Squash, Black Beauty
Summer type. Great to eat any way you cook it.
Type Some flowers and vegetables fall into subcategories that may define how they grow (such as pole or bush), what they are used for (such as slicing tomatoes or shelling peas), flower type, or other designations that will help you select the type of a class of plant that you are looking for.
Days To Maturity The average number of days from when the plant is actively growing in the garden to the expected time of harvest.
Fruit Size The average size of the fruit produced by this product.
Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.
Spread The width of the plant at maturity.
Height The typical height of this product at maturity.
Start Indoors Starting seeds indoors is called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds indoors in the spring or summerTransplant When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for springStart Outdoors Starting seeds outdoors is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the spring or summerStart Indoors Fall Starting seeds indoors in the fall called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fallTransplant Fall Transplant Fall-When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for fallStart Outdoors Fall Starting seeds outdoors in the fall is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fallJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
How to Sow
- Sow seeds directly in the garden in fertile, warm soil in full sun after danger of frost has passed.
- Be sure to choose an area when you did not plant squash or related crops within 2 years.
- Sow 1-2 seeds about 36 inches apart. Cover with 1 inch of fine soil.
- Firm lightly and keep evenly moist.
- Seedlings emerge in 10-14 days.
- Thin to one plant when seedlings have two sets of leaves.
How to Grow
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
- Squash plants have a shallow root system, mulches help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures.
- Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1-2 inches of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
- Squash plants have both male and female flowers on the same plant. Male flowers will open first and the female flowers will open later.
- Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
- Attract bee pollinators by planting daisies such as sunflowers, cosmos, zinnias and coneflower, and mints such as beebalm, sage, oregano and lavender. More bees mean more chances flowers will be pollinated and develop into fruits. Border squash plots with rows of beans, herbs, peppers and tomatoes.
Harvest Summer Squash & Preserving
- Harvest when fruits are small and the skin is shiny. Harvest often. To keep summer squash producing pick all fruit at this stage. If fruit is allowed to mature the plant may stop producing.
- To pick summer squash give the fruit a gentle twist until it snaps off.
- Store summer squash in plastic bags in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- Male squash blossoms are also delicious and sweet, try dipping in batter and frying.
Harvest Winter Squash & Preserving
- Wait to until the fruit has matured to harvest.
- Fruit will have a dull skin that is too hard to pierce with your thumbnail.
- To harvest, cut fruit from the vine with shears leaving a 2- 3 inch stem on each squash.
- Allow winter squash to cure in the sun for a week to harden skin.
- Store winter squash in a cool dry place.