What you need to know about squash and their cultivation

Squash belongs to the same family as pumpkins and zucchini, well known to many gardeners. But the same popularity as the "relatives", while can not boast. For some reason, the culture is considered capricious and demanding care, although this is by no means true. Anyone who successfully grows zucchini will receive a squash crop without any problems. Among the existing variety of varieties, each gardener can find the one that suits him the most, focusing on the appearance of the fruit, productivity, frost resistance, and other important factors.

How squash looks and what is useful

Patisson is an annual bushy plant or shrub belonging to the Pumpkin family. Its closest "relatives", pumpkin and zucchini have long been well known to gardeners. Most botanists consider South America to be the birthplace of squash, although there is evidence that this plant was cultivated in ancient Egypt. So far, wild squash has not been found in nature, so the question remains open.

Europe met them during the era of great geographical discoveries. The plant was brought to their homeland by Spanish sailors. The Mediterranean climate came very close to the culture, and it quickly gained popularity. Now squash is almost an integral part of French cuisine. Even the common name comes from the French pâté (pie), which describes the unusual shape of the fruit. And squash is often called "dish-shaped pumpkins."

An exotic vegetable came to Russia in the 17th century. This is not to say that culture fell in love immediately and forever, however, after two hundred years, squash could be found even in Siberia. They are well adapted to the harsh climate. Although their frost resistance is such that most varieties will not tolerate even a short-term decrease in temperature to negative values.

The plant is quite compact, the lashes are short. The leaves are large, harsh to the touch, covered with rare “villi”. The flowers are solitary, golden yellow, in shape resemble a bell. They are same-sex, therefore, in order for the fruits to start, the plant needs the “help” of insects or a gardener.

Squash bushes are usually quite compact

The fruit of the squash is pumpkin. Weight varies from 250–300 g to 800–1000 g, diameter - from 7–10 cm to 25–30 cm. Do not hesitate to harvest. The larger the squash becomes, the more its skin coarsens. The pulp becomes cottony, almost tasteless. Such specimens can only be used to collect seeds, if the cultivated variety is not a hybrid.

The flowers of the squash are same-sex, pollination is impossible without outside help.

Most often, the skin is painted in white, lettuce or dark green. But breeders bred yellow, orange, purple, mottled squash. The shape of the fruit resembles a plate or bowl. The pulp is tender, with a slight nutty flavor. Although some foodies say that the taste of squash reminds them of asparagus or artichokes.

Selection varieties of squash differ mainly in the color of the skin and the shape of the fetus

Squash is widely used in cooking. They can replace zucchini in any recipe. The unusual shape of the fruit makes it ideal for stuffing. Both mature squash and young go to food. The latter can generally be eaten raw. It is the fruits aged 7–10 days that have reached a diameter of 5–7 cm and are most highly valued by professional chefs. They are also stewed, fried, pickled, salted.

Squash stuffed with meat, vegetables, rice, the shape of the fruit for this is very convenient

Squash is not only tasty, but also healthy. The pulp is rich in pectin, fiber, protein, unsaturated fatty acids, glucose and fructose. It is quickly absorbed and helps to digest heavier foods. Of the trace elements, the presence of potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, copper, iron, zinc, cobalt, and sodium can be noted. The content of vitamins of groups B, C, E, PP squash surpass pumpkins and squash. Varieties with yellow peels are rich in carotenoids and lutein. This natural antioxidant helps to improve blood composition (especially with hemoglobin deficiency), lower cholesterol, and has a beneficial effect on vision.

The squash diet has long been known and proven effective. Its main product can easily be replaced with squash. They are also low in calories. Nutritionists recommend consuming fruits for the prevention of diseases of the cardiovascular system, normalization of the intestines, and kidney and liver problems. Squash is hypoallergenic, puree from them is suitable even for young children. The only contraindication is individual intolerance.

Squash seeds for lecithin can be compared with eggs. It is a valuable source of protein for vegetarians. The powder of them helps to normalize the activity of the endocrine and nervous systems. Juice effectively removes excess salts and fluids from the body. Its regular use is an effective prevention of kidney disease. A good diuretic and mildly acting laxative is mashed pulp.

