Thursday, March 26, 2009

Yellow Crookneck Squash (Heirloom)

Yellow Crookneck Squash
Cucurbita pepo
8-9 in.
Easy-to-grow, bush, yellow summer squash has been a favorite for over 150 years. Abundant producer of yellow-skinned, white-fleshed summer squash that are delicious lightly steamed. Sow 2-3 seeds every 2-3 feet in rows 3-6 feet apart when danger of frost has passed. Thin to strongest plant. Can be sown indoors in pots, 2-4 weeks before the last frost, and transplanted very carefully. Enrich soil heavily with mature compost Harvesting tips. Harvest young, when 6-8 inches long. Harvest every other day when plant is producing heavily.

Planting depth: 1"
Soil temp for Germ.: 65-90°F
Days to germ.: 3-7
Plant Spacing: 3'
Days to maturity: 55
Full sun
Moderate water

Cucurbita spp.: Squash provides the home gardener a wide range of colors, shapes, flavors and culinary uses. Summer squashes, from the very brightest yellow to the darkest green, and winter squashes of all descriptions, bring endless enjoyment to the garden and the kitchen. In our breeding and selection work we look at many varieties, both new and old, to bring you the very best.

CULTURE: Squash and pumpkins prefer good fertile soil and plenty of sunshine. Start indoors or in a greenhouse 3 weeks prior to your last frost. Sow in a 3 inch peat pot or jiffy pot for direct transplanting. For best results transplant prior to the second set of true leaves. Work 1 cup of our complete fertilizer into the soil around each plant. For direct sowing, plant after your last frost and when the soil has warmed to at least 60°F. Optimum soil temperature for germination: 65-80°F. Days to germination: 5-10. Sow 1 inch deep and 24 inches between bush varieties, 36 inches between vining varieties. Squash needs just-barely-damp soils to germinate. Too much moisture causes the seed to rot. All squash are monoecious (bearing separate male and female flowers on the same plant), and require bee and insect activity for successful pollination. Poor fruit set is often the result of poor pollination.
INSECTS/PESTS: The major insect pests are the spotted and striped cucumber beetles, vine borers and squash bugs. Use row covers and/or apply Rotenone to reduce and control damage. Butternut varieties have a solid stem and are resistant to vine borer damage.
DISEASES: Squash are susceptible to a number of fungal, bacterial, and viral diseases that vary between regions. Your local county extension agent can help you pinpoint your particular problem.
HARVEST: Pick baby summer squash as well as the more mature ones. In general, summer squash are most tender and flavorful when very young. Winter squash are best left on the vine until fully mature. It should require quite a bit of pressure before your fingernail pierces through the rind into the flesh. For the best sugar content, cut the stem an inch or so from the body after the first light frost, and if the weather is dry, let them cure in the field. If temperatures drop below 25°F, bring your harvest inside and store in a cool dry location.

PURCHASED: 1.75g from Seeds of Change via Portland Nursery Feb '09. $3.65
STARTED SEED: Planted seeds on 3/3/22. They came up on 3/25. Three days!

1 comment:

Annie's Granny said...

One of my favorite vegetables! I love it sliced and added to fresh garden green beans, in the last three minutes of cooking time. Or diced into fresh corn, cut from the cob, it takes on the flavor of the corn and makes it go farther with fewer calories and less starch.