Early Prolific Straightneck Squash Guide
Squash grows best in warm weather between 60°F-95°F. They do great in small gardens and pretty large containers (5-10 gallon). Bank on Seeds recommends direct seeding.
If Direct Seeding
- Direct seed outside 3-4 weeks after last frost date; or
- Direct seed into a container 24 inches wide and 12 inches deep anytime of the year. It can be placed outside when the temperature is between 65°F-95°F; or
Begin the growing season early and start the squash seeds indoors 3-4 weeks before last frost date in biodegradable pods that will let the roots grow through. Germination is best and fastest between 65°F-75°F. It can be transplanted outside 6 weeks later.
Sow seeds 1 inch deep and 24 inches apart with rows spaced 18-24 inches apart. Germination will take 4-9 days.
Squash likes well-draining, loose soil with lots of aged compost and organic matter. They also love full sun and warm weather. Water often and consistently to keep the soil evenly moist, especially on hot days. Check the top 1-2 inches of soil and if dry, water it. Do not let dry between watering.
Apply mulch around the area to retain moisture and deter weeds. Use 5-10-10 fertilizer every 4-6 weeks.
Squash develops in 45-50 days. The squash is ready when the outer skin is hard enough not to be punctured by your nail. Cut the squash, leaving 3 inches of stem above the fruit to keep fresh longer.
Aphids, squash bug, borer, cucumber beetles – handpick or spray off, neem oil, row cover or plant collar, insecticidal soap
Wilt, mosaic virus, mildew, blossom end rot – crop rotation, ensure enough air flow, keep free of debris
*Companion plant beans with strawberries, cucumbers, melons, beets, eggplants, peas, and celery. Avoid planting with garlic, fennel, and onions.*