Cucurbita spp. (Cucurbitaceae)
- Flat and circular with scalloped edge
- Botanically a fruit
- Skin is either pale green or golden yellow depending on variety
- Flesh is white and crisp
- Small, soft, edible seeds.
Skin should be glossy, tender and free from decay. Avoid squash that show any soft or watery areas.
Squash varieties will not tolerate frosts; therefore winter planting should be made in warm frost-free sites. Growers generally avoid production during wet summer months because of the pest and disease problems common to this time of the year. There are four methods to choose from when planting squash seeds or seedlings.
1. Direct machine seeding with dry seeds. (Most common method).
2. Hand planting with pre-germinated seeds. (Soil needs to be moist when seeding for success with this method).
3. Hand or machine planting container-grown seedlings into bare soil or plastic mulch. (However, it’s recommended not to use container grown seedlings and are therefore not often used). Transplanting of seedlings is delicate and the time factor is crucial because of the risk of sunburn and moisture loss.
4. Hand or machine seeding through plastic mulch. (Seeds planted in a 7.5cm diameter hole in plastic). Squash belong to the same family as cucumbers, zucchini and pumpkin. Squash grow on an upright plant with short runners. The plants are prolific bearers, and grow quickly and start to bear 7-9 weeks after planting.
Squash are said to be among the oldest edible plants grown by man in the Americas. As the Indians migrated northward, they carried with them squash seeds and planted them along the way. The squash became a staple in the diet of Indian tribes throughout America. From there, the friendly natives taught the settlers in the ‘New World’ how to plant, grow and cook this versatile vegetable. The Spanish Conquistadors were the first to spread squash world wide. Squash was originally an American term for various edible gourds including pumpkin and zucchini. Today they are grouped into White, Button, Scallopini, Acorn and Zucchini.
QLD - Atherton Tablelands, Granite Belt, Southern and Central Coast
NSW - Bathurst, Cowra, Dareton, Finley, Forbes, Gosford, Griffith, Hunter Valley, Mudgee, Naro, Windsor,
VIC - Melbourne Metropolitan Area, Bendigo, Maiden Gully.
SA - Adelaide Plains
WA - Perth Metropolitan Outer Areas
NT - Darwin
A very good source of vitamin C and A, low in sodium. 60kJ/100g.
7-10°C and 90 - 98% relative humidity.