in pots without a huge, in-ground plot.
Choosing where to grow squash
Growing squash at home is easy, given a sunny spot and a rich, free-draining soil. Plenty of compost and horse manure should be added to the soil when planting. You can prepare individual planting pockets.
How to sow squash seeds
Being large and flat, squash seeds are easy to work with, and make good sowing projects for children.
For the earliest crops, sow indoors from late April. Sow individually in small pots filled with multi-purpose compost. Yoghurt pots are a good alternative. Sow the seeds about 1 inch deep on their sides. Place pots in a propagator or clear plastic bag and set on a warm windowsill until seeds germinate. Provide them with five to six hours of bright sunlight daily and water them when the mix feels dry to the touch. If you plant more than one seed per pot, when the seedlings have two leaves, thin them to keep only the strongest seedlings. Wait until the weather is reliably warm before transplanting seedlings into the pockets.
Get the right pockets
Picking the right pockets is key to the success of your plants and your eventual harvest. You’ll want a pockets with a minimum 24 inch diameter that is at least twelve inches deep to allow the root systems to flourish. Drainage holes are also very important for proper moisture control. You also need a trellis because squash is a vining.
The first stage of growth is germination, when the seed begins to sprout roots. Under the right condition, germination can take as little as three to four days. After developing roots, the seed will start to send up a stem and begin to produce leaves. You’ll want to look for true leaves, which are smaller versions of what typical squash leaves would be. The squash plant will continue to grow, developing new leaves and stems. After 7 days, choose healthy plants to cough into the pockets. Two plants should perform well in a grow bag. Set in a spot and water regularly to prevent compost from drying out. Do away with frequent feeding through the season by adding incredicrop to your compost at planting time.
To maximize growing space, use a trellis for additional vertical room. In the final stage before harvest, both male flowers and female flowers will begin to form. With the help of pollinators, squash will grow behind the blossoms. The flowers will eventually dry up and fall away to allow the fruit to grow. If you are using a trellis, it’s important to provide additional support for the growing squash so that they can remain on the vine for as long as possible.
Harvesting & Storage
Summer squash tastes better when smaller in size so for best quality and flavor, they should be harvested when young and tender. Squash grow rapidly so it is a good idea to regularly (every 1 or 2 days) check for more, especially in hot weather.
Often summer squashes are harvested too late when the fruit is large and hard. Most elongated varieties are picked when they are 2-3 inches in diameter and 6 to 8 inches long.
Regular harvesting will increase the yield.
Use a sharp knife or pruning shears to harvest and wear gloves if possible as the leafstalks and stems are prickly and can scratch and irritate unprotected hands and arms
Winter squash can be usually be harvested when the vines have died or around the time of a light frost. The fruits will have turned a deep, solid color and the rind will be hard (not easily pierced by a fingernail). Harvest the main part of the crop before heavy frosts hit your area.
Cut squash from the vines carefully, leaving two inches of stem attached. Avoid cuts and bruises when handling. Fruits that are not fully mature, have been injured, have had their stems knocked off, or have been subjected to heavy frost do not keep and should be used as soon as possible or be composted.
Thank you for visiting our website! We hope you will find something of interest on our website. Watch the video in the below:
Video resource: TEO Garden