The flesh of the squash is very good for health, and its seeds are also used in folk medicine

Distinguishing squash from zucchini is quite simple. Just look at the fruits. If we talk about less noticeable differences, squash bushes are more compact, the leaves are smaller. The pulp of fruits is denser, it has its own pronounced, rich taste. But zucchini greatly surpass squash in productivity and precocity.

Video: squash and their health benefits

Varieties popular among gardeners

Patisson is a culture popular with breeders. They have bred quite a few varieties and hybrids, differing mainly in the color of the skin and the shape of the fetus.

Most often, the following varieties of squash are grown:

  • White 13. A medium-ripening variety, bred in the mid-60s of the last century. It is still considered one of the best for growing without shelter. Differs in unpretentiousness in leaving (even against the background of "relatives") and frost resistance. Productivity - 3-5 kg ​​per bush. A fully ripened squash weighs 400–500 g, young fruits - 90–100 g. In shape they resemble a plate, the “cloves” along the edge are weakly expressed. The skin is white or pale salad, glossy. Fruits ripen 65–70 days after emergence.
  • Umbrella. Early grade. Harvest ripens in 45-50 days. You can count on 4-5 kg ​​/ m². The plant is quite powerful, semi-bush. The fruit looks like a bell, the surface is slightly hilly. The skin is whitish or greenish. It is thin, therefore, the fruits do not differ in their lightness and transportability. The average mass of squash is 300–400 g, diameter is 10–12 cm.
  • Disk. Fruits are harvested 40-50 days after emergence. Squash disc-shaped, with a pronounced division into segments, “denticles” along the edge are almost invisible. The average weight is 350-400 g. The skin is white. The pulp is medium density, not particularly juicy. The fruits are well stored, can last until mid-winter. A significant drawback is the tendency to be affected by powdery mildew.
  • Cheburashka. One of the earliest varieties, from the emergence of seedlings to the fruits reaching technical maturity, takes 39 days. The plant is powerful, forms up to eight lashes. The mass of the fetus is 200–400 g, diameter is 9–10 cm, the skin is white, thin. The flesh is snow-white, tender in texture, juicy. It is appreciated for its increased frost resistance, taste, mass ripening of fruits.
  • Fuete. Mid-early variety, fruits ripen in 50–55 days. The fruits are one-dimensional, symmetrical, in the shape of a plate with a “wavy” edge. Weight - 280-300 g. The skin is golden-orange, thin, but strong. The pulp is snow-white, dense. The variety stands out with a good keeping quality.
  • Sun. The growing season is 58–70 days, it depends on the weather. The bush is very compact, slightly branching. The fruit is dish-shaped, with a "scalloped" edge. Weight - 250-300 g. As it ripens, the skin color changes from pale yellow to bright orange. The pulp is dense, creamy beige, very tasty. Plants extremely rarely suffer from true and downy mildew.
  • UFO orange. Early grade. The plant is compact, bushy. The mass of the fetus varies from 280-300 g to 500 g. The skin is pale yellow, shiny. Taste is excellent. Average productivity - 3-5.5 kg / m². There is a UFO variety, white, which does not differ practically in anything, except for the coloring of the skin.
  • Chunga Changa. An early variety characterized by frost resistance. The plant is compact. Fruits ripen in 42–45 days. The skin is saturated dark green in color, the creamy beige flesh, juicy. Average weight - 400-450 g. Disc-shaped squash, with a "scalloped" edge. The variety is notable for good immunity.
  • Gosh. Fruits ripen in 45-50 days. The bush is compact, the leaves are small. Fruits are dark malachite, almost black. Explicitly expressed division into segments. The pulp is snow-white, dense, not particularly juicy. The average mass of squash is 150–250 g. Productivity is 1.3–4.2 kg / m². It depends on agricultural technology, the variety is quite demanding in care.
  • Bingo Bongo An early variety with unusual blue-violet fruits. They are disc-shaped in shape, almost without “denticles”. The bush is notable for its growth rate, but at the same time quite compact. Harvest ripens in an average of 40 days.
  • Polo. Early ripe squash. The average fruit mass is 300–400 g. The plant is compact. The fruit is in the shape of a plate, the color of the skin varies from milky green to salad. The pulp is snow-white, not too dense. The variety is valued for its consistently high yield (8.8 kg / m²) and resistance to downy mildew.
  • Sunny Bunny. An early variety, it takes 42–46 days to ripen the crop. Fruits in the form of a disk, the skin is dark yellow, the flesh is creamy orange. The average weight of squash is 150–250 g. The variety is appreciated for its presentability and taste of the fruit, good yield (4.5 kg / m²), and resistance to powdery mildew.
  • Watermelon F1. Mid-season hybrid, distinguished by the original colorful coloring of the fruit. On the skin, broad light and dark green longitudinal stripes alternate. As they ripen, the squash in the shape of a disc slightly “rounds”, becoming even more like watermelons. The average weight of the fruit is 300-450 g. The plant is powerful, intensively branching.
  • Chartreuse F1. Hybrid early ripening, distinguished by the taste of the fruit. The skin is dark green, sometimes with yellowish-white or salad stripes and spots, salad flesh. As it ripens, it gradually whitens. The diameter of the fetus is not more than 3 cm, weight - 50–70 g.
  • Piglet. Early ripe squash, ripen on average in 50 days. The skin is milky green, smooth. The average weight is 225 g. Taste is not bad, but the yield is only 1.5 kg / m². However, the variety tolerates drought very well.
  • Sunny Delight. An early variety of squash from the Netherlands. Fruits of a form typical for culture, the skin is yellow, glossy, the flesh is white. Average weight - 80–100 g. Appreciated for excellent taste, high yield (up to 16.5 kg / m²) and good keeping quality. Fruiting lasts almost until the first frost, plants tolerate drought well.
  • Mini baby. The plant is compact, the leaves are small. The diameter of the fetus is 3-5 cm. The crop ripens in 50 days. You can count on 3-5 kg ​​per bush. The skin of the disc-shaped fruits is pale green, the flesh is almost white.

