The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.
Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
For Commercial Use Only
Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida, Gainesville
John T. Woeste, Dean for Extension
QUASH PRODUCTION GUIDE
(Revision of Circular 103C)
This guide presents general recommendations
or the production of squash in Florida. Modifica-
ion may be necessary as improved practices are
developed through research and experience.
For details on local application of these prac-
ices, see your County Agricultural Extension
gent. Other publications on squash production
* Commercial Vegetable Insect and Disease
Control, Extension Circular 193.
Chemical Weed Control for Florida Vegetable
Crops, Extension Circular 196.
Commercial Vegetable Fertilization Guide,
Extension Circular 225.
Vegetable Variety Trial Results for 1972-73-
74 and Recommended Varieties, Fla. Exp. Sta.
Since these publications are revised periodically,
e sure to get the latest issues.
Acreage and Production by
Areas, Florida, 1974-75 Crop Year*
Acreage Yield Per
reas Planted Harvested Acre Production
Acres Bushels Bushels
est 450 440 130 57
orth 1,550 1,500 170 255
orth Central 550 510 155 79
est Central 1,700 1,600 170 272
ast Central 450 400 175 70
southwest 2,100 1,950 175 341
southeast 5,000 4,800 150 718
TATE 11,800 11,200 160 1,792
Source: Florida Agricultural Statistics Vegetable Sum-
Yields, Costs and Returns*
(1974-75 Season, Range Per Acre)
Dade County Area Immokalee-Lee Area Palm Beach-Broward Area
Item Range: from to Range: from to Range: from to
Yield (bushels) 145 200 100 300 76 200
Total growing cost
Total harvesting and
$ 367.72 $ 574.26
$ 362.38 $ 617.03
$ 365.44 $ 852.69
marketing cost 338.17 466.00 360.00 662.50 173.04 395.53
Total crop cost 805.16 961.26 862.38 1279.53 607.16 1248.22
Crop sales 840.00 1100.00 700.00 1593.00 389.12 1061.83
Net return $-121.26 $ 266.28 $-222.68 $ 417.84 $-274.38 $ -6.69
*Source: University of Florida, Economics Information Report #49 by D. L. Brooke. (Note: Ranges from low to high are for each item
and are not additive in columns.)
New varieties and hybrids are released from
ime to time. The Florida Agricultural Experi-
ent Stations conduct trials to screen perform-
nce under our conditions. The following vari-
ties have performed well in trials or in com-
ercial plantings. Listing these varieties is not
eant to imply that other varieties and hybrids
re not adapted to Florida.
Summer Squash (Harvested Immature)
Early Yellow Summer Crookneck Bush. En-
rged blossom end, curved neck.
Early Prolific Straightneck Bush. Fruit large
ut club-shaped. Long, smooth to sparsely warted.
Dixie Hybrid Yellow Crookneck type. Uni-
orm. Good yielder.
Seneca Prolific Hybrid High yields. Early
Seneca Butterbar Straightneck type, more
ylindrical than Early Prolific. High early yields.
Cocozelle Bush. Fruit large, long, smooth.
reen with light stripes lengthwise. Cylindrical,
round 16" by 4" at maturity, but usually har-
ested when not more than one-half this size.
Cozella Resembling Cocozelle, but longer.
Zucchini Bush. Fruit large, but generally
mailer than Cocozelle, long, smooth. Black-green
overall. Cylindrical, around 13" by 4" at maturity,
ut harvested at half-size.
Seneca Zucchini Hybrid High yields. Early
Bush Scallop White, flat-rounded fruit, scal-
Winter Squash (Harvested Mature)
Table Queen Vine. Fruit around 5" by 41/2".
several strains. Pointed acorn shaped. Dark
reen, grooved hard shell. Used for baking.
lesh slightly fibrous.
Butternut Vine. Fruit around 10" long and 4"
iameter at base, thick-necked. Light brown skin,
ellow flesh. Good for baking.
Connecticut Field Large (20 to 25 lbs.). Oi
ange skin and orange-yellow flesh.
Small Sugar Average weight (6 to 8 lbs.). Oi
ange skin and flesh.
"Cuban" Pumpkin (Calabaza) Seed brought
from Cuba. This type of pumpkin is variable i
size, shape and color.
North Florida: Central Florida: South Florida
Feb-Apr; Aug-Sept Jan-March; Aug-Sept Aug-March
Distance between rows 3' to 4' 5' to 9'
Distance between plants 1' to 2' 3' to 5'
Seeding depth 1" to 11" 1/" to 2"
Seed required/acre 2 lbs. to 3 lbs. 1 to 11/% lbs
Seed is usually treated for control of soil insect
and diseases by seedsmen before it is offered fo
sale. Any untreated seed should be treated wit:
materials available for this purpose from farr
Squash is susceptible to injury from root-knc
and sting nematodes. Soils known to be heavily
infested with these nematodes should be avoided
Fallow cultivation, ,crop rotations, flooding, etc
are possible means of controlling nematodes. I
soils heavily infested with plant parasitic nema
todes must be used, they should be fumigated a
suggested in the following table.
