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Having decided to grow squash on your site, you should know that the seeds of these vegetables can be sown directly in the beds, or first grow seedlings and then get an early crop. It will be especially plentiful if seedlings are grown under a film or in a greenhouse.
For summer residents who have an acute shortage of free space on the site, it is advisable to grow squash in containers, which use elegant flowerpots or ordinary plastic bags.
Preparatory work on the site
For culture, you should choose a place that warms the sun well, and the breeze blows. Already in the fall, the earth can be fed with organic fertilizers, and then dug up, leaving large clods intact. On acidic soil will have to liming in the fall.
Preparation continues in the spring, when the rake should level the ground, while removing weeds. Somewhere after May 15, mineral fertilizers are applied, if in the autumn the soil was not fertilized with organic matter, now it is necessary to do this.
Fertilizing the soil before planting
Depending on the type of soil, which fertilizers will be most useful.
- Peat soils. Each sq.m is recommended to process 2 kg of compost (dung humus) and turf soil (1 bucket). Also, the soil should receive superphosphate with potassium sulfate (1 tsp each) and wood ash (2 tbsp. L). Then a strip of soil about 70 cm wide is dug up 20–25 centimeters in depth, and warm water is poured onto this bed with the Agricola-5 fertilizer dissolved in it (10 l of water / 2 tbsp of fertilizer). Dosage - 3 liters of solution per 1 square. m. When all fertilizers have been applied, the bed is covered with a film to reduce evaporation of moisture and keep heat.
- Before planting squash on clay (light loamy) soils they are pre-fertilized with peat (2-3 kg / 1 sq. m), humus and sawdust. Superphosphate and wood ash are also added at 1 and 2 tbsp. spoons respectively.
- Sandy soil first, they are flavored with turf soil and peat (1 bucket / 1 sq. m each), then humus and sawdust (3 kg / 1 sq. m each), the amounts of other fertilizers are the same as for clay soil.
- On fertile black soil 2 kg / 1 sq. m of sawdust, superphosphate in the form of a powder (1 tbsp. spoon) and wood ash (2 tbsp.) are required.
- A special approach is required to virgin soil. First, the soil is cleaned of the roots and larvae of insects, after which for each square. 2-3 kg of humus (compost) is introduced, 1 tbsp. a spoon of nitrophoska and wood ash (2 tablespoons). Next, dig and pour with an aqueous solution of Agricola-5.
When these measures are over, the bed should be 3-5 days under the film, then you can start sowing seeds of squash.
How to prepare the seeds
Squash cultivation is carried out by sowing seeds (dry or swollen) and transplanting seedlings. The combination of these methods will ensure even ripening squash.
Large seeds initially contain a sufficient amount of substances necessary for a successful shoot, which does not interfere with the adoption of additional measures to stimulate growth. One of the options is to pour the seeds into bags of gauze and dip them into a solution of boric acid (20 mg / 1l), keeping them at room temperature for a day, rinse thoroughly with water and dry. So you can improve productivity by 15-20%.
Seed hardening is also practiced, for which, having previously moistened, they are placed in gauze bags for 3-5 days, periodically moving from a room with a temperature of approx. 20 ° (after being within 6 hours) in a room with a temperature of 0 ° to 2 ° (for the next 18 hours).
Gardeners often prepare seeds for sowing, soaking them in special solutions, stimulating active growth, for example in a solution of "Bud" (2g / 1 liter of water) or "Energene" (5 drops / 1 liter). After this treatment, the seeds are washed and allowed to lie down for 1-2 days on moist matter at 22-25 degrees.
How to grow squash
Sowing can begin in the region of April 10-25, the time for planting patison seedlings is the second decade of May. The scheme of sowing seeds 60X60 cm, the depth depends on the type of soil - 5-7 cm deep in light soil and 3-4 cm in heavy. 2-3 seeds are placed in the hole, centimeters removed five to six from each other. The emerged shoots break through, leave one sprout in the hole, the rest are planted on other beds. To ensure the desired moisture regime, the beds are sprinkled with peat.
Planted seedlings are covered with a film spread on arcsthat are installed across the beds at a height of about half a meter. If frost is predicted, then additional shelter will be needed. Shelter from the film is done in order to sow seeds for 15-20 days earlier and create a water-temperature regime that is comfortable for plants, which, of course, improves productivity.
The problem of heating in cold weather is solved with the help of organic fertilizers. A specially dug groove is filled with a thick layer of manure (compost), 20 cm of garden soil is laid on top and watered with a mineral solution.
The main care measures are watering, weeding the beds and removing old leaflets in the lower part, as well as fruits affected by rot. Watering squash requires plentiful, water should be settled, with a temperature of approx. 22-25 °. Irrigation rates are as follows: every 5-6 days for 6-8 l / 1 sq. m - before flowering, and 8-10 liters every 3-4 days during the flowering period. It is necessary to water under the root or along the furrows in order to prevent water from penetrating into the flowers and ovaries, otherwise they can rot.
To landings do not apply hilling and loosening. Since watering is intensive, the roots will be exposed, so a couple of times during the growing season should be poured 3-5 cm peat (humus) layer.
It happens that there is a need to reduce the vegetative mass, the development of which prevents the formation of fruits. Then, choosing a sunny day, in the morning they cut off 1-2 old leaves, a repeated procedure is carried out after 3-4 days.
It is recommended to feed plantings 3 times during the growing season. The first time - before the beginning of flowering with organic fertilizer (eg "Vegeta"), 2 tbsp. spoons which are bred in 10 liters of water, per 1 square. m pours approx. 4-5 l. During the fruiting period, vegetables are fed 2 more times with this solution: Forward fertilizer in the amount of 2 tbsp. tablespoons are dissolved in 10 liters of water, 1 teaspoon of nitrophoska is added here, consumption is 3 liters for each plant.
Also, they often resort to feeding with mullein, chicken droppings, which are diluted in water 1 to 10 and 1 to 20, respectively.
Since squash is a cross-pollinated crop, the participation of pollen-carrying insects is necessary for fruit formation. In greenhouses, therefore, sometimes there is a need for manual pollination. To this end, they tear off a male flower, on which ripe pollen is visible, and place a corolla in the ovary, which is a female flower.
It is recommended not to allow the fruits of the earth to touch, so that slugs do not reach them and rot does not begin. To do this, put the fruit on pieces of plywood or glass. Harvesting is best done regularly so that the development of new fruits is not delayed and the underdeveloped ovaries are not threatened with shedding.
Brief characteristics of some varieties
Squash can have various shapes of fruits - in the form of a disk, plate, bowl, bell, the edges can be with scallops or with cloves, and there are just even ones. The traditional color is white, but thanks to the efforts of breeders, varieties were produced that produced fruits with purple, green, orange and yellow colors. Let's say a few words about the most common varieties of squash, divided into groups depending on color.
- White 13. Well-proven, time-tested variety, refers to mid-season, fruits weighing up to 450 g with dense white flesh.
- Disk. Early ripe variety, bark thin white unsweetened flesh, crunches, contains a small amount of juice. The average weight of a mature squash is 350 g.
- Loaf. Early variety, requires proper growing conditions. Small fruits weighing 180-270 g, from one plant collect up to 26 squash.
- Umbrella. High-yielding variety, early. Gives large fruits (800-1400 g), a shape in the form of a bowl or bell.
- Piglet. Refers to early ripening varieties, plants and fruits are small (220-300 g), all fruits ripen almost simultaneously.
- Cheburashka. The variety is ultra-ripe, ripening in 35-39 days, tolerates cold well. Fruits weighing from 200 to 400 g with a thin crust and juicy soft pulp.
- Rodeo. Also an early variety, characterized by increased productivity. The size of the plant is small, the flesh is quite dense, mild, has a peculiar taste.
Yellow orange varieties
- Sun. The variety boasts good yields, it is mid-season, the average weight of ripe squash is 250-300 g, the crust has a bright yellow color at the stage of technical maturity, which changes to orange when fully ripe. The pulp has a creamy tint.
- UFO Orange. This is an early ripe variety, its positive property - forms an ovary, even in poor growing conditions. The fruits weigh more than 280 g, have an orange-yellow flesh with a great taste, juiciness is low, and it is characterized by a high content of vitamin C and trace elements (iron, magnesium).
- Fuete. Another early ripe species, fruits weighing approx. 250-300 g with a dense pulp of white color, having a delicate taste. May not spoil for a long time after collection.
Dark green varieties
- Chunga Changa. Belongs to mid-ripening varieties, is characterized by good productivity, fruits are weighty (500-700 g), juicy, the taste is delicate.
- Gosh. This is a large early ripe plant. In ripened fruits, the skin becomes almost black, while the flesh casts milky whiteness.
Bingo Bongo It takes 39-43 days to ripen the fruit, the plant itself is small, thanks to a raised rosette of leaves, this variety is easier to care for and water. Quite large fruits weighing from 450 to 600 grams, have a soft juicy pulp.
How to Make Pickled Squash
Causes and types of diseases
The reason for the majority of squash diseases grown in the country, is cold water, is also responsible for a sharp change in temperature, when daytime heat is suddenly replaced by night coolness. Fruits affect white and root rot, anthracosis, powdery mildew, which progress while maintaining strong moisture. Some diseases, such as green speckled mosaic, Fusarium and root rot more often affect greenhouse plants.