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Growing Great Squash

Updated on December 26, 2011

squash


Summer squash are members of the Cucurbitaceae family and are relatives of both the melon and the cucumber. Summer squash comes in a wide variety of plants that differ from each other in shape, color, size and flavor; however, they all share some common characteristics.

All of the summer squash is edible. This includes the flesh, seeds and skin. Some varieties of the squash plant produce edible flowers.

You cannot store summer squash for long periods of time as you can winter squash; foe the summer squash is more fragile.

Zucchini may well be the best known summer squash. It can be green or yellow in colour and is great in stir fries, salads, not to mention zucchini bread.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Sift together flour, salt, soda, cinnamon, baking powder.
  3. Beat eggs.
  4. Add and mix well sugar, vanilla, and oil.
  5. Add zucchini to egg mixture.
  6. Add dry ingredients, mixing well. Stir in nuts if desired.
  7. Pour into 2 ungreased loaf pans.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour.

If you have ever grown the zuke as it is sometimes, know, you are aware that it is a very determined and highly productive plant.

At harvest time, friend and family may not return your calls or answer their doors and go into hiding if they see you coming, especially if you are carrying a box or bag with what appears to be zukes in it.

You will find that a few plants will produce all you need. How many plants, well it does depend upon the size of your family.

One thought you could grow zukes for all your family and fiends and they could grow something else. This way when you drop by, you are welcome rather than avoided.

In salads I use zucchini much as I do cucumber, raw and sliced or diced. There is a slightly nutty flavour to a raw zuke and they add colour and texture as well to your garden salad.

In stir fries I usually dice them first, marinate them in soya sauce for 90 minutes or so before using and then toss them into a hot pan, great with rice.

Both summer and winter squash will grow best when planted in well-drained soils that contain high levels of organic matter. Both demand full sun. The use of well rotted manure or compost is a great way to increase the soil’s fertility.

You plant both summer and winter squash in hills. Be sure to read the instructions on the seed package if you are growing from seed. Generally, you will sow 4 to 5 seeds per hill at a depth of 1 inch, then, thin to 2 to 3 vigorous, well-spaced plants per hill when seedlings have 1 or 2 true leaves.

Squash can also be grown vertically. No matter which variety you pick, if you give them what they need they will return the favour.

Zephyr Summer Squash

courtesy flickr/iloveButter
courtesy flickr/iloveButter

Comments

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  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    thanks, that sounds tasty.

  • profile image

    TiffanyDow 

    10 years ago

    You always have such great Hubs, Bob! My favorite way to eat squash is to steam it with broccoli and red bell peppers and garlic with season salt and margarine and eat it with rice. Yum!

    tiff ;)

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