Area to Sow
Days to Germ.
Days to Maturity
Best Planting Method
Direct or transplant
Approx. Seed Count
Planting by Zones
- Squash should be grown in the warm season when soils are at least 70°F.
- Direct seed in the spring once soils have warmed.
- In Zones 9 and 10, you can direct seed or transplant out your squash. We recommend direct seeding into freshly irrigated soils.
- To direct sow, plant seeds in debris-free, well-worked soil that has been deeply watered. Cover with 1″ of finely sifted soil.
- If you are planting seeds in starter pots, plant seeds into thoroughly moist high-quality seed starting soil. Place seeds on top of the soil and cover with 1″ of finely sifted soil.
- Once your squash has germinated, and the first set of true leaves show, fertilize with an organic liquid fertilizer. When the plants are 3-4″ tall, you can plant them out into the garden. Space at least 12″ apart.
- Squash should be planted into deeply irrigated, fertile soil. In Zones 9 and 10, adding tons of compost will help create a healthy soil structure and keep in soil moisture.
- Mulching heavily around your plants will also help with weed suppression and moisture retention.
- Pollination is key to producing squash. You should hand pollinate your squash if you doubt you have good pollination.
- Squash are best harvested at peak ripeness. There are two ways to know that your fruit is ready, determined by what kind of squash you are growing.
- Summer Squash is eaten when it is young and tender. You want to be able to pierce the flesh of the squash with your nail. These are crops like zucchini and scallop squashes, among others.
- Winter Squash will mature with a hard outside and can keep for several months through the winter. Hence the name! These are squash you want to fully mature on the vine.
Growing Squash in Containers
- Squash plants like to grow across the ground but alternatively can be grown up a trellis if hanging fruit are supported. If growing in a container, make sure your container is at least 20″ deep. Keep in mind containers will dry out faster because they have more surface area and less soil to hold onto moisture. Mulch heavily on the top layer of soil in the pot to keep the soil from drying out or heating up too much.
Southern California Pro-tips
- Mulch heavily around your squash plants to ensure the soil does not dry out or overheat.
- Do not overhead water as this promotes foliar diseases.
- Grow at least two squash plants to ensure good pollination.