Photo gallery: varieties of squash popular among Russian gardeners

Patisson White 13 - one of the old time-tested varieties

Patisson Umbrella is not suitable for transportation and long-term storage.

Patisson Disk is often infected with powdery mildew.

Patisson Cheburashka belongs to the category of ultra-early varieties

Patisson Fuet is distinguished by the presentability of the type of fruit

Patisson Sun is a very compact plant, it can be grown even at home

Patisson UFO orange is appreciated for the palatability of the fruit.

Patisson Chung-Chang is distinguished by frost resistance and good immunity

Patisson Ghosh, unlike other varieties, is quite demanding in care

Patisson Bingo-Bongo stands out for its unusual fruit color

Patisson Polo stably brings a crop, even if the weather in the summer is not too good

Patisson Sunny Bunny - one of the most popular early varieties

Patisson Watermelon F1 looks very unusual

Patisson Chartreuse F1 is highly regarded by professional culinary experts.

Patisson Piglet tolerates drought well, but does not differ in high productivity

Patisson Sunny Delight - A Worldwide Popular Dutch Variety

Squash Mini crumbs can be salted and pickled whole

Growing squash seedlings

Most often, gardeners, in order to get a squash crop as early as possible, grow this culture with seedlings. This method is also practiced in temperate regions where the short summers are unpredictable in terms of weather.

Before planting, preplant seed preparation is mandatory. This also applies to those that will be planted immediately in the garden. Treatment stimulates the appearance of more female flowers. First, the seeds for a day are wrapped in tissue moistened with a solution of any biostimulant, preventing it from drying out. Then they are washed and kept for another two days in a warm place, wrapped in gauze moistened with ordinary water. Warming up the seeds takes less time - they are immersed for 5-6 hours in hot (50-60 ° C) water or kept in the oven, heated to the same temperature. Another option is the so-called shock therapy. For a week, the seeds buried in moist sand are put into the refrigerator for the night, and during the day they are put on the windowsill illuminated by the sun.

