Transplanting the squash - it's a learning curve

Recently it was World Naked Gardening Day (May 6th) but nobody on the local allotment took up the challenge - it's too cold in Yorkshire!  We are just about taking our thermal vests off at the end of May!!  The other news from the allotment is that someone forgot to shut the gate and a rabbit got in playing merry havoc with the produce.  The advice is don't grow lettuce until the miscreant is apprehended (the rabbit that is not the person who left open the gate!).

We wanted to try growing squash this year - a first for 40plusandalliswell. We have chosen Crown Prince squash for two reasons - we really like eating it (a good reason!! It has orange flesh and a sweet nutty flavour) and we know it grows well where we live because people bring it to the harvest service in autumn. We planted one seed in each small pot in April- if you remember the seeds were planted on on their sides which is counter-intuitive. The soil needed to be kept warm so start them off so we kept them in a greenhouse in peat pots for transplanting.  

Squash seed

Squash plants

If you want to grow squash directly in the ground, the good news is that it's not too late, you
can plant them directly outdoors now, at the end of May.  Choose a sheltered sunny spot and dig some well-rotted manure in first.  On light soils additional feeding may be required and squash are very thirsty especially as they start to swell so keep well watered.  Plant seeds about 1 inch deep and 2-3 feet apart.  Trust me - we thought this was a too much when we were growing courgettes which need distance between them too but we ended up with an overcrowding problem!!

Anyway back to our transplanting.  We thought we had it sussed - the overwinter onions would come out and the squash would take their place on the allotment. The problem was that the onions were not ready - they need another couple of weeks.  It wasn't too much of a disaster in the end - we were able to plant the squash between the onions and before they get too big the onions will be out.  Next year we will plan it better, but we are learning.

Squash and onions

Happy gardening!

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