Also Known As: Vegetable Spaghetti, Noodle Squash, Vegetable Marrow, Mandarin Squash
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|Winter Squash, Yellow Spaghetti
|Days to Germinate:
|Days to Harvest:
|Full Sun, Partial Shade
|Seeds Packed For**:
*Fungicide-treated seeds protect the seedlings from diseases until they are up and growing. Do not eat treated seeds.
**Seeds are freshly packed for the growing season of the year listed. Seeds are still viable beyond pack date. Store in a cool and dry location such as the refrigerator or basement to best preserve germination rates.
Squash grows best in sandy, fertile soils with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5. To prepare soil, remove weeds, large rocks, and litter from the planting area. Leave small weeds and dead grass, they will enrich the soil when turned under. Spade the soil 8-12 inches deep and turn each shovel of soil over completely to cover the plant materials with soil. You may add fertilizer (see "Fertilizing" below) or 2-3 inches of organic material such as compost, leaves, or rotted hay over the planting area at this point. Till to mix this organic material into the top 8-10 inches of soil. For squash, make rows of soil beds 4-6 inches high and at least 3 feet apart. This formation of ridges will help with drainage.
Since squash does not grow well in cool weather, plant in the spring after all danger of frost has passed and the soil begins to warm. For a good fall crop, plant early so squash will mature before the first killing frost. To plant, make 1 inch deep holes spaced 4 feet apart in raised beds down the rows, then plant 5-6 seeds in each hole. Cover thinly with soil and water after planting. After the seeds come up and plants are 3-4 inches tall, thin to 3 squash plants per hill.
*Tip: Plant squash with beans and corn for companion planting.
Watering: Water the plants enough to keep them from wilting. If the weather is really dry, squash plants should be watered at least once a week. Sandy soils need to be watered more often than heavy clay soils.
Weeding: Keep squash plants as weed-free as possible. When plowing or hoeing do not dig deeper than 1 inch to prevent from cutting the feeder rooters which may slow the plant's growth.
Fertilizing: You may optionally add scatter 2-3 pounds of a complete fertilizer for each 100 square feet of garden area. Work into the soil and leave the surface smooth. For small gardens, use 2-3 tablespoons of fertilizer for each hill. Scatter the fertilizer evenly over a 2 foot by 2 foot area. work it into the top 2-3 inches of soil. When blooms first appear, you may optionally apply 2 tablespoons of fertilizer around each hill. Do not let fertilizer touch the plants. Water the plants after fertilizing.
Insecticides: Insecticides may be used to protect plants. Bt-based insecticides and sulfur are organic options that can be used for prevention. Sulfur also has fungicidal properties and helps in controlling many diseases. Larvae of the Squash vine borer are usually found inside the stem and cannot be controlled once they are inside the stem. Sevin® and Thiodan® can control for squash bugs. Pyrethrin and rotenone can control for the cucumber beetle. Before using a pesticide, read the label and always follow cautions, warnings and directions.
Diseases: Squash can get many diseases, especially when harvesting begins. Check the plants daily and if spots or mold appear, treat the plant with an approved fungicide. Neem oil, sulfur, and other fungicides may be used. Please always follow label directions.
Harvest winter squash when they are full sized, the skin is hard, and the bottom of the fruit is lightened in color. A light frost will not damage fruits of winter squash. Squash is best when cut, not pulled, from the vine. Winter squash can be stored for several months. Old squash vines can be composted or worked in the soil well before the Spring planting season.