This heirloom summer squash was introduced in the United States in the early 1900s. Early Prolific Straightneck produces uniform, creamy yellow, club-shaped fruits. They are considered mature at 12-14 inches but are more tender when harvested at five to six inches long. The pale yellow flesh is firm and has a lush buttery, nutty flavour.
- Latin Name: Curcubita pepo
- Life Cycle: Annual
- Days to Maturity: 50-55
- Planting Depth: 2 cm
- Plant Spacing: 60-75 cm
- Row Spacing: 90-120 cm
- Growth Habit: Vine
Summer wouldn’t be the same without summer squash, just as fall would not be as sweet and nutty without winter squash. Squash is a staple in the home garden. A few well cared for plants will produce enormous amounts of fruit, more than plenty to cook, preserve and share with the neighbours!
Squash will thrive situated in a sunny space with rich fertile soil. Direct sowing and starting indoors are both effective methods to germinate seeds.
When planting outdoors, wait until the danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed quite a bit. Plant seeds directly into the bed at a depth of 2 cm, at least 60 cm apart. Rows should be spaced 90-120 cm apart.
Start seeds indoors in pots, about four weeks before the last frost. If kept warm, moist and well lit, squash seeds will germinate and grow at a rapid rate. After the danger of frost has passed, carefully harden off young plants. Give them shelter and slowly acclimate them to the sun. Plant and treat the roots gently, squash can be finicky when transplanting.
Water well to encourage growth and prolific flowering and fruiting. Mulch around the plants to conserve water and keep down weeds.
Pollination is crucial for squash plants. Male flowers must fertilize the female flowers in order to produce fruit. Attract bees and other pollinators by planting squash among other flowering plants.
Use a knife to cut the stems and be cautious not to tear or damage the plant.
Summer squash can grow so quickly they can be hard to keep up with. Pick small tender fruits constantly throughout the summer and into the fall.
Winter squashes have a more modest pace of growing and developing fruit. Pick these varieties in the fall, before the first frost, to store and enjoy through the winter season.
- There is a type of wild squash that grows wild in some parts of Africa, but it is the wild varieties from the Americas that were first domesticated over 8,000 years ago, predating the domestication of other crops such as corn and beans by about 4,000 years. Squash seeds were eventually brought to Europe in the 1500s.
- There are two main types of squash: ''summer'' and ''winter.'' Summer squash is harvested in the warm weather months and doesn't store for long. Winter squash is usually harvested in the fall and has hard skin which allows it to keep well for months.
- Squash seeds will remain viable for 4 years if stored in a cool, dark place, ideally between 4 and 10⁰C. After that, the germination rate may start to go down.
OUR SEED GUARANTEE
You know that a lush, fruitful garden needs good soil, frequent watering, and sunlight to grow, but it’s the seeds that really make the harvest.
Picked and bagged for 2023 the vast majority of our seeds have germination rates of over 85%. The seeds are all-natural, non-GMO, non-hybrid, untreated, and open-pollinated for seed saving.
We have put a lot of thoughts into the design and packaging of our seed packets. Our seeds are all carefully packed in food grade kraft paper/aluminium zipper lock bags, and then are shipped in eco-friendly padded mailers.
We heat-seal each of our seed packet for even more protection from moisture, odour and light, allowing you to store your seeds for up to 3x longer than paper or plastic. Plant them all, germinate some indoors, save some for next season - it’s up to you!