Patio Star Squash
C. pepo 50 days. Bred specifically for container cultivation, Patio Star takes center stage with its attractive, compact plants, and shapely, deep green fruit. Despite its small stature, about half the size of standard zucchini plants, Patio Star produces full-size, delicious fruit by the bushel. The spine free plants have striking jade colored leaves speckled with iridescent silver. Growing this plant in the ground, small space gardeners can maximize production by packing them tightly together, or planting among other crops.
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|Seed Depth||Seed Spacing||Soil Temp for Germ.||Days to Germ.||Thin Plants To||See individual varieties for seed count.|
|1-1 1/2″||3-4 per hill||65-85°F||5-10||1-2 per hill|
Cucurbita spp.: In the diverse family of squash are true nutritional powerhouses, encompassing a wide array of forms, flavors, colorations, and culinary applications. Squash are rich in the carotenoids necessary for vitamin A production and boast a wide complement of amino acids. While starchy, most of the carbohydrates in the fruit come from special polysaccharides, pectins, which have exhibited strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic, insulin-regulating properties. Summer squash are a typically prolific garden classic.
CULTURE: Squash and pumpkins prefer good fertile soil and plenty of sunshine. Start indoors or in a greenhouse 3-4 weeks prior to your last frost. Sow in a 3 inch Peat or Cow Pot for direct transplanting. For best results transplant prior to the second set of true leaves. Plant the entire Peat or Cow Pot with no part of the pot exposed to the air. Work 1/2 cup of our complete fertilizer into the soil around each plant. For direct sowing, plant after your last frost and when the soil has warmed to at least 60°F. Sow with 3-4 feet between bush varieties, and 4-5 feet between vining varieties. Distance between rows: 6-10 feet. Squash need just-barely-damp soil to germinate. Too much moisture causes the seed to rot. All squash are monoecious (bearing separate male and female flowers on the same plant), and most require bee and insect activity for successful pollination. Poor fruit set is often the result of poor pollination.
INSECTS/PESTS: The major insect pests are the spotted and striped cucumber beetles, vine borers and squash bugs. Use row covers and/or apply Pyrethrin to reduce and control damage. Butternut varieties have a solid stem and are resistant to vine borer damage.
DISEASES: Squash are susceptible to a number of fungal, bacterial, and viral diseases that vary between regions. Your local county extension agent can help you pinpoint your particular problem.
HARVEST: Pick baby summer squash as well as the more mature ones. In general, summer squash are most tender and flavorful when very young. Winter squash are best left on the vine until fully mature. It should require quite a bit of pressure before your fingernail pierces through the rind into the flesh. For the best sugar content, cut the stem an inch or so from the body after the first light frost, and if the weather is dry, let them cure in the field. If temperatures drop below 25°F, bring your harvest inside and store in a cool dry location.
SEED SPECS: Minimum germination standard: 75%. Usual seed life: 3-4 years. Days to maturity: from date of direct seeding; if transplanting, subtract 10 days.
KEY TO SQUASH DISEASE RESISTANCE AND TOLERANCE
HR indicates high resistance.
IR indicates intermediate resistance.
CMV | Cucumber Mosaic Virus
PM | Powdery Mildew
PRV | Papaya Ringspot Virus
WMV* | Watermelon Mosaic Virus
ZYMV | Zucchini Yellow Mosaic Virus
* Numbers indicate specific disease race.