One of the best choices to grow in a garden, the yellow crookneck squash provides delicious flavor to many dishes during the summer season. This particular squash belongs to the cucurbita species along with other favorites like pumpkins and zucchinis, and is one of the top summer squash to grow in the garden because its flavor is very close to the winter variety, which is much sweeter.
To grow the best crookneck squash in your garden, just follow a few simple steps and enjoy the healthy rewards that are sure to come.
When to Plant
Always prepare the soil just after the last frost of the season. If the ground is still a little cold from the last chill, cover it with a dark plastic for approximately one week to heat up the ground and increase the moisture.
Crookneck squash also require a lot of sunlight, so choose the sunniest spot in the garden for the best results.
Best Soil Conditions
Till the soil and add a lot of organic material to create a good fertile mixture. Squash require good drainage but also an adequate amount of moisture in the soil, so choose good organic materials to lock moisture in without leaving the plants soggy.
Adding fertilizer prior to planting and regularly afterwards can help the squash grow healthy since they require an ample amount of rich soil.
How to Plant
Squash tend to grow well in hills and with a lot of space between, so planting 3 to 4 seeds per hill will provide good results. Each hill of squash should be spaced between 3 and 4 feet apart.
Sow the seeds into warm soil at a depth of 1 inch and lightly cover it with more soil. Water the area just after planting to lock in moisture.
Best Moisture Conditions
Depending on the climate, squash should be watered ever two days or so. They require a lot of moisture without leaving the roots soggy, so check the soil daily to see how much it has dried out in the sun. If the weather is particularly hot and dry, water them every day.
Ideal Sun Exposure
Crookneck squash love heat and the sun, so the sunniest area of the garden will be perfect for a healthy crop.
Insects and Disease
Some of the most common problems that gardeners encounter with crookneck squash are from Cucumber Beetle attacks and fungal disease that’s quickly spread from hot and humid conditions. Both problems can be treated with organic fungicides and insect repellents.
When to Harvest
Crookneck squash usually requires 45 to 55 days until it’s time to harvest them, though some gardeners simply wait until they reach a length of approximately 6 to 8 inches to enjoy their sweet taste.
With proper care and conditions, you can have a healthy and beautiful crop of crookneck squash to enjoy all season long.
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Pic by Mark F. Levisay.