Squash, Blue Hubbard

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An extensive group, Hubbards are a very old type of winter squash and are members of the Curcurbita maxima genus. The original variety of this well-known and popular squash is thought to be native to South America or the West Indies.

Nutritional Value:
All squashes provide vitamin A and vitamin C, some of the B vitamins, iron and are a good source of riboflavin and dietary fiber. Deep-colored squashes have the most beta carotene. About 100 calories are in one cup of cooked squash.

Sun:                              Full
Spacing:                      4″ – 6″
Height:                        12″ – 18″
Optimum Soil Ph:     5.5 to 6.8
Days To Maturity:    110
Sowing Method:       Outdoors

Planting/Growing Tips:
Squash grow best in warm soil. Winter squash seed should be sown up to 15 weeks before the first expected fall frost (Example: plant in June for September harvest). Sow seeds 2 weeks after the last expected spring frost, or when soil temperatures reach 60° F (16° C). In short-season climates, start seeds indoors in individual containers 2 to 3 weeks before planting, and plant in soil that has been prewarmed with black plastic for a week or two. When the soil is warm enough, remove the black plastic and plant seedlings.

Plant seeds 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) deep, in predampened hills, for bushy cultivars: plant 3 to 4 plants per hill, in hills 18 to 24 inches (45 to 60 cm) apart. For vining types: plant 3 to 4 plants per hill, in hills up to 5 feet (1.5 m) apart. You can use the same spacing when planting out seedlings or transplants.

A good trick when planting seedlings is to hill the soil up around the stem if it is more than 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the soil line to the first set of leaves. This is one time it’s OK to mound soil up around a plant’s stem, it won’t rot, and a stronger healthier root system will develop. If you have had problems in the past, cover the seedlings with row covers to protect them from squash bugs and cucumber beetles.

Squash need regular water to keep the fruit producing, and can be grown without mulch, except in very dry climates, since the leaves are large enough to shade the soil on their own.

Keep in mind, because winter squash do take longer to mature, when the fruit is in contact with moist soil for long periods of time, rot can happen on the underside of the squash. Soft sunken spots form where the fruit touches the soil, and if the conditions are right, can cause complete collapse of the fruit. To minimize the problem, prop the squash up off the ground with bricks, pieces of wood, or tile, so they are not in contact with moist soil. Use care when doing this and don’t break the vines or crack the stems. If that happens, you will lose the fruit. 

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