SUMMER SQUASH - HOW TO GROW AND HACKS TO INCREASE PRODUCTION







 SUMMER SQUASH - How to grow and hacks to increase production





  






  • Family : Cucurbitaceae   
  • Botanical name Cucurbita pepo L.
  • Chromosome number : 2n = 2x =40
  • Origin : Mexico and Central America



Introduction
Summer squash or vegetable marrow and locally known as"chappan kaddoo" is one of the most important cucurbit crops grown throughout India.Summer squash is term used for those varieties,which are eaten fresh in the season because their soft skin and watery fresh do not permit long storage.
The plants of summer squash are annual,monoecious,spreading or occasionally bushy with harsh bristles. The fruits are quick growing and are earliest among the cucurbits to appear in the market.Various forms of C.pepo are called summer squash, winter squash,pumpkin vegetable marrow,zucchini and spaghelli squash.

History
The word squash was derived from "askutasquash",an Indian word meaning eaten raw or uncooked. The squashes may have been domesticated at least on two occasions and in two different regions in Mexico and in the eastern United States
The squashes are believed to have cultivated in the America for the last 10000 years.

Cultivation techniques for successful squash farming
1. Food value and its uses
  • Summer squash is a good source of carotene, carbohydrates, fibre, potassium and vitamin B and C. Most of the carotene is concentrated in the skin ,so it should not be peeled before use.
  • Immature fruits of summer squash are consumed as a cooked vegetable.The squash seeds are used to expel intestinal parasites.
  • Summer squash cultivars have a variety of fruit shapes like flattish,curved,spherical,disk shaped,long,short,blunt and tapered. The colour may vary from dark green to green to yellow to white and variegated.
2. Climate and soil type
  • Summer squash tolerate slightly cooler climate than most of other cucurbits. It can be cultivated in tropical,sub-tropical and temperate region.There are varieties especially in Mexico,which can be grown at the altitude of greater than 2000m.The seeds requires minimum temperature of  13 degree C,also depending upon temperature,germination usually takes 7-10 days. Long and short days promote male flower production.
  • Black plastic mulch increase the rate of germination when soil temperature is below normal.
  • Summer squash can be grown on a wide variety of soil types but prefers well-drained sandy loam soils with a pH of 6.0-7.0.
  • Lighter soil are desirable for early maturity.
3. Sowing
  • RAISING NURSERY FOR CUCURBITS
  • Sowing is done in the month of april-may in the mid hilly areas.Sowing is done by placing the seed 2-3 cm deep in heavy soil and 5 cm deep in light soil.
  • Sowing may varies in different part of country, as in North India sowing is done in November while in South India sowing is possible throughout the year.
4. Seed spacing
  • Spacing depends on the the variety of seed. It may be possible that the species is spreading or bushy types.
  • Spacing should be from 1.0 -1.5 m between the rows and 45 - 60 cm between the plants. 
5. Fertilizer application
  • At the time of field preparation NPK is added in the ratio of 100:75:50 respectively per hectare. Full dose of P and K and half dose of Nitrogen is applied before sowing ,remaining Nitrogen is applied after sowing ."  It should be noted that  excess nitrogen should not be applied as it promotes male flower growth and reduces the fruit yield.
  • For production of female flowers to increase the yield apply ethrel @ 250 ppm  at first , third and fifth leaf stages of the plant . This will ultimately lead  to increase your yield by 90%
6. Irrigation methods     
  •  Irrigation is preferred by the method of furrows,as flooding method can increase the risk of diseases. The total water requirement may be 2.5-3.0 cm per week.

7. Pre and post harvesting techniques
  •  As the fruit attain maturity very quickly harvesting is done on daily basis or in alternative days. It attain marketable maturity 4-6 days after fruit setting and 50-60 days after planting. 
  • Due to the tenderness of the fruit it collection and transportation should be done by extra care
  • Summer squash is a monoecious plant and pollination is done through cross pollination. Honey bees are the main pollinating agent. On maturity fruits become tough and bright yellow and the fruits are stored to allow seeds to fully mature.





SUMMER SQUASH - HOW TO GROW AND HACKS TO INCREASE PRODUCTION SUMMER SQUASH - HOW TO GROW AND HACKS TO INCREASE PRODUCTION Reviewed by Ayush uniyal on 4:14 AM Rating: 5

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