Growing your own vegetables can be a fun and rewarding hobby, and no supermarket vegetables will ever taste as sweet and tender as those that are fresh from your own garden. While growing vegetables in the extreme dry and hot climate of south Texas can be a challenge, yellow squash are the perfect addition to your garden because they are native to Mexico. Also known as summer squash, they are easy to care for, and being prolific producers, a single, well-tended plant can provide a bountiful harvest for a small family.
Plan two growing seasons of yellow squash in Texas each year. Sow seeds in the spring after the last expected frost and as soon as the ground warms up above 70 degrees, between early February and early April. Sow seeds again in the fall in the first week of October, just after the worst of the summer heat.
Choose a spot that gets full sun a minimum of eight hours per day. Be sure the spot has good drainage.
Prepare the soil before planting. If you are unsure of the acidity of your soil, test it with a soil testing kit to ensure the pH level is between 6.6 and 7.5. Make amendments to the soil, if necessary, based on the soil testing recommendations. Work one to two cups of compost or well-rotted manure into the squash plot, per plant, with a spade or hoe.
Sow your summer squash seeds directly into the ground. Seeds should be placed, point facing up, at a depth of 1 inch. Sow three to four seeds every 24 to 28 inches. Space rows 4 to 6 feet apart. Water the ground after sowing and keep the soil moist. The seeds should germinate within five days, depending upon the variety you choose.
Thin your squash plants to 2 feet apart once they have two to three leaves. Stake or cage the plants to provide them with support as they grow. Water deeply as often as needed to keep the soil moist but not muddy.
Mulch your squash plants with a thick layer of compost, grass clippings or wood chips. This will help retain moisture.
Things You Will Need
- Soil testing kit (optional)
- Spade or hoe
- Compost or manure
- Yellow squash seeds
- Stakes or cages
- When growing squash in Texas, you can transplant seedlings if desired, but yellow squash don't like their roots disturbed. With only an average 50 days till maturity, they will grow quickly enough when sown directly. If transplanting squash seedlings, harden them off for one to two weeks before transplanting.
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