Squash seeds need preplant treatment

Squash is very susceptible to fungal diseases, therefore, immediately before planting, the seeds are etched for 15–20 minutes in a bright pink solution of potassium permanganate or any biological fungicide (Bayleton, Alirin-B, Ridomil-Gold). Then they are washed in cool water and dried to a friable state.

Seeds for seedlings are planted in the second half of April. Better immediately in small peat pots, picking and transplanting the culture does not tolerate too well.

  1. Tanks are filled with a mixture of humus and universal soil for seedlings (1: 1). Seeds are planted to a depth of 3-4 cm. The substrate is moderately watered, the pots are covered with a film or glass.
  2. Until seedlings appear (this takes 7-10 days) they are kept in the dark at a temperature of about 30 ° C. As soon as the seeds germinate, the shelter is removed, it is lowered to 22-24 ° C during the day and 18-20 ° C at night. Sudden temperature changes for seedlings are very harmful.
  3. Seedlings at the age of 10-12 days are fed by pouring with a solution of simple superphosphate (3-5 g per liter of water). Seedlings are watered sparingly, every 3-4 days. Otherwise, squash can rot.
  4. A week before planting, the seedlings are sprayed with a solution of urea or another nitrogen-containing fertilizer to increase its immunity. Then they begin to harden, gradually extending the time spent in the open air from 2-3 hours to 8-10 hours. The window in the room where the seedlings are not closed at night.

Growing squash seedlings allows you to get a crop earlier

Seedlings are ready for planting in the ground in 25-30 days, at the end of May or at the very beginning of June. They must have a minimum of 2-3 true sheets. Seedlings are planted in holes about 15 cm deep, the distance between them is 70–80 cm. The optimal time for the procedure is early morning or evening after sunset.

Wells are well shed with water. At the bottom put a handful of humus, a tablespoon of sifted wood ash and a little onion husk. Seedlings are planted together with a peat pot or with a lump of earth, buried to the first cotyledon leaves. The soil is neatly compacted, the seedlings are watered again, spending about 1 liter of water per plant. Until squash is moved, it is advisable to protect them from direct sunlight by constructing a temporary canopy of any white covering material.

Squash planted in the ground, deepening to the first cotyledon leaves

Planting seeds in open ground

Squash seeds can be planted immediately in open ground. But this method is practiced mainly in the southern regions with a warm climate. Throughout the rest of Russia, the crop may simply not have time to ripen if the weather during the summer is cold, cloudy and rainy.

For the garden, they choose an open place well-lit by the sun. Groundwater should not come closer to the surface than 1.5–2 m. The substrate is desirable fertile, but light, loose. The best option is loam. Squash will not grow in acidified or saline substrate, as well as in soil more resembling a swamp.

The squash bed should be well lit by the sun

“Predecessors” in the garden are happy with any culture, with the exception of plants from the Pumpkin family. It is better to place them away from planting pumpkins and zucchini. These plants are very easily pollinated. It is completely impossible to predict what exactly will ripen on the bush.

The site is being prepared since the fall. This also applies to the garden on which it is planned to plant seedlings of squash. The soil is dug, while applying humus (5 l / m²), phosphate (15–20 g / m²) and potash (8–10 g / m²) fertilizers. If the soil is acidic, dolomite flour, powdered eggshell or slaked lime is added.

Humus - a natural remedy to increase soil fertility

In the spring a couple of weeks before planting, the soil is well loosened, the garden bed is shed with a solution of any complex fertilizer for vegetable crops. Почва на глубине 10–15 см к моменту высадки должна прогреться минимум до 15ºС. В регионах с субтропическим климатом семена патиссонов можно сажать уже в конце апреля или в первой декаде мая. В Подмосковье и средней полосе России этот срок сдвигается на его вторую половину, а на Урале и в Сибири придётся ждать до начала июня. Семена, высаженные в не прогревшийся грунт, скорее всего, сгниют.

Семена по 1–2 штуки высаживают в лунки с интервалом 70–80 см, заглубляя на 5–8 см. Сверху их присыпают перегноем, умеренно поливают. Почву осторожно уплотняют, грядку до появления всходов затягивают полиэтиленовой плёнкой. Сеянцы в фазе второго настоящего листа прореживают, оставляя в лунке по одному, наиболее мощному и развитому растению. Остальные срезают ножницами.

