Pretty much all of the squash, both winter and summer, that we chose are small varieties that mature quickly. The one exception was the Crespo squash. Of the 6 seeds we planted, one came up and got quite large. After we moved our seedlings from the aquarium greenhouses to the sun room, a second seedling sprouted.
That’s good enough for me!
As these are supposed to grow quite large, we decided they will get their own space. Near where we will be transplanting the Montana Morado corn is a very rough area; one of the worst areas from the shoddy plow job that was done before we moved out here. The plow had been turned in this tighter area, creating a particularly large lump of soil in the process.
I figured, we may as well take advantage of it, and turn it into a squash hill!
Yeah. That’s basically a dirt and crab grass hill my garden fork is stuck on. I’d already started to loosen the soil at the top of it. The grass is so tall, you can hardly tell there’s a hill there!
I used the hose and water pressure to soak and break up the soil, which made it easier to pull out vegetation and roots. And rocks, of course. There are always rocks!
It was also the first level of watering, and boy did the soil need it!
The next step was to layer on some straw, which got thoroughly watered while a daughter brought over our kitchen compost bucket. When that got added in, it got another watering. If we had other organic matter I could have layered on there, I would have, but this will have to do.
Hhmm. I neglected to take a picture of the next stage, which was to bring over a wheelbarrow full of garden soil to top up the hill. After creating a bit of a hole in the middle, that got another level of watering, then a bit more garden soil was added, to level it off. That got another watering in the middle. After the straw was added all around it, everything got another watering. The straw will help keep the soil from washing away, as well as keep down the weeds and help keep the soil moist.
Finally, the squash got transplanted. Since there was one plant per cup, they got dropped right in, with almost no root disruption.
I still had a little bit of the peat and soil mixture we used for the tomatoes left in the kiddie pool we used to mix it in. That got turned back into dirt soup, and was added around the seedlings.
To help with watering them at root level, I cut the bottom off of one of the distilled water bottles we get for my husband’s CPAP, and buried it top down in the middle of the squash hill. Another spade full of soil was added around the container, because it kept trying to float out of the hole it was buried in! 😀
The final step was to pull some of the damp straw up around the seedlings.
While the plants are small, we will make sure to water the straw to keep it, and the squash hill, moist but once they get bigger, we’ll be able to deep water them at the roots, through the container in the middle, and avoid getting their leaves and stems wet.
The entire hill got another watering, and it was done!
I really hope this does well. I honestly have no idea how these will grow in our zone. In doing searches for it, I am just finding the Baker Creek seed listing, and my own blog posts!
Well, I guess we’ll find out! 😀
One more transplant done!