Winter squash is an annual healthy fruit that represents some squash species. This type of squash, also known as sweet potato squash or Bohemian, is cylindrical in shape and features pale-yellow skin with green stripes. When you cook this squash, then you get orange flesh that tastes similar to sweet potatoes with an earthy flavour.
Winter squash requires some patience while growing. From butternut to acorn squash, learn how to grow and harvest the plant and treat winter squash in your home garden. Because this squash fruit requires a long growing season (typically 75 to 100 frost-free days), seeds are usually planted in late May to early July in northern locations in extremely southern states. Check your local frost dates and the length of the growing season.
Machines are play a very important role to grow any crops. Several types of equipment are used in winter squash farming, such as tractors, implements, and harvesters. For winter squash farming, the Solis tractor is the best in agriculture.
When to Plant Squash?
Farmers should not sow this tender warm-weather crop in the ground until all frost has passed and the air and soil are at least 60°F, preferably 70°F. Squash is very sensitive to cold. If you have a short growing season, start seeds in peat pots 2 to 4 weeks before your last spring frost date. Squash seedlings don’t always transplant well; Handle the roots gently.
Choose and Select the Planting Site
- Farmers should choose the soil that is rich and fertile (see preparing soil below) but also drain well and not use it when it is too soggy.
- Choose a site with full sun and plenty of space for the vines to spread. Most full-size winter squash varieties require 50 to 100 square feet to spread.
- Although squash takes up a lot of space, it is a prolific grower, so it only takes a few plants to feed family and neighbours! Do not overplant. If your garden space is limited, then grow the winter squash at the garden’s edge and grow vines directly into the lawn.
- You can also grow squash in large buckets of 5 to 10 gallons. Or, if you’re even more strapped for space, miniature varieties exist as well; They can be easily grown on a trellis.
Before planting, prepare the soil with plenty of organic matter. First, remove any rocks. Then, dig lots of old compost (about 50% native soil for organic matter) deep into the ground (top 8 to 10 inches). Work it in autumn or several weeks before planting, but only if the soil is dry enough not to cling to garden tools. You should settle for about two weeks before planting.
How to Plant Winter Squash?
- If you want to grow only a few plants, use 2 to 3 tablespoons of a balanced (10-10-10) fertilizer for each hill. Work it into the top 3 – 4 inches of soil. (Or, for a larger garden area, add 2 to 3 pounds of balanced fertilizer for every 100 square feet).
- Sow the seeds 2 – 3 feet apart with the seeds 1 inch deep in flat ground. Or, sow 3 to 4 seeds together in rows about 3 to 6 feet apart in small mounds (or hills; the ground is warmer).
- Tip: Consider planting some squash seeds in the middle of summer to avoid problems with squash vine borers and other early-season diseases and pests.
- You should germinate the seeds in about a week with the right soil temperature (70ºF / 21°C or higher).
- If necessary, use frame protection or row covers in cold climates for the first few weeks of spring.
When the seedlings of this fruit are 2 – 3 inches tall in rows, thin to one plant every 18 – 36 inches, cutting off unwanted plants without disturbing the rest of the plant’s roots. When seedlings are 2 to 3 inches tall, thin to 2 to 3 plants per hill, cutting off unwanted plants without disturbing the roots of the remaining plants.
How to Grow Winter Squash?
- Farmers should Mulch the weeds that retain moisture and protect shallow roots.
- Use row covers early in the season to protect the plants and prevent insect problems. Remember to remove the cover before it flowers so insects can pollinate it.
- When you weed around squash plants, do not over-cultivate, or the squash’s shallow roots may be damaged.
- Smaller winter squash varieties can be trained as trellis. Larger varieties can be trained upward on a trellis, although supporting the fruit is challenging. A mesh or sling made of breathable fabric can help support heavy fruit.
- Pruning the vines will help in place and allow the plant’s energy to focus on the remaining vines and fruit.
In the squash farming guide we can provide farm equipment like tractors, implements, and harvesters. Tractor is the most important factor in farming. The New Holland tractor for winter squash cultivation is the best in agriculture. This brand provides various kinds of tractors that are very compatible for farmers in cultivation. The Captain Tractor price list is very affordable for every Indian farmer.
For more information regarding winter squash farming in India, stay tuned with us.