Squash, Crookneck - Summer (Cucurbita pepo) - 50 Seeds
•American grown seeds
•USDA Zones 3-12
The plant grows quickly and matures easily. Known as Crookneck, this summer squash bears many 6-inch lemon-yellow fruit that is shaped like a crook. A plant's growth rate is rapid and prolific. This summer, harvest as much as you can. Steam it with nutmeg, or fry it softly with parmesan cheese and bacon crumbles. When the skins are soft, harvest them. Pick plants frequently so they will continue to produce.
On top of all those awesome vitamins and minerals, squash also delivers über-healthy compounds called carotenoids—specifically lutein and zeaxanthin. It's those compounds that (per the research) seem to give squash additional, amazing health boons. Just like those carotenoids build up in the skin of the squash, they build up in our skin, too, when we eat carotenoid-rich produce regularly. That buildup shields our skin from UV rays and pollution—according to scientific studies—and also may slow skin aging by helping to keep skin hydrated and elastic.
Gardeners with short growing seasons may want to start their squash seeds indoors a month before the last expected frost. Since squashes do not take well to transplanting, peat pots are the best option. Plant 2 seeds per pot, later clipping off the weaker seedling. Harden the seedlings by exposing them to weather for several hours a day for a week before transplanting them after the last frost once soil temps average above 65°F. Plant in very rich soil, 8-10 inches apart in rows 10-12" apart. To direct sow, plant the seeds a week or so after the last frost ½” deep, 3-4” apart and thin to 8-10” apart. Avoid planting them with potatoes. Keep moist, but avoid soaking the leaves as this can lead to rot or mildew. When vines develop, adding a layer of much can be very beneficial.
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