tedln
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2178
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:06 pm
Location: North Texas

Summer Squash Report!

In years past, I've had good luck growing the Burpee Pic & Pic hybrid crook neck squash. Invariably, late in the season; the SVB's would kill the plants. I built pvc pipe hoops covered by netting to protect them this year. While I had great production early in the season, I think the heat hurt the squash as much as it hurt the rest of my garden. I have not seen a single SVB this year so I don't know if the hoops were worth the effort or not. I don't think I will put them back up next year since they don't usually kill my plants until late season anyhow. I will probably use the hoops covered with clear plastic as a cold frame over one of the beds next spring.

I planted three varieties this year just to compare against the Pic & Pic.

"Gold Bar" hybrid grew early and produced big plants. They were not overly productive, but the fruit they did produce were straight neck and probably twice as large as the other varieties when picked early and tender. Productivity tapered off earlier than the other varieties.

"Horn Of Plenty" hybrid germinated late although all varieties were planted on the same day. The plants were medium sized and very productive with medium sized fruit when picked early and tender. It is still producing a few fruit.

"Burpee Pic & Pic" hybrid germinated early, produced medium sized fruit, productivity was very good, continues to produce fruit, and I believe out performed the other varieties. I will probably only plant the pic & pic next year.

All of my squash vines grew between 5' and 6' long. The early leaves would turn brown, and dry up; as the vine grew producing new leaves and new fruit at the growing tips. When the vines exceeded 4' in length, the fruit produced became smaller and smaller.

I am leaving the bed with the pic & pic to produce some late season fruit as it sometimes does. The bed with the Gold Bar has been cleaned and turned over with a lot of organics added and some new soil added. I have planted some pic & pic seed in the reworked bed. Since the temps next week are expected to approach 103 degrees, I expect the seed to germinate, the seedlings will pop their heads up, see how hot it is and just die. If they do, I will keep replanting the bed until I find out what temps the seedlings will survive at and hopefully produce a fall crop of squash.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

LindsayArthurRTR
Green Thumb
Posts: 527
Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 2:41 am
Location: South Carolina, Upstate

you should put your hoops over the babies! it might help keep the blazin sun off of em long enough to get used to this heat. :wink:
"The conspicuous consumption of limited resources has yet to be accepted widely as a spiritual error, or even bad manners." ~Barbara Kingsolver

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=533347321

garden5
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3062
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:40 pm
Location: ohio

How far apart do you space your summer squash? I spaced mine in mound, 2 ft. equidistant with 2-3 plants to a mound.

I think that crowding them like this actually caused me to have fewer rather than more squash. I'll give them a little more space next year and see if I get a better harvest.

It sounds like you got a pretty good harvest this year.
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

tedln
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2178
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:06 pm
Location: North Texas

garden5 wrote:How far apart do you space your summer squash? I spaced mine in mound, 2 ft. equidistant with 2-3 plants to a mound.

I think that crowding them like this actually caused me to have fewer rather than more squash. I'll give them a little more space next year and see if I get a better harvest.

It sounds like you got a pretty good harvest this year.
I plant heavy and thin aggressively. I probably planted at 4" intervals and thinned to 20" intervals. My per plant production seemed to be variety specific, but I did have a good harvest until the high heat arrived. Right now the plants are just sitting there looking pretty. They are producing a few blooms. I see the bumble bees working them each morning. I'm only getting one or two squash per week production. I expect production to increase in cooler weather. It usually does.


Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

garden5
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3062
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:40 pm
Location: ohio

18-24 in. apart sounds like a good plan. How far apart are the rows?
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

tedln
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2178
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:06 pm
Location: North Texas

I grow in raised beds so it is one row per bed. The squash beds are 6' apart. I built some new beds between my existing beds so the squash beds next year will be separated by beds of heirloom tomatoes.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

garden5
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3062
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:40 pm
Location: ohio

You had said earlier that you "plant heavily." Do you do this because of germination rates? The reason I ask is I noticed that the germination rates of my squash seed this year were low, 40% to 75%. I'm just curious if this was normal or not.
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

tedln
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2178
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:06 pm
Location: North Texas

Germination rate is part of it. I've also noticed over the years that the earliest plant to germinate is usually the strongest. Some plants germinate, but never have a strong, healthy look to them. I pull the latest germinating, weakest looking plants. That usually leaves me with only the healthiest plants spaced at about twenty inches apart. It isn't exact, but it comes close.

I planted all my squash seed on the same date this year. When I planted the "Horn Of Plenty", the seed looked old, bent, cracked, and in general of poor quality. It came that way from the vendor. It took an extra week for it to germinate. The plants did great after they germinated but the other varieties were already 6" tall when the "Horn of Plenty" germinated. I guess some varieties simply require more time to germinate.

Germination rates for my squash are usually pretty good. Probably over 90%. I have a hard time saying because I plant so heavily that it is hard for me to determine how many didn't germinate.

Some weird things happen with germination also. The squash bed I replanted has now germinated. My beds are set East to West for even sunlight. All the seed in the replanted bed were planted within two minutes of each other. All the moisture and nutrient conditions are identical through out the bed. The seeds germinated over two days from West to East. I'm still scratching my head trying to figure out why the seed starting on the west end of the bed germinated first. It was almost as if someone was under my squash bed pushing each seedling up from West to East over two days.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”