Squash is one of the better choices for any garden. Its pest resistant, easy to grow, and the harvested squash can be cooked in a variety of ways. It can be fried, baked, grilled, or just eaten raw.
There are several reasons why squash should be favored by survivalist – can be eaten raw, it’s high in nutrients, can be cooked, and some types of squash can be stored for several months. The squash is in the melon family and can develop a hard outer skin. The squash should be harvested when it is in an immature stage. If the squash is left on the plant too long, the skin and the seeds will harden, making it undesirable to eat. Squash plants can grow to be about 3 feet tall and 3 – 4 feet across.
The squash is not what you might called a “high production plant”, but it does produce more then once. In this picture we can see several small “squash” starting to grow on the vine. The squash plant produces a vine, but not a long one. This “vine” may grow to be just a few feet long. The center vine of the squash plant in the picture may be about 18 inches long.
The 2 more popular types of squash are the straight neck and the crookneck squash. The smooth skin of the straight neck is often the more desirable to eat, then the rough skin of the crook neck. But there is no difference between the two besides appearance and texture.
Squash do well with a balanced fertilizer, such as 13-13-13. If possible, mix in some manure or bone meal for a slow release fertilizer.
If the leaves of the squash plant start to change colors, or develop a powder on them, mix up a solution of anti-bacterial soap and water, and spray the leaves down. Repeat the spraying with soap and water a couple of times a week, or until the leaves start to turn green again.
Squash leaves will develop an infection called “powdery mold.” Its an infection of mold that will slowly eat the leaves away. If left untreated, the powdery mold will kill the squash plant.
To harvest the seeds, leave the squash on the plant as long as possible. The longer the squash stays on the plant, the longer the seeds have to mature.
Please post your comments in this thread on squash in the forum.
This video was filmed way back in September of 2007. In it, I discuss powdery mold and how to treat it.
Squash will typically produce through the summer heat as long as it can get plenty of water. When tilling the ground and making the rows up, consider mixing in manure and/or compost with the fertilizer. Use a well balanced fertilizer such as 13-13-13.
Between zucchini and yellow summer squash, I feel zucchini is a better choice for production. I have planted zucchini and summer yellow squash side by side. After the yellow squash died off, the zucchini was still producing.
When stockpiling seeds, visit a local family owned farm supply store. They typically have better seed prices than the big box outlet stores.