Baxter County Master Gardener Program • University of Arkansas System • Division of Agriculture • © 2013 BCMG
Summer squash are harvested when tender and still immature. They're usually separated into yellow, strait ot crookneck varieties; freen zucchinis, scallop-shaped "patty-pan" fruits; or round softball-sizedtypes. Summer squash grow fast, usually marturing within two months of planting, and continue toproduce all season long. They are prolific, reliable producers, but they don't so use them right away.
Select a site with full sun to light shadeand well-drained soil. Prepare the garden bed by using a garden
fork or tiller to loosen the soil to a depth of 12 to 15 inches, then mix in a 2 to 4 inch layer of compost.
Squash can be direct sown or started indoors. If starting indoors, plant seeds in individual pots 2-3 weeks
before last frost date. Wait until all danger of squash has passed before planting squash in the garden.
Set transplants 18 to 36 inches apart at the same depth of their container. If sowing the seeds directly in
the garden, plant seeds 1 inch deep, 2 to 4 seeds per foot.
Then seedlings to 1 plant per 18 to 24 inches when the first true leaves appear. When the first five leaves
appear, mulch to eliminate weeds and retain moisture. Provide about one inch of water per week. Contact
your local county extension office for controls of common squash pests such as cucumber beetles and
squash vine borers.
Summer squash develope very rapidly after pollination. Plan to go through your patch and harvest every
day or two.Squash that are small and tender have the best flavor and table quality. Pick elongated
varieties when they reach 2 inches or less in diameter and 6 to 8 inches long. Harvest patty pan types
when they are 3 to 4 inches in diameter.
From: National Gardening Association
Plant Care Guides