Quick Tips About Squash

If you are from the South like me, squash is in most gardeners top five of must-haves for the garden. In rural areas, you about can't give it away, because everyone had a ton of it from their own garden or has gotten some from someone! But, I have also found that when you say squash, most people automatically think of yellow (straight or crooked) neck squash that can be fried, sauteed, or baked, which is also what I thought until I started to learn more about squash. I have to say I was shocked to find out there was a whole world of different types of squash out there! There are various colors, shapes, textures, & taste of squash! But, I don't want to make this post really long and too complicated so, I'm going to break it down into 5 top things that you may not know about squash! 

  1. All of the following are actually in the squash family: Zucchini, scalloped, yellow crookneck, yellow straightneck, Odessa, marrow butternut, pumpkins, acorn, spaghetti, bitter melon, and crafting gourds. There are a ton more, but I figure these are the commonly heard of ones. I always thought that pumpkins and squash were completely different plant families, but they are the same!
  2. Squash are split into two categories: Summer & Winter. I know this is going to sound really dumb to some of you, but I really thought that one was planted in summer and the other in the fall. "Summer" & "Winter" indicates how they are stored. Summer squash has a softer skin and is perishable sooner; therefore, it has to be eaten as it is harvested. Winter squash has a harder skin so that it can be stored for a more extended period.
  3. Squash plants have a male flower and a female flower. Male flowers are tall and appear first. It can take a while for female flowers to appear. When they do, they look like small bulbs with a flower at the end. If the female flower is not pollinated by a male flower, which is done by your friendly pollinators, the small fruit will fall off or turn brown. Don't get discouraged if this happens; more will come! 
  4. Running vine squash can be trellised! If you have squash that is vining, you can train it to grow along a trellis. Trellising makes it easy to search for squash bugs and gives you more growing space on the ground. 
  5. You can trim your squash plants! Trimming is just personal preference, but it can help in three ways: allowing more energy to go towards growing fruit and not leaves, allowing pollinators more access to flowers, and makes it easy to see squash bugs. 

If you would like to see some of these tips and examples, below is a Quick Garden Tip video about squash! 

Thanks for following me into the garden, where I nurture my soul, body, & nature. 

Keep on wandering, 

Kara