How to Grow Squash

Soil requirements: Squash seeds decay in wet soil and develop defectively in cool soil. 6.0-6.5 is the optimal soil pH for winter squashes. Soil should be prepared up to a depth of 18-20” for growing squash as they require enough organic matter for their feeding.

The pH range 5.5-6.8 is considered as ideal for squash. If the soil is lean then various organic amendments by incorporating compost and decomposing manure could be added.

Squash plant spacing: Different squash plants require much space whether they are planted in raised gardens or the conventional hills. Winter squashes need more space around 5-7 feet apart than the summer squashes that work well with 3-4 feet hills apart.

If the seeds are planted directly than they must be sown 6-8” apart with 3 feet among bush varieties and 4 feet among the vines. Proper air circulation should be present while planting squash so that the diseases could be avoided.

Watering: Like the watering process of every grown vegetable or plant is necessary, similarly proper water consumption is necessary for growing spaghetti squash or growing butternut squash. When the soil gets dry;summer squashes like yellow squash requires water till the roots for deep utilization.

To avoid fruit deterioration watering must be reduced. Drip irrigation is another method of watering. However, for regular squash production 1-1.5” per week supply is considerable.

Harvesting conditions: In order to increase the production rate harvesting must be done frequently .Summer squashes like patti pan are harvested before ripening of fruits and winter squashes like acorn are harvested in the fall (usually late September-October).

Some varieties take about 60 days to get maturity. Zucchini cultivars are best when they are 4-8”, however maturing a single fruit may affect the productivity. Winter squashes are tasty when the shells are hard. In this case all ripe fruits should be picked before the frost by using sharp knifes in dry weather.

Temperature and storage: Summer squashes can be stored in the refrigerator up to 10 days and winter ones are kept in cool locations for 1-6 months at a temperature of 50 to 65 degrees F packed in a freezer containers.

Summer squash grows best between temperatures 65-75 degrees F with soil temperature at approximately 60 degrees F. Winter squash grows well in air temperatures ranging from 50° to 90°F.

8 Tricks For Growing Fabulous Onions

Most gardeners also love to cook, so they tend to plant and grow a lot of onions. That said however, onions can be tricky to grow. So in order for you to have the most success possible, here are 9 growing and care tips to grow healthy, flavorful onions:

  • 1. During the early stages of growth, onion plants don’t like too much heat or nitrogen. For better onions, don’t over fertilize or subject them to high temperatures when they are young and just starting to grow.
  • 2. Onion sets are easier to plant and give better results than planting seeds or transplants. Onion sets will mature earlier and are less prone to disease.
  • 3. Purchase 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) diameter sets. Bulbs that are any larger tend to go to seed before they have produced a good-sized bulb, and sets that are smaller don’t always grow well.
  • 4. Keep planted onion beds well weeded. Onions don’t like weeds so you can either: Put down a newspaper mulch by laying down 2 to 3 sheets of wet newspaper and then plant your onion sets by punching holes in the mulch. Or keep the onion plants well weeded by using a sharp hoe or knife to cut weeds off at soil level. Try not to pull weeds around onions because that can damage the onion’s roots which are quite shallow and tender.
  • 5. Once the soil has warmed up with rising summer temperatures, put down a layer of mulch to help keep weeds in check and to help conserve water.
  • 6. Dry soil can cause onion bulbs to split, so water onions regularly allowing the soil to slightly dry out in between waterings but not get completely devoid of any water. Even soil moisture is key for healthy onions.
  • 7. After the bulbs form, and the tops start to die back, water should be withheld to help the onion crop cure properly. Too much water at this point can reduce the bulb’s storage life.
  • 8. Harvest onions by first using the back to a rake to bend over the yellowed onion tops horizontally. Leave them that way for a day or two and when the tops turn brown, pull or dig the bulbs on a sunny, dry day.
  • 9. Leave the onions out to dry. If the sun is too hot in your area and sun scald is possible, allow the onions to dry somewhere out of direct sun, but still warm with good air circulation.

Organic Pest Control Remedies

  • 1. Soapy water (NOT detergent). Try to find one based on caustic potash, rather than caustic soda and mix well with water until frothy (you’ll need more soap in hard water areas). For aphids and other soft-shelled insects
  • 2. Oil sprays suffocate insects. Boil 1 kg soap with 8L of oil, stirring until dissolved. Dilute 1:20 with water just before use. Spray on cool days only.
  • 3. Tomato leaf spray (very poisonous). Cover leaves with water, boil and cool. Use immediately as a general insecticide.
  • 4. Chilli spray – equal volumes chilli and water blended and sprayed fresh onto caterpillars. (Prevent contact with eyes and skin.)
  • 5. Pyrethrum spray. Pick almost-open flowers of Tanacetum cinerariifolium and dry in a cool place. Cover a few tablespoons of flowers with cheap sherry, steep overnight and mix with a litre of hot soapy water. Cool and use within a few days as a general insecticide. Store in a dark place.
  • 6. Wormwood spray. Infuse leaves in boiling water and leave for a few hours. Dilute 1:4 and use for sap-sucking insects.
  • 7. Lapsang Souchong tea – a strong brew (1 tbspn in a pot) deters possums from nipping rose tips

Many other materials can be used to make insect sprays. Depending on what you have available, try -quassia, garlic, marigolds, melaleuca, parsnips, turnips, eucalyptus, larkspur, elder, white cedar (Melia azaderach) or rhubarb (Please note: larkspur, elder (except for ripe berries) white cedar and rhubarb leaves are all highly toxic to humans.)

Tips for Growing Beautiful Roses!

  • Sandi said: “I add used coffee grounds to the soil. It’s supposed too make the color/scent intense. And do not water from above.”
  • Heather said: “Used coffee grinds mixed in the soil works wonders!”
  • Vonna said: “Add epsom salt in the ground. It’s a tip from Martha Stewart!”
  • Deidre said: “Bury banana peels near the base of the rose bushes. They love them!”
  • Leslie said: “I have never had them before and the house we moved into this past summer has 13 bushes. They were all getting tall and lanky so I took a chance and cut them all back and when I say cut… I really cut. They are now beautifully shaped nice and bushy and full of buds. I do give them the banana peels, I just bury them at the base.”
  • Teresa said: “Water, combined with additives: iron, root stimulator, and miracle grow. Works like magic.”
  • Kimberly said: “I heard that dish soap suds poured around roots keep the bugs away!”
  • Lynda said: “Fireplace ashes work as a great winter fertilizer and trim the bushes as around mid March and then will bloom in May. Cut them back again and they will bloom again in the early part of fall.”
  • Cory said: “When watering, don’t get the leaves wet. They will get sunburned if wet in sunlight.”
  • Deb said: “I like Knockout Carefree Roses. They are a small rose that can take our extreme Midwest winters.”

Grow Columnar Apple Trees Vertically

I planted my columnar apple trees a few days after they arrived. I can't believe how fast the trees are growing and they have some blossoms. The trees look great. I may not get fruit this season but i confident for next year. We made a good choice and good purchase.

You can get them from HERE.