NEMATICIDES-Rates and Use
Fl oz/chisel linear feet
per 1000 Gal/Acre3 (Any row
ematicide Gal/Acre linear feet (36" Row) spacing)
-D 20-25 59-73 9-11 79-97
owfume W-85 4.5-6.0 13-18 1.5-2.0 13-18
emagon 12.1 1.5-2.0 4.4-5.9 .75-1.0 6.8-8.8
xy DBCP 12 4.4-5.9
emagon 8.6 2.1-2.8 6.2-8.2 1.0-1.4 8.8-12.3
elone II 12-15 35-44 5.3-6.7 46-62
The overall rate per acre of fumigant is based on a 12-inch chisel
For organic (peat and muck) soils, rates should be increased 75-100%.
Fumazone, Nemagon or Oxy DBCP should not be used on organic
These gallonages are based on one chisel per 36" row. Closer row
spacing will require more chemical per acre; wider row spacing, less.
Multi-Purpose Soil Fumigants
for Production Field
There are a number of multi-purpose fumigants
which can be used on squash. They control some
oil-borne diseases, nematodes, insects and weeds.
he multi-purpose fumigants are generally more
expensive than the nematicides listed above.
Multi-Purpose Soil Fumigants
Fl oz/chisel Fl oz/chisel
per 1000 Gal/Acre3 per 1000
umlgant Gal/Acre linear feet (36" Row) linear feet
hloropicrin* 35-46 103-135 12-15 103-135
:etham 40-60 50-74 6-8 50-74
orlex 30-35 60-70 7-8 60-70
*Use the high rate in fields heavily infested with nematodes. An a(
ditional 7-10 day waiting period is generally necessary when the hig
rate is used.
1 The overall rate per acre listed for chloropicrin is for a 12-inch chisq
spacing: Metham requires a 5-inch chisel spacing and Vorlex require
an 8-inch chisel spacing.
'For organic (peat and muck) soils, the rates listed below, excer
Vorlex, should be increased 75-100%. Use Vorlex at the rate of 5
3 These rates are given as a guide to determine total amount of chemn
ical needed for a field. Closer row spacing will require more chemics
per acre; wider row spacing, less.
Since fertilizer rates, sources and placement fo
unmulched and strip-mulch culture differ consider
ably from full-bed mulch culture, information fo
each is presented separately.
Part I. Production Under Unmulched or
Placement Recommendations in the past fo
open culture have been to place the main or basi
application of fertilizer normally used at planting;
in bands 2 to 3 inches to each side and slightly:
below the level of the seed or plant roots. Al
alternative practice, which helps alleviate solubl
salt problems, is the use of broadcast application
for part or all of the basic fertilizer before plant
Strip-mulch culture differs from the opel
method in that only 20% of the fertilizer is broad
cast and mixed into the bed. The balance is place
under an 8 to 12-inch strip of mulch to reduce
Timing The basic application of fertilizer ma:
be applied before planting, during planting, shortly:
after planting, or in split applications combining
any two or all three of these. Supplemental fertil
izer may be applied whenever needed during thi
growing season and especially after heavy, leach
Soil pH Optimum range for squash production
is between 6.0 and 6.5. Where magnesium level!
are low, use dolomitic limestone or MgO in fertil
Minor Elements A general guide for adequate
inor elements in the absence of past experience
soil test is the addition of 0.3% MnO, 0.2%
uO, 0.3% Fe20, 0.2% ZnO, and 0.2% B,03 with
e fertilizer. The minor elements can be obtained
om mixtures of oxides and sulfates or fritted
materials. Growers should consider the elements
plied in fungicides in the overall management of
minor element program.
Higher rates are necessary to overcome the
ndency of minor elements to be completed or
ed-up by the organic matter in muck and peat
ils and from high pH on marl soils.
FERTILIZERS-Rates and Use for
(for open- or strip-mulch culture)
Basic Actual Lbs./A
Application Applied each Number of
Actual Lbs./A application Applica-
N-P,0,-K,0 N-P,05-K2O tions
rrigated 90-120-120 30- 0-30 1 to 3
nirrigated 60- 80- 80* 30- 0-30 1 to 2
eat & Muck 90-120-180** *** ***
ockland 45- 60- 60 30-30-30 1 to 2
arl 54- 72- 72 30- 0-30 1 to 2
*The total amount may be applied in split applications to reduce
leaching and fertilizer burn.
*Rates suggested are for new or low P20s and K20 organic soils.
When soil tests show a medium level of. P205, reduce amount applied
by one-third. When P20z levels are high, reduce by two-thirds. Fol-
low the same suggestion for K20. On new organic soils, apply 15
lbs. of CuO, 10 lbs. of MnO and 4 lbs