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При высадке семян патиссона в открытый грунт тоже нужно выдерживать интервал между растениями

Советы по уходу за культурой

Ухаживать за патиссонами не труднее, чем за кабачками. Но помимо поливов и подкормок они нуждаются в «помощи» садовода для опыления. Пыльцу переносят и насекомые, но чересчур надеяться на них не стоит, особенно если во время цветения стоит прохладная сырая погода. Чтобы привлечь на участок пчёл и шмелей, бутоны опрыскивают разведённым водой мёдом или сахарным сиропом (20–30 мл на литр).

Опыление патиссона садоводы проводят вручную

Женские цветки легко отличить от мужских по наличию плодовой завязи у основания бутона. Для опыления у мужского цветка нужно оборвать лепестки и несколько раз провести пестиком по тычинкам. Ещё пыльцу переносят с помощью мягкой кисточки или ватного диска. Проводят опыление исключительно в сухую погоду.

Женский цветок патиссона можно отличить по наличию плодовой завязи

Грядку нужно регулярно пропалывать и рыхлить, но очень осторожно. Корневая система у растений поверхностная. Желательно почву мульчировать. Это поможет задержать влагу в почве, не даст пробиться сорнякам и защитит корни от высыхания.

Если цветение патиссонов затягивается, опытные садоводы рекомендуют срезать с куста 1–2 самых старых листа. Через 4–5 дней процедуру нужно будет повторить. Проводят её ранним утром.

Как и все Тыквенные, патиссоны любят влагу. До цветения их поливают водой комнатной температуры каждые 5–6 дней, расходуя около 10 л воды на 1 м². После формирования завязей интервал между поливами сокращают до 3–4 дней, норму увеличивают до 10–12 л. Воду льют под корень или в борозды между кустами. Нежелательно, чтобы капли попадали на листья, цветки и плоды.

Патиссоны, как и все Тыквенные, нуждаются в частом и обильном поливе

Под сформировавшиеся плоды, лежащие на земле, обязательно подкладывают кусок фанеры, стекла, рубероида и так далее, чтобы защитить их от соприкосновения с влажной почвой. В противном случае почти неизбежно развитие гнили. С той же целью удаляют старые увядшие листья и остатки лепестков цветка с плодовой завязи.

Вегетативный период у патиссонов достаточно короткий, поэтому растению достаточно двух подкормок. Перед цветением по грядке в сухом виде распределяют по 40–50 г калийного и фосфорного удобрения и вдвое меньше азотного. Можно использовать и комплексные препараты — Азофоска, Аммофоска и так далее.

Вызревающие плоды нуждаются в фосфоре и калии. Азот стимулирует кусты к интенсивному наращиванию зелёной массы, на сами патиссоны у них не остаётся сил. Через 5–7 дней после формирования плодовых завязей патиссоны поливают настоем свежего навоза, птичьего помёта, листьев крапивы или одуванчика. Готовится он в течение 3–4 дней. Перед употреблением средство процеживают и разводят водой 1:10 или 1:15, если это помёт. Подойдёт и любое удобрение на основе биогумуса, настой древесной золы. На каждое растение расходуется около 0, 5 л.

Nettle infusion - a natural source of phosphorus and potassium

Видео: рекомендации по уходу за патиссонами

Патиссоны в теплице

Кусты у патиссонов довольно компактные, поэтому семена и рассаду можно высаживать и в теплицу. Практика показывает, что в этом случае урожай вызревает на 1, 5–2 недели раньше обычного.

С осени почву обязательно перекапывают, для повышения плодородности вносят перегной. Для дезинфекции её проливают темно-розовым раствором перманганата калия или 5%-м медным купоросом, теплицу окуривают, сжигая кусочек серной шашки.

Опыляют патиссоны в теплице исключительно вручную. Её регулярно проветривают. Спёртый влажный воздух очень хорошо подходит для развития большинства грибковых болезней, его любят и многие вредители. В сильную жару стекла опрыскивают изнутри разведённой водой гашёной известью, а проходы поливают холодной водой. Это помогает снизить температуру.

