Top Seven Tips for Growing Beautiful Squash

The pyramid of squashLooking for a list of tips for growing beautiful squash in your garden? Look no further.

As a summertime favorite in Mrs. K’s garden, squash holds a special place in her heart. And based on the amount of space dedicated to the truly staggering number of squash varieties on display at the Annual Heirloom Festival (within the same hall, by the way, as one can find the always mind blowing “pyramid of squash”), many gardeners share Mrs. K’s love of squash.

Squash has a long and storied history in the Americas. Squash is one of the plants (along with beans and corn) grown in the “three sisters” configuration of companion planting, a system employed by Native American tribes for centuries prior to the arrival of Europeans. In fact, our American English word “squash” derives from the name used by the Native American Narragansett tribe, isquoutersquash. (On the other side of the pond, our British cousins refer to squash as “marrow”).

Seed stewards take special satisfaction in knowing that they can grow a few different squash plants for seed within a relatively small area without having to worry about them crossing, the key to doing so being that the plants in question have to belong to different genuses. The critical botanical rule informs that a maxima will not cross with a moschata, which in turn will not cross with a pepo.

Yes, squash is easy to grow, easy to save seeds from, and easy to make use of in the kitchen. Oh, and squash is also a very healthful food: the vegetable is high in vitamins A, B6, and C, folate, magnesium, fiber, riboflavin, phosphorus, and potassium. In addition, yellow squash comes with a good amount of manganese, a mineral that helps boost bone strength and enhance a body’s ability to process fats and carbohydrates. It turns out that squash is both yummy and healthy.

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