How to grow organic squash vegetables



Squash vegetables can be grown in warm conditions in well manured soils with plenty of water.

Marrows, Courgettes, Baby marrows or Zucchini

Courgettes/ Baby marrows or Zucchini are really just marrows that have been harvested while they are still small because of their lovely taste. Prepare a well manured bed, or if manure is scarce just place some into the hole in which you are going to plant the plant instead of all over the whole bed.

Plant two seeds into each square of a seed tray in mid spring. When they are ready plant them outside 60cm apart. Trailing varieties can be grown up a tripod or cane. Pinch out the top of the plant when the plant reaches the top of the cane.

Harvest the fruits when they are the desired size.

Cucumbers

Sow 2 seeds in each square of a seed tray in mid spring. When they germinate, thin out to leave the strongest seedling. Plant outside in late spring leaving 60cm between plants.

The most space saving way to grow cucumbers is to train them to grow up canes or string placed in a wig-wam shape. This also keeps the fruits off the ground and out of reach of ground pests. Tie them to the cane at frequent intervals and trim off the side-shoots. Harvest the fruits when they are still young which encourages more fruit production.

Melons

Sow 2 seeds in each square of a seed tray in mid spring. When they germinate, thin out to leave the strongest seedling. Plant outside in late spring leaving 90cm between plants.

It is important to water the plants regularly. When the plants have made three leaves, pinch out the growing point which will encourage it to make side-shoots. These should again be stopped after three leaves in order to encourage fruit formation. When the fruits form, pinch back to two leaves beyond the fruit in order to encourage the fruit to increase in size and mature.

Cut the fruits off the plant as soon as they fell soft when you press the ends.

Pumpkins

Sow 2 seeds in each square of a seed tray in mid spring. When they germinate, thin out to leave the strongest seedling. Plant outside in late spring, when all danger of frost has passed, leaving at least 90cm between plants.

Pinch back the trailing stems regularly to keep the plants in check, but be warned that pumpkins take up a lot of space and can take over a veggie patch if not kept under control. The first season I planted, I put them in my enclosed patch amongst the other veggies and they literally climbed over into other beds for space. Now I plant them outside my patch to creep along the side where they don’t get in the way of other plants and they grow much better with lots of space.

Leave your pumpkins on the plant as long as possible while there is plenty of sunlight and no threat of frost. As they grow, raise the fruits off the ground to avoid rotting. I place a paper plate under them, but you could use a piece of wood or a brick – just be careful not to sever the stem that attaches the fruit to the plant while you move them. Harvest them at the end of the season and store them in a frost free place to eat them all winter long.