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Summer squash        

Cucurbita pepo

'Summer squash' is a plant in the Cucurbita genus with a scientific name of Cucurbita pepo.

There are several well known varieties within C. pepo, including Zucchini, Acorn Squash, Delicata Squash, Spaghetti Squash, as well as many others.

C. pepo are summer squashes, and the main difference between summer and winter squashes are their uses. Summer squashes are generally harvested earlier in the season, and are eaten right off the vine. Their skin is often soft and edible, and in general (with the exception of some like the Delicata Squash) cannot be kept for winter storage and fresh eating.

Blooms appear in these approximate colours:   Yellow and   Electric yellow and   Canary yellow. When fully grown, they tend to grow to a diameter of 10.0 cm (that's 3.9 inches in imperial). The mature flowers take a single form, with an approximate petal count of 6. When ripe, fruit appear in these approximate colours:   Grade 1 Paint Green and   Green-yellow. Leaves appear approximately as a   Kelly green and   Office Green

Summer squash grows as an annual and is a flowering edible vegetable / fruit. Being an annual plant, it tends to grow best over the course of a single year.

Normally growing to a mature height of 60.0 cm (1.95 feet), Summer squash grows with a spreading habit. This plant tends to bloom in early summer, followed by first harvests in mid summer.

Try planting Summer squash if you'd like to attract bees to your garden.

Some varieties of Summer squash you may like to consider growing are: Yellow Straight Neck, Early Prolific Straightneck, Table Queen Acorn, Delicata and Lemon.

Summer squash needs a moderate amount of maintenance, so some level of previous experience comes in handy when growing this plant. Ensure that you are aware of the soil, sun, ph and water requirements for this plant and keep an eye out for pests.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Summer squash have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Summer squash

  • Full Sun

  • Medium

As with any squash variety, prevention of disease is the key to getting a good harvest. Squash are particularly susceptible to powdery mildew, a fungus which manifests itself as a white powdery-looking substance on the leaves. Left untreated, this can kill the entire plant.

Good methods for preventing powdery mildew are proper air circulation around the plant and providing cover via row covers during periods of excess rain. Keep the plants well spaced, and as an extra method of prevention, spray the leaves with a milk/water or baking soda/water/dish soap mixture. Baking soda and milk both have anti-fungal properties. Any leaves that are affected, trim off and burn.

Plant in a location that enjoys full sun and remember to water moderately. Zone 3 to 12 are typically the USDA Hardiness Zones that are appropriate for this plant (although this can vary based on your microclimate). Ideally plant in loamy soil and try to keep the ph of your soil between the range of 5.6 and 7.5 as Summer squash likes to be in weakly acidic soil - weakly alkaline soil. Keep in mind when planting that Summer squash is thought of as tender, so remember to ensure that temperatures are mild before moving outdoors.

See our list of companion Plants for Summer squash to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.

Growing Summer squash from seed

Older stored seed may take longer to germinate, sow two seeds to a 7cm pot and pull up the weakest seeding. Grow on and pot on as seedling develops, keep under cover and harden off gradually

Aim to sow 0.98 inches (2.5 cm) deep and try to ensure a gap of at least 1.46 feet (45.0 cm). Soil temperature should be kept higher than 18°C / 64°F to ensure good germination.

By our calculations*, you should look at sowing Summer squash about 14 days after your last frost date .

Transplanting Summer squash

Plant out after all danger of frost has past, giving enough room for the plant to grown

Ensure that temperatures are mild and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Summer squash is a tender plant.

By our calculations*, you should look at planting out Summer squash about 14 days after your last frost date.

Harvesting Summer squash

Summer squash are harvested when the fruit are a good size but still tender. Harvesting encourages more flowers to form and a longer harvesting season

Seed Saving Summer squash

Squash easily cross pollenate with others on the same family, so it is difficult to keep the seeds true.

How long does Summer squash take to grow?

These estimates for how long Summer squash takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.

Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!

Days to Germination How long does it take Summer squash to germinate?
8 days

Average 8 days | Min 1 days | Max 23 days (321)

Days to Transplant How long until I can plant out Summer squash?
+ 23 days

Average 23 days | Min 2 days | Max 57 days (98)

Days to Maturity How long until Summer squash is ready for harvest / bloom?
+ 67 days

Average 67 days | Min 1 days | Max 146 days (174)

Total Growing Days How long does it take to grow Summer squash?
= 98 days

When should I plant Summer squash?

Our when to plant Summer squash estimates are relative to your last frost date.

Enter your frost dates and we'll calculate your sowing and planting dates for you!

When to sow The number of days to sow Summer squash before or after your last frost date.
14 days after Last Frost Date
When to plant out The number of days to plant out Summer squash before or after your last frost date.
14 days after Last Frost Date

Other names for Summer squash


Cucurbita pepo L.

Misspellings: Zuchinni, Curcubita pepo

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