- Dec 13, 2007
- Reaction score
- border, ID/WA(!)
Since Sprig' was willing to admit this and give (good) advice, I will weigh in. First, by admitting that 2019 was a terrible year for my squash. Since it was also a terrible year for the peppers and only a so-so year for the tomatoes -- I'm blaming early season weather.Last year my squash did terrible
I'd like you to focus on my several years of successfully growing squash from transplants. Please. My sunflowers did as fine as usual. Except for a few volunteers, they were all from transplants.
Silly to bother to start sunflowers and set them out? Kinda but after that year when an entire row of sprouting sunflower disappeared in one day, something needed to be tried. I blamed magpies but it might have been rabbits.
The sunflowers don't grow much beyond sprouts in small containers. The first true leaves are just developing. The soil around the roots is thoroughly soaked and out they come! It seems to work well and thru about 10 or 12 seasons.
Transplanting squash (& pumpkins) has gone on nearly as long. At first, I was quite apprehensive but that soaking before they are plopped out of the pony-packs looks like it has been important. The true leaves are actually developed on those plants but I don't think that they have ever been more than 3 weeks old.
I say that I'm doing it for a head start but realize that it isn't any 3 week head start. With all transplants, I think that shock reduces the head start by about 1/2. That doesn't mean that they don't benefit from the care that they have received. With an 8 month old tomato plant, an extra month also counts. Ten or 12 days also counts in the squash patch.
I've learned that winter squash can be eaten before first frost. I've learned to make efforts to "cure" them after harvest. I've learned to
look carefully at them as they go into storage and leave the unquestionably mature ones while using up the others, quickly. All needed lessons for growing winter square in a squash-unfriendly climate. I'll take that head start to grow some of my favorite varieties .