Патиссоны можно выращивать и в теплице, компактность растения это позволяет

Seeds and seedlings of squash in the greenhouse are planted in the first decade of May. Be sure to follow the landing scheme. Diseases and pests indoors are spreading faster than in the open ground, and with thickened landings, it’s practically lightning fast.

As a rule, bushes of greenhouse squash grow stronger, so you need to remove excess leaves that obscure fruit ovaries in a timely manner. Place the sections sprinkled with crushed chalk or sifted wood ash.

Squash at home

Patisson is a bushy plant and, moreover, quite compact. It can be completely planted in a container or a large pot and grown at home.

His root system is superficial, so the capacity should not be too deep. Diameter - approximately 60–70 cm. Drainage holes are mandatory. A layer of expanded clay, pebbles, brick chips with a thickness of 3-5 cm is poured at the bottom.

As for the soil, any universal substrate for seedlings is suitable if mixed with humus or fertile soddy soil in equal proportions. For the prevention of fungal diseases, for each liter of the finished mixture, add a tablespoon of crushed chalk or powdered activated carbon.

The container is placed near the window facing the southeast or southwest. To avoid leaf burns, squash should be protected from direct sunlight. In the summer, the pot is taken out onto a loggia, balcony, veranda.

“Home” squash is watered as the topsoil dries up, every 3-4 days. Feed every 15-20 days with any fertilizer based on vermicompost. This culture prefers natural organics.

Diseases, pests and their control

Like all pumpkins, squash often suffer from diseases. They are especially susceptible to infection by fungi. Therefore, the seeds before planting must be etched in a fungicide solution.

The following diseases are most dangerous for culture:

  • Anthracnose. Large translucent yellowish-beige spots blur on the leaves, a pinkish coating forms along the veins. Fruits are covered with pressed black "ulcers". Affected tissues rot.
  • Ascochitosis. The stems and leaves are covered with small brown spots, the border of which gradually darkens, and the surface brightens. The affected tissue dries and dies.
  • White rot. On the leaves and stems, “weeping” dark spots form, which are tightened by a layer of “fluffy” grayish-white coating. Gradually, it becomes denser, a cloudy yellowish or pink liquid begins to ooze.
  • Black mold. Yellow-brown spots appear on the leaves between the veins, gradually dragging on a layer of black-brown plaque. Then the disease spreads to the fruits. The affected tissue dies, holes form.
  • Powdery Mildew A powdery whitish coating appears on the front, resembling scattered flour. Affected tissues turn yellow and dry.

Photo gallery: Symptoms of a typical squash disease

Anthracnose is one of the common fungal diseases.

Ascochitosis - typical for all pumpkin diseases

A plant affected by white rot dies quickly

Black mold affects both the plant and the squash itself

Powdery mildew seems to be a harmless coating that is easy to wipe from the leaves, but this is by no means

Most pathogens do not tolerate copper compounds. Therefore, fungicides are used to combat them. Both old products tested by more than one generation of gardeners (Bordeaux liquid and vitriol) and modern drugs (Topaz, Horus, Skor, KhOM, Kuprozan and so on) will do.

For prevention, the soil on the beds is dusted with tobacco chips or colloidal sulfur. The plants themselves are sprinkled with crushed chalk or wood ash. Irrigation water is periodically replaced with a pale pink potassium permanganate solution.

If symptoms are noticed on time, you can try to cope with the disease using folk remedies. Squash is sprayed with a solution of soda ash, laundry soap, diluted with water 1:10 kefir or milk whey with the addition of iodine (drop per liter). The advantage of folk remedies is that they can be used at any time, while the use of fungicides, if they are not preparations of biological origin, is not allowed during flowering and 15–20 days before harvest.

