Squash Planting Tips
To grow winter squash, it’s important to first select one that is appropriate for the size of your garden, as many winter squash like to sprawl out and need plenty of space. Vining squash require a large garden, while semi-vining and bush varieties of winter squash are appropriate for smaller gardens.
To grow winter squash in the home garden, you can grow them either in rows or in hills. To grow winter squash in rows, plant the seeds about two and a half feet apart in rows that are spaced at least two feet apart. For hills, heap up your soil into a small, rounded hill. If you are planning on growing a large number or squash and have the space, you should space vining squash about seven feet between hills, with the hills being about 60 feet in size. You can plant about six seeds on each hill, ¾ of an inch deep. Allow about ten feet between rows. Plant about seven seeds and as the plants start growing, you can eliminate all but the healthiest three plants.
For bush and semi-vining squash, plant your seeds about one inch deep, three to four seeds per hill. Allow at least six feet between rows. For semi-vining varieties, remove all but the healthiest two to three squash plants. For bush squash, you should keep only one plant per hill.
Timing is very important when your plant your winter squash as they are a warm season crop. Squash require warm soil to germinate and even a light frost can damage the seedlings. Plant your seeds after the last frost and test your soil temperature, which should be at least be 70 degrees F before you plant. Once again, you should consider purchasing an electronic soil tester so that you make no mistakes when planting squash or other tender vegetables.