It is only in South Africa that this humble gem squash is found; yet, countries all over the world have taken to ordering seeds of this food so that they might grow it in their new home countries. They are a small, spherical squash that is approximately the size of a large apple. The skin is glossy, tough, and dark-green, and for this they may add a touch of elegance to any garden. They are native to the Mediterranean region.
Gem squash is a nutritious vegetable that is high in vitamins A, B6, and C, as well as folate, magnesium, fiber, riboflavin, phosphorus, potassium, and dietary fiber. Despite the fact that squash has numerous health benefits, some research suggests that taking too much of this vegetable may raise the risk of developing lung cancer.
Gem squash planting can be accomplished by either direct seeding with a machine planter or by hand on smaller amounts of land. Gem squash is quite simple to grow, however, they do require some patience due to the long growing season (70-90 days). Because it can be preserved for months in a cold, dark spot, this fall vegetable has a number of advantages over other vegetables.
Gem Squash is a seed that can be put straight into the soil, but it can also be grown in a container to increase its yield. However, be certain that the seedlings are transplanted before they become root-bound in their seed trays or containers. Now we will show you the easiest way of planting Gem Squash in our today’s article. So without wasting time let’s get started.
Guide on How To Plant Gem Squash Seeds
Now let’s get down with our main event and learn about how to plant Gem Squash Seeds. Now try to follow our instructions and advice step by step-
Here’s how you plant them:
Step 1: Collect The Seeds And Prepare The Soil
Before cooking the squash, cut it in half and scrape out the seeds. Remove the seeds from the squash strands by rinsing them thoroughly. Afterwards, dry the seeds on a paper towel at room temperature for a week or more, then store them in a plastic bag that can be sealed.
On the other hand, soaking is not required for Gem Squash Seeds but it will be suitable to soak your squash seeds for 8-12 hours before to planting to encourage rapid germination of your squash plants. Place them in a clean container of water and allow them to sit for a few hours before planting them.
Let’s talk about sowing soil. You should sow your gem squash seeds in the sunniest area in your garden (especially if you live in a colder climate), and they should be planted in rich, well-draining soil. Don’t forget to treat the soil with compost before sowing to provide the greatest results possible.
When growing Gem Squash Seeds, well-drained soils with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0 produce the best results. Soils with low salt content and a high organic matter content are suggested for improved germination of Gem Squash Seeds.
Step 2: Sow Seeds Into The Soil
It is now time to plant the seeds in the well-drained and compost-mixed soil that has been prepared. In rows approximately 2 cm deep and 1 meter apart, sow your Gem Squash seeds to ensure that they have enough room to develop.
On the other hand, if your Gem Squash seeds are planted too close together, the resulting plants will not receive enough sunlight, nutrients, and water from the soil as they grow. As a result, some or all of the Squash plants will have poor growth after they have matured.
When planting, keep in mind to space two or three Gem Squash plants 4 to 6 inches apart on a mound at the bottom of the garden. After you have planted your seeds in the soil, cover them with 1-2 inches of light soil over your Gem squash seed. Covering your Squash seed with soil will be able to preserve the root system, which will allow them to obtain more nutrients as the seed grows into a mature plant.
Step 3: Water Properly After Planting
For gem squash seeds to germinate, the soil must be regularly moist but not soggy. Dry soils will not germinate the seeds, and moist, heavy soils will cause the seeds to decompose. Depending on how much water is needed, water the soil two or three times a week or as needed to keep it moist one inch below the soil surface.
The opposite is true if the soil is highly sandy or the weather is really hot. In these cases, you will need to water your newly germinated squash seeds more regularly. Once the seeds have sprouted in (4-5 inches), do not forget to water them because moisture is still required at this time.
Keep in mind that improper watering, bad soil, or invasive pests such as squash bugs can all cause problems for your squash plants at the time of harvesting. As a result, keep the soil moist but not soggy in order to prevent the seeds from rotting.
While it is true that squash thrives when watered thoroughly, the leaves will suffer if they are left wet for an extended period of time. In reality, newly germinated squash roots require both oxygen and nutrients from the soil to survive and grow. As a result, damp soil prevents newly germinated roots from receiving enough oxygen, resulting in the squash drowning and developing root rot.
How To Grow Healthy Gem Squash
The things that have to keep in mind to grow healthy squash means there have some recommendations that might be suitable for giving your Gem Squah a healthy and peaceful condition-
Squash plants need full sun to produce. Planting your seeds or starting plants in a location that receives at least 6 hours of sunshine every day is recommended. Squash, on the other hand, are the least tolerant of shady conditions, but it should be planted in full sun places that receive the most direct sunshine every day.
Keep the squash well-watered to prevent the plant from growing dry. Avoid getting the leaves wet while watering. As an example, you’ll need to water mature squash plants once a week such that the soil is moist 8 to 12 inches beneath the surface of the soil. It is important to keep a watch on squash growing in containers since they will dry up more quickly than squash grown in the ground. Mulch the soil surface well to promote moisture retention in the soil.
Squashes are classified as warm-season crops since they are extremely sensitive to cold and frost. Temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (16 and 24 degrees Celsius) are ideal for growing them; established fruit may ripen in temps as high as 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius), but flowers will drop in high temperatures. However, at temperatures above 85°F, the development and fruiting of the plant may be reduced because it does not require as much heat.
Squash requires plenty of water, but they should not be grown on soggy soil. Feed them once every 10 to 14 days with a high-potash fertilizer to keep them healthy. Once the plants begin to flower, you can feed them with organic tomato fertilizer containing seaweed.
Alternatively, before planting, dig in plenty of compost and manure, and then side dress with either after the plants have established themselves. This should supply the essential nutrition for the duration of the growing season.
Prune Your Squash
When it comes to Gem squash, you must prune them after harvesting them. Gem Squash plants should be pruned in mid-August, when the flowers are in full bloom, to prevent them from generating triffid-like, leafy growth and to force them to concentrate their energy on developing fruits.
To do this solely for the squash that is the furthest out on the vine is a waste of time. Pinch off the tip of the vine with your fingers, leaving only a couple of leaf nodes past the outermost squash after you have removed the tip. Alternatively, pinch off more of the vine to bring it back to one or two leaf nodes beyond the outermost fruit if the vine is becoming cumbersome.
How long does gem squash take to grow from seed?
It takes between 10 and 12 weeks from the time the first fruit is ready for harvest before the second fruit is ready. Baby gems can be harvested as early as 6 weeks after planting, depending on the variety.
Can you grow gem squash in pots?
Vegetables such as squash can be grown in containers that have a diameter of at least 24 inches. The depth of the container should be at least 12 inches. If you have a limited amount of gardening space, growing squash in a container can assist you to save on space and time.
How do you trellis a gem squash?
Starting with four solid battens of wood (about 5cm/2in broad and at least 180cm/6ft long), lean them together to make a tent-like structure. They will remain firm if you push them into the ground until they are at least 30cm (12in) below the ground surface. Place them at the very top of the stack.
How many squashes will one plant produce?
The acorn squash plant produces a large amount of fruit, with some kinds, such as “Honey Bear,” producing as many as five fruits per plant in a single season. When compared to pumpkins, butternut squash produces an average of three to four fruits per plant, whereas the majority of pumpkin species produce only one to two fruits per plant.
These are the ways to plant the Gem Squash Seeds. Now it’s your time to follow all the maintenance, recommendations, and especially advice. But after that, if you have any questions about today’s article, you can leave your question in the comment section. We will try to give you an answer as soon as possible.