Squash needs warm weather, Full Sun, moist soil. Sow seeds outdoors after soil has warmed in spring and all frost is over. Plant seeds 1/2 in. deep, in groups of 5 seeds. For bush-type squash, most of the summer types, space groups 3 ft. apart in rows 4 ft. apart. For vining types, space groups 6 ft. apart in rows 6 ft. apart. Add fertilizer (10-10-10) or composted manure to soil before planting. Thin plants to 3 plants per group. Mulch or cultivate to keep weeds under control.
Keep soil evenly moist. Pick summer squash daily. They are best at 6 - 8 in. long. The winter varieties, which develop a hard shell, should be left on the vines until the skin has toughened in late summer-fall. Bring in before frost damages the fruits.
MY SQUASH HAVE NO FRUITS, WHY?
They’ve been blooming for a while! Squash plants often have an imbalance in the population of male and female flowers. Squash plants have both male and female flowers. The first flowers to bloom are male. Each flower lasts just one day, and pollination occurs early in the morning. If there isn’t a fresh male flower and a fresh female flower at the same time, no pollination will occur, and no fruit will ""set"". Sometimes it takes a little while for the first female flowers to be produced. Do not water squash overhead in the morning.
WHICH FLOWERS ARE THE FEMALE ONES?
Female squash flowers have a tiny squash fruit at the outside base of the flower. The male flowers have only a very thin stem below the flower.
WHY DO MY SQUASH HAVE A STRANGE SHAPE OR COLOR (OFTEN WHITE)?
If you have squash developing with unusual color or shape, it could be that some stray squash pollen was introduced in its last generation. In the production of open-pollinated crops, pollen is transferred by bees so sometimes it is impossible to completely exclude pollen from another kind of squash.
DO SQUASH CROSS-POLLINATE WITH CUCUMBERS OR CANTALOUPE?
No, squash do not cross-pollinate with cucumbers or cantaloupes, because they are not that closely related. But squash will cross-pollinate with other types of squashes. This has no obvious effect until the following year when the next generation is growing.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SUMMER AND WINTER SQUASH?
Do winter squash grow in the winter? No, winter squash don’t grow in the winter (unless you’re lucky enough to live in Florida!) Squash need warm weather to grow. The terms ""winter"" and ""summer"" refer to the season the squash are used. Summer squash are harvested in a rather short time, when the fruits are small and still have a tender skin. These fruits are eaten fresh, and do not keep long. EX: zucchini, pattypan, crookneck, straightneck. Winter squash are grown for their hard-shelled fruits which take longer to develop and harvest, but the mature fruits have excellent keeping quality and a more developed flavor. EX: acorn, butternut, buttercup, hubbard, and vegetable spaghetti.