Spineless Perfection (Hybrid Summer Squash)
Latin Name: Cucurbita pepo
Item #: 296F
SQUASH - Summer
6-8 lbs/2.7-7 kg per acre; oz/28 g sows 100 ft/31 m row.
CULTURE: Summer squash include the zucchini, butter crookneck, marrow, spaghetti and scallop types, and with the exception of spaghetti and scallop types, summer squash should be harvested and eaten when only 4-8 in/10-20 cm long, when flavor is at its peak. The 12-18 in/31-46 cm specimens illustrated in most seed catalogs are over-mature and not worth eating. The zucchini types are bushy plants that yield tremendous crops if picked continuously all summer. Production is considerably reduced if fruit are left to mature to the full 18 in/46 cm in length.
SOWING: Sow outdoors May 15 - July 4th @ 4 seeds per ft/31 cm; 0.5-0.75 in/13-19 mm deep, cover seed with fine soil and firm. Plant in rows 3.5-5 ft/1-1.5 m apart. Seed can also be sown in hills or groups of 4 seeds per hill placed 3 ft/1 m apart in the row. Thin seedlings to 18 in/46 cm apart or 2 plants per hill when they are about 2 in/5 cm high. Summer squash like a warm sandy soil which is well fertilized @ 600 lbs/272 kg of 6-24-24 per acre, incorporated into the soil during May before seeding.
PESTS: Control cucumber beetles and squash bugs. Limit the use of sprays during heavy flowering periods as all vine crops depend on insects for pollination. Keep summer squash well picked to keep plants producing.
HARVEST fruit when young for best flavor.
FREEZING: Wash and cut into 0.5 in/13 mm slices. Blanch for 3 min., no longer or you will over-cook it. Cool quickly, drain, pack and quick freeze.