Key Reasons for Growing Winter Squash
On this week’s episode, Travis is explaining the key factors in growing winter squash in the vegetable garden. In the dream garden, he is going to plant one of his favorite crops to grow which is winter squash. The first major reason for growing winter squash is it can be easy to manage because it doesn’t require a lot of weeding or constant care. Once the plants start to germinate and grow they’ll create a nice dense canopy over the entire plot. You might have to weed it a little bit with the Single Wheel Hoe until the plants become large enough to cover the plot with the canopy to shade out the weeds. Overall, it is a great productive crop that needs little to no maintenance in the vegetable garden. The second reason for growing winter squash is it’s a one-time harvest crop. Unlike summer squash, which must be harvested two to three times a week, the winter squash can be harvested all at once from the garden. The third reason behind growing winter squash is the storage life capacity. Once harvesting all the winter squash it can be stored underneath a well-covered area such as a barn and placed on a drying rack to store for up to six months.
Planting Winter Squash
When it comes to winter squash the ideal time for planting is during the Spring and they typically take between 90 to 100 days to fully mature. Therefore, we harvest them in the middle of summer and they store on into the winter months. Similar to summer squash and cucumbers, winter squash is susceptible to diseases such as powdery mildew and downy mildew. To help alleviate these disease problems you can add a drip irrigation system to ensure water is being added directly to the plant roots instead of using overhead irrigation that can cause excessive leaf moisture. The two varieties that Travis is going to plant this year is Small Wonder Spaghetti Squash and Hai Kabocha Squash. The spaghetti squash variety is a personalized size fruit that is extremely productive and produces around 10 to 15 fruits per plant. While the kabocha squash is the best-tasting squash around it is also known for its texture and visual appearance. Travis is going to plant the crops on four-foot row spacing to ensure he gets a dense canopy by the vegetation and blocks all the weeds. To prepare the garden, he makes a furrow with the Double Wheel Hoe and plow set attachment. Then, he buries the drip tape and plants the winter squash seeds on top of the drip irrigation in the garden area. When winter squash is ready for harvesting they will begin to die back and the fruits will obtain their full color. Once stems harden, this is another indication that the winter squash is fully mature and ready for harvest in the vegetable garden.