Squash are a popular type of vegetable to grow and can be one of the most productive growers during the summer months. If you’d like to try your hand at growing squash in your greenhouse, then here’s the low down on how to get going with growing squash.
There is a wide variety of different types of squash plants and some that grow in both the winter and the summer months. The summer squash plants tend to be more popular and can produce an abundance of fruits throughout the summer. Related to the courgette and marrow plants, squash are easy to grow, but as the plants tend to get quite large, you need to allow a reasonable amount of space for them.
When To Start Growing Squash From Seed
You can start to sow the squash seeds in your greenhouse from about the end of March through to the end of May. Initially, it’s best to start the seeds off growing in small pots – a small 3 inch pot should be suitable and one seed should be sown in each pot. Put the seed in about 1 inch deep, then cover with soil and water it.
Once the roots start to show through the bottom of the pot, it’s a sign that you can begin to think about re-potting the squash plant and moving it into a larger pot. The next sized pot should be 5 inches or more in size.
Be aware that squash plants are particularly vulnerable to frost. If there are any late frosts forecast or likely, it’s a good idea to cover them in fleece to ensure they are properly protected, even though the seedlings tend to look pretty robust.
When To Plant Out Squash in Your Greenhouse
Your squash seedlings should grow rapidly, so will soon begin to outgrow their pots. By late spring or early summer, they should be ready to be moved on again, ideally once all danger of frost has subsided, so you should think about moving them into a grow bag, plant them out in your greenhouse or even out into your garden.
Squash plants grow best in sheltered and sunny spots and thrive in a well heated greenhouse. The plants benefit from a good quality soil and you can improve the growing conditions by digging in some well rotted manure or compost.
If you’re growing them in a greenhouse, then you’ll need to allow plenty of room for the squash plants, as they are renowned for producing large leaves and for spreading out into any area they can. They work well grown in raised beds within a greenhouse and, if you can dedicate all the space to the squash plants or other related plants, such as courgettes, you don’t have to worry about them cascading over other plants.
Harvesting Greenhouse Grown Squash
Depending on the type of squash plant you’ve grown, they’ll typically be ready to harvest in late August or late September. Squashes can vary in size from small to large, again depending on the variety you’ve planted – be sure to keep details of your plants, especially if you’ve grown several different types, so you can be guided as to the average size to expect.
When it comes to harvesting your squash, you’ll need to use a sharp knife to cut the squash fruit from the plant.