Squash is the vegetable gift that keeps on giving, with a vigorous need to produce plump, nutritious vegetables. Growing summer squash in zone 9 is virtually the same as growing it anywhere else, but your plants will start earlier and last longer than those in cold-winter climates because zone 9 makes both a spring and fall crop possible. Allow one to two plants per household member as you plan your garden and be prepared to enjoy eating the fruits of your labor.
Dig the soil in the garden after the last spring frost for your area, typically around March and April. Break up large clods and remove weeds, rocks, and other debris.
Plant three to four seeds around one place, 2-3 inches deep, at 4-foot intervals down a row, with rows spaced 4 feet apart. Cover the seeds without packing them down and water well to wet the soil.
Water the soil around the growing plants regularly once or twice a week, but be careful not to wet the leaves when you water. As the squash begins to grow and produce vegetables, you should notice an increase in the amount of water it needs.
Apply fertilizer directly to the soil of the squash using a low nitrogen water soluble fertilizer each month for healthy production. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct amount of water and fertilizer to mix.
Slip boards under any of the squash which are threatening to touch the ground, to keep the skins of the vegetable from coming into contact with damp soil.
Harvest by cutting the stem crosswise near the base of the squash when the rind of the vegetable is tender and has reached the mature size of the variety you are growing. As you harvest, more squash will be produced, giving you a regular supply of fresh squash.
Plant more squash seeds again following the above steps around August and September to enjoy a new harvest of fresh squash, which should be productive before the first frost in your area.