Squashes do not bypass squash. The greatest danger to the plant is:

  • Gourd aphids. Small yellow-green insects settle on the plant in whole colonies, tightly clinging to young leaves, buds and fruit ovaries. For prevention, squash is sprayed with any pungent infusions. As raw materials, you can use the tops of potatoes or tomatoes, wormwood, peel of lemon, dried tobacco leaves, arrows of onions or garlic. Marigolds, marigold, lavender are planted along the perimeter of the bed and in the aisles. The same infusions will help to cope with the pest, if the aphids are still a bit. But squash will need to be sprayed not every 7-10 days, but 3-4 times a day. If there is no effect, insecticides of general action are used - Iskra-Bio, Confidor-Maxi, Inta-Vir.
  • Spider mite. It is almost impossible to see the pest itself with the naked eye, but thin translucent cobwebs, braiding leaves, buds and fruit ovaries are clearly visible. For prevention, the bushes are sprayed with infusion of onion and garlic gruel. To cope with the pest, acaricides are used - Neoron, Vertimek, Sunmayt, Apollo.
  • Slug. Pests feed on leaf tissues and fruits, eating holes in them. A sticky silver coating remains on the surface. If there are few slugs, you can collect them manually or lure them using traps (containers dug into the ground filled with beer, jam diluted with water, sugar syrup, slices of cabbage or grapefruit). The base of the stem is surrounded by a "barrier" of coniferous needles, sand, crushed eggshells. In the case of a massive invasion of slugs, Meta, Thunderstorm, Sludge are used.
  • Whitefly Mostly squash grown in a greenhouse suffers from it. Small whitish moth-like butterflies cling to the underside of the leaf, fluttering at the lightest touch of it. For prevention, the bushes are sprayed with any sharply smelling herbal infusions. Adults are destroyed by traps in the form of smeared with petroleum jelly, a long-drying glue, honey pieces of cardboard or plywood. In the event of a mass invasion, Mospilan, Aktara, Admiral, Fufanon are used.

Photo Gallery: What Squash Pests Look Like

Aphids - one of the most “omnivorous” garden pests

The spider mite is not an insect, therefore, special drugs - acaricides are used to combat it

Stability in fruits damaged by slugs decreases sharply, presentability also suffers

Whitefly is for some reason indifferent to yellow, this feature is used in the manufacture of traps

Harvesting and storage

Squash is collected every 2-3 days after they reach technical maturity. The fruits that remain on the bush for a long time are re-ripened and prevent new ovaries from forming. The peel should be thin enough, but strong, the seeds should be small and not hard. But very small fruits with a diameter of 3-4 cm are also picked. They are best suited for fresh consumption, they can be pickled and salted whole.

Harvest squash harvested regularly, this contributes to the formation of new fruits

Ripe fruits are carefully cut with the stalk with sharp scissors or a knife. At room temperature they lie no more than 5–7 days, in the refrigerator - 12–15 days. For long-term storage, only intact fruits with a diameter of at least 6–7 cm and no more than 15 cm are suitable. They are placed in a dark place with good ventilation, provide a temperature of 2–4 ° C and a humidity of about 80%. Squash are laid out in boxes or boxes, pouring sand, shavings, sawdust. In such conditions, they do not lose their taste and presentability for 3-4 months.

For long-term storage, only squash are suitable without mechanical damage and signs of damage by diseases and pests.

There are other storage methods:

  • Freezing Small squash are frozen whole, large cut into pieces or tinder on a coarse grater. They are washed, dried, laid on trays laid on paper and for 2-3 minutes sent to the freezer, operating in the "shock" freezing mode. Then they are laid out in special packages with a tight fastener. Shelf life is 8-10 months.
  • Drying. Squash “wither” in the sun for 3-5 days, wash, cut into thin plastics. They are laid out on baking trays or trays so that they do not touch each other and are dried naturally, in the oven or in a special electric dryer. Ready slices are stored in a cool dry place in paper bags or linen bags for 6-8 months.
  • Canning. Squash marinated and salted, separately or as part of mixed vegetables. Surely every housewife will find favorite recipes for homemade preparations.

Growing squash on the plot is no more difficult than pumpkins or zucchini. The culture is not capricious, nothing supernatural from the gardener is needed. The fruits are not only tasty, but also very healthy. The appearance of squash is very diverse, there are many varieties and hybrids bred by breeders. Surely among them, every gardener will find one that he will like.

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