Squash In My Pumpkin Patch !

When growing Winter Squash treat them much the same way you treat(grow) your pumpkins. They are all heavy feeders. They need 1 inch or more water a week throughout the growing season, more water during hot dry weather. They do best watered by soaker hose or use a drip watering system.

They are all large vine plants that require a lot, I mean a lot of garden space and are often best planted on the outside row(s) of your garden. Along a wire fence to act as a strong trellis for winter squash and pumpkins. I really don’t know why, but, trellis grown squash seem to have fewer insect problems than vines that are in contact with the soil.

Winter Squash like warm soil and are very sensitive to frost. So don’t be in a rush to plant early in spring. Wait until danger of frost has passed and soil has warmed to about 70 F, or about 2 weeks after the last frost date.

Unless you are trying to grow a long-season variety in an area that gets early frosts, there’s really no need to start winter squash inside. Instead, direct seed ½ to 1 inch deep into hills (which warm and drain earlier in the season) or rows. Sow 4 to 5 seeds per hill. Space hills about 4 to 8 feet apart, depending on the size of the fruit. (The larger the expected size of the squash, the larger the vine and the farther apart you should space the hills.) When the plants are 2 to 3 inches tall, thin to 2 to 3 plants per hill by snipping off unwanted plants without disturbing the roots of the remaining ones. In rows, sow seeds 6 to 12 inches apart in rows 4 to 8 feet apart. Snip off plants to thin to one plant every 18 to 36 inches.

If you need to start plants early, plant inside in 2- to 3-inch pots or cells 3 to 4 weeks before transplanting outside. Sow 3 or 4 seeds per pot and thin to one or two plants by snipping off the weaker plants to avoid damaging the roots of those that remain. Harden off by cutting back on water and reducing temperature before transplanting. Plant transplants out in the garden at the same final spacings above after all danger of frost has passed.

Black plastic mulch can speed growth, especially in cool, short-season areas. At the end of the season, remove or till in vines to reduce mildew. Use row covers to protect plants early in the season and to prevent insect problems. Remove before flowering to allow pollination by insects or when hot weather arrives.

Mulching plants helps retain moisture and suppress weeds. Mounding soil around the base of the plants can discourage squash borers from laying eggs.

The 3 main insect pest for winter squash are the common squash bug, spotted and striped cucumber beetle and sometimes vine-bores can be problem insect pest in winter squash.

Adult Squash Bug

Adult Squash Bug

vine bore

Vine Bore Moth

cucumber beetle

Spotted Cucumber Beetle

Butternut types:

Harris Betternut
Ponca Baby
Waltham Butternut

Acorn types:

Sweet Dumpling
Table Ace
Table King Bush
Table Queen (a.k.a Ebony)

Buttercup/Kabocha Type:

Autumn Cup
Burgess Buttercup
Sweet Mama
Sweet Meat

Hubbard Type:

Blue Ballet
Red Kuri


Gold Nugget
Sweet Dumpling
Vegetable Spaghetti

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6 responses to “Squash In My Pumpkin Patch !

  1. Great information! Sure to help both those new to gardening and those with gardening experience. Thanks for posting.


  2. Any tips on dealing with the common squash bug? The only thing I’ve found is checking the leaves daily, and that gets a bit time consuming.


    • Re acairfearann – Neem oil, a natural pesticide, has been shown to effectively control squash bugs. Spray it on all leaf and stem surfaces according to label directions. You can get this at many garden centers
      It has been suggested spraying with insecticidal soap or pyrethrins to kill bugs and nymphs.
      A number of insecticides will effectively kill squash bugs. Look for products containing carbaryl or permethrin. Be sure to follow the package directions carefully.
      They are really hard to kill and control.
      Good Luck


  3. Nice info! I wish I could grow my own garden. My dad grows a huge one every year in Alabama.


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