Here are some tips for growing both summer squash and winter squash:

Site, soil type:

Both summer and winter squash need soil with moderate fertility.

Squash needs full sun.

Use well-drained soil.

Planting requirements:

Plant when the soil is at least 65 degrees.  Squash likes warm summer weather.     To get a headstart, plant indoors 4 weeks ahead and then transplant.

Squash does not like its roots disturbed when transplanting.

Squash will not tolerate frost.

Nutrition/Fertilizer needs:

Use ½ cup of a complete organic fertilizer when planting.

Water needs:

Keep the soil moist at all times.

Other tips:

Squash likes heat.  Use row covers after planting to give them increased warmth if it’s cool.

Put plastic down one week before planting to warm soil.  Put holes in the plastic and put plants in the holes.  The plastic suppresses weeds but allows sun to warm the soil.

A foliar feed with fish or kelp formula every 14 days adds nutrition and makes plants more pest resistant.

Summer squashes that start growing well, but then turn limp and succumb have not been pollinated.  Usually the earliest fruit have this problem and it goes away once the bees have found the plants.

Hand pollinate if the bees don’t seem to be doing the job.  Take an artist’s paint brush and collect pollen by swishing the male blooms.  Then brush on the female blooms.

Don’t just grow any old variety of squash or zucchini.  I’ve found that seed catalogs are fairly reliable when describing some squash varieties as “great tasting.”  Also click here to see three varieties of summer squash that I really like.

Winter squashes have varying storage capabilities.

Acorns and the red squashes are delicious right from the field, but only last a maximum of 3 months.  

Spaghetti Squash is ready to eat when picked and will keep up to 3 months.

Delicata and Sweet Dumplings can be enjoyed immediately after harvest, and store for 4 months.

Buttercups are sweeter after a few weeks of storage, and will keep up to 4 months.

Kabochas get sweeter with a few weeks of storage. The green ones will keep 4-5 months.  

Butternuts and Hubbards are better after a few weeks in storage and will keep to 6 months.