Pumpkin, Squash & Zucchini

Growing Pumpkin, Squash & Zucchini

Pumpkin, Squash & Zucchini

All these crops are closely related - often confusingly so, and are grown in the same way. They need a sunny position, a moisture-retentive soil and somewhere out of cold winds.

Sowing:

Sow 2-3 seeds 12mm deep direct into the garden or in seedlng trays September to December. Transplant in the garden once the risk of frost has passed. Thin seedlings to leave the strongest one.

Growing:

Make planting pockets 2ft (60cm) apart for bush varieties or 4ft (1.2m) For trailing varieties, two weeks before seed sowing or planting out. Fill the 30cm (12in) square and deep pockets with a mixture of compost or well-rotted manure and soil; leave a low mound at the top of the planting medium. Sprinkle a general fertiliser over the soil. Covering the soil with black polythene will help growth and keep the fruit off the soil. The fruit of marrows and pumpkins should be supported on a piece of tile or glass. Pinch out the tips of the main shoots of trailing varieties when they are 2ft (60cm) long. Keep the soil constantly moist by watering around the plants, not over them. Feed every 10-14 days with a high potash liquid fertiliser once the first fruits start to swell.

Varieties:

Zucchini: Black Beauty, Blackjack, GoldrushGreenskin, Lebanese, Gourmet Mix.
Pumpkin: Butternut, Golden Nugget, JapJarrahdale, Queensland Blue, Whangaparoa Crown.
Squash: Mixed Buttons

Harvesting:

Harvest squashes when the fruit is still quite small. For pumpkins let the fruit mature on the plant and remove before the first frost.