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- 35+ squash seed varieties
- Great source of vitamin C
- A quick-growing, high yield plant
- Delicious and versatile, offering something for everyone
Get the best flavor from squash
Fun fact about squash: winter squash is neither growing nor harvested in winter. Instead, the categories of summer and winter squash separate varieties by the durability of the rind. Summer squash (or zucchini), thin-skinned and usually harvested before it reaches maturity, is quick to grow, and you'll want to eat it fresh for the best flavor. Winter squash, in contrast, can be preserved for weeks or even months at a time thanks to its thick, protective rind. In a time before refrigeration, that made these squash an excellent source of food through the cold and barren months after the last harvest. Plant both in your summer garden, and enjoy squash nearly all year long!
To grow from seed, squash can be sown either indoors before the last frost, or directly in place in small mounds about six feet apart. They prefer full sun, and are hardy in USDA zones 3 through 10, though some varieties may be better suited than others to shorter or longer growing seasons. In general, summer squash take about two months to mature, while winter squash can take as long as three and a half months. Keep this in mind as you choose your squash seeds.
The best way to care for squash plants
Once plants have germinated, water regularly and keep soil moist. Soaker hoses are a great choice for squash as the large leaves may retain water and become susceptible to mold. If you do water with a sprinkler or other overhead method, water early in the day to give the leaves time to dry completely before nightfall.
Companion plants for squash famously include beans and corn, the other two members of the "three sisters" planting method utilized by multiple Native American tribes. Other great companion crops for squash include nasturtiums and onions, which can deter pests that might otherwise prey on tender young squash. Do not plant squash with potatoes, as this can increase the risk of blight.
Squash Makes the Perfect Meal
Harvest summer squash as soon as a thumbnail can pierce the skin. These young squash can be eaten raw in salad or even alone. Winter squash should stay on the vine until the rind hardens, and make great contributions to roasted vegetable dishes and pies.
For more information about planting, growing, and caring for squash seed, see the Squash Seeds Planting Guide.