Organic Squash Early Prolific Straightneck - McKenzie Seeds
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- Creamy, tender texture with a slight butter flavor when cooked.
- 5 to 12 days to germination.
- 42-50 days to harvest.
- Awards: AAS (All-America Selections)
An All-American Selection! This popular, exceptionally productive variety of summer squash bears fruits that can be eaten when 10-30 cm (4-12") long. The thick, fine-grained flesh is tender and delicious. Pick when 10-18 cm (4-7") for best flavor. Tip: Squash are over-mature if the skin cannot be easily punctured by your thumbnail. Pick regularly so squash will continue to form.
3.5g. of seeds
Sow seed direct after last frost, or for an earlier crop, start indoors 3-4 weeks before last frost. Soil should be rich and well-drained. Generous watering is required if weather is dry.
Planting Depth: 2.5 cm (1")
Seed Spacing: 5-6 per hill or 5 cm (2")
Plantling Spacing: 3 per hill
Row Spacing: 1.5-1.8 m (5-6')
Pick summer squash early and often. Not picking will stop the production of the plants. Ready to harvest just after blossom falls from fruit and fruit can be easily dented with a thumbnail.
Preparation Ideas: Sliced into rounds, can be steamed, grilled, roasted, sautéed or breaded and deep fried.
The size of your garden may determine which squash varieties to grow – squash plants require a large space. Smaller fruited varieties can be trained up a trellis which can help save space.
Keep soil adequately moist throughout the season and give plants a nice deep watering once a week. When watering, try to avoid wetting the plant’s leaves as this can encourage disease.
Harvest and Storage
Summer squash tastes better when smaller in size so for best quality and flavor, they should be harvested when young and tender. Squash grow rapidly so it is a good idea to regularly (every 1 or 2 days) check for more, especially in hot weather.
Often summer squashes are harvested too late when the fruit is large and hard. Most elongated varieties are picked when they are 2-3 inches in diameter and 6 to 8 inches long.
Regular harvesting will increase the yield.
Use a sharp knife or pruning shears to harvest and wear gloves if possible as the leafstalks and stems are prickly and can scratch and irritate unprotected hands and arms
To store summer squash, harvest small squash and place, unwashed in plastic bags in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Wash the squash just before preparation. As with most vegetables, water droplets promote decay during storage. The storage life of summer squash is brief, so use within two to three days.
Winter squash can be usually be harvested when the vines have died or around the time of a light frost. The fruits will have turned a deep, solid color and the rind will be hard (not easily pierced by a fingernail). Harvest the main part of the crop before heavy frosts hit your area.
Cut squash from the vines carefully, leaving two inches of stem attached. Avoid cuts and bruises when handling. Fruits that are not fully mature, have been injured, have had their stems knocked off, or have been subjected to heavy frost do not keep and should be used as soon as possible or be composted.
Store on a shelf (not on cement floor) in a cool dry location around 10-13°C (50-55°F).
Companion planting: Corn, onion, radish
Summer squash can be grilled, steamed, boiled, sautéed, fried or used in stir fry recipes. They mix well with onions, tomatoes and okra in vegetable medleys. Summer squash can be used interchangeably in most recipes.
To cook winter squash, place unpeeled pieces cut sides down on a shallow baking dish and bake in a 350°F oven for 30 minutes or longer. Check for doneness by piercing with a fork or skewer. When tender, remove from the oven and allow the pieces to cool. Spoon out the soft flesh and mash with a fork or process in a blender or food processor. Small acorn squash and spaghetti squash can be pierced in several places with a long-tined fork or metal skewer and baked whole. Piercing prevents the shell from bursting during cooking. Place the squash on a baking dish and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours at 325°F.