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Gardening in Washington State

Growing Squash in Home Gardens

Consider this: There are few vegetables easier to grow in the home garden and more versatile in form/use/consumption than squash. The term “squash” refers to several plant species native to Central and South America. Many squash types or cultivars can be grouped as summer squash or winter squash, depending on the season the vegetable is harvested.

Summer squashWinter squash

Summer Squashes: Zucchini & Crookneck       Winter Squashes: Buttercup & Turban

Photo Credits: Michael Bush, WSU Extension

May is time to plant in most regions of WA State: Squash is a frost-tender vegetable. Seeds may not germinate in cold soil and seedlings can be killed off by spring frosts. Squash is planted in hills (mounds of soil) about 4 to 5 feet apart. Sow 4 to 5 seeds per hill at a depth of one inch in mid- to late May, depending on the date of the last killing frost. Alternatively, start plants in the home or greenhouse 10 days to 2 weeks prior to transplanting seedlings into the garden. Spacing is important when planting these seedlings; place 2 seedlings per hill spaced 4 to 5 feet apart.

For more information on growing squash in home gardens, go to


Submitted by: Michael Bush, May 1, 2014

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Gardening in Washington State, Puyallup Research and Extension Center

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