Growing Squash Indoors
image by Mateusz Stachowski
If you live someplace with limited outdoor space or weather conditions that prohibit outdoor gardening, you can plant certain vegetables in containers indoors. If you love squash but can't get it fresh from a local vegetable market, growing your own is a great alternative. You will know exactly what went into the soil and on the plant and won't have to worry about too many pesticides or non-organic fertilizer. Anyone can grow an indoor garden with a few tools and a little time.
Growing Squash Indoors
Cover the inside bottom of the pot with fiberglass screen to prevent the soil from falling out and bugs from getting in. Place over a drainage tray to prevent water from leaking onto your floor.
Mix equal parts of potting soil, perlite, sphagnum peat moss and cooked compost to place in your container. Fill the container or containers three-quarters of the way to the top with the soil mixture.
Cooked compost is compost that has either heated outdoors to the point of killing any insects and bacteria, or that you have placed in a shallow tray and placed in an oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour or so to kill all bacteria and insects. Use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the compost. It should be 160 degrees for at least half an hour to kill all the unwanted bacteria and critters. Outdoors, compost will heat by itself when left in the sun. Take internal temperature readings. When the compost's temperature has remained between 140 and 160 degrees for several days, it is ready. If it goes above this temperature, mix the compost or add some water to bring the temperature down. Otherwise it will kill the good organisms as well as harmful ones.
Place a 12-inch stake next to the spot in the pot where you will place a plant. Plant your squash in the pot. Keep the plant at the same depth as it was in the container you purchased it in. Press the soil down tightly. Water well, but not to the point of making the soil soggy. If the water pushed the soil down, add some more soil. Tie the plant loosely to the stake.
Place your plant in an area that receives six to seven hours of sunlight each day. Otherwise, use a fluorescent light or shop light to make up for the hours the plant doesn't get sun.
Keep the plant watered to the point where the soil does not completely dry. Add some compost to the top of the soil once per week. Keep the compost away from the trunk of the plant.