Growing Summer Squash

Love growing summer squash it is quick to grow as the weather warms and summer squash keeps on coming all summer.

Yellow crook neck, patty pan and zucchini squash are the summer favorites.

Summer squash come in various varieties and colors.

Zucchini squash is very prolific with dark green, medium light green yellow fruit and sometimes striped.

Gray zucchini is a mid-east style and has a smooth nutty flavor. It’s one my favorite varieties.

Crookneck and yellow summer squash has a small crookneck or straight neck similar to zucchini varieties.

Zephyr is unique color pattern with a yellow top and green bottom.

Yellow summer squash has a smooth creamy flavor. Best when picked young about 4 to 6 inches long.

Patty Pan or Scallop summer squash are fun little squash that look like flying saucers.

One of my husband’s favorite. These fun squash have colorful types of dark green, light green, yellow, orange and white.

I grow some of each of these every spring and they make a great mix when cooked together.

Soil Preparation for Growing Summer Squash

Because summer squash is a quick growing plant it loves to have a rich soil. Dig in some compost to the soil in the fall or composted compost in the spring.

Summer squash can be planted in rows or hills. I like to plant in hills because you only need a few plants for a summer full of squash so it saves space.

When the spring has warmed up about the time I plant sweet corn, plant 3 to 4 squash seeds about ½ inch deep in a group.

Plant a separate hill for each variety of summer squash. Allow 3 to 4 square feet of space per hill.

If your soil is amended with good compost you will not need to fertilize the rest of the summer.

If you soil is lacking organic matter use a good organic fish emulsion, compost tea or kelp fertilizer. Follow the label directions for applying the fertilizer.

Harvesting Summer Squash

About 2 ½ months from planting summer squash the fruit begins to form. The male blooms appear first on thin stems. Soon the female flowers will appear with small squash buds on the end.

Squash grows quickly and it’s best to harvest the young fruits when they are 4 to 6 inches.

Start checking your harvest every other day to keep your plants producing.

Sometimes the squash get away from you and you end up with a huge squash. Go ahead and harvest. I usually feed these to the chickens or shred for cookies and cakes. Large summer squash can also be juiced.

Summer squash juice is sweet and nutritious. It is great added to carrot and apple juice.

Use a knife to cut off the fruit when harvesting your squash to prevent damage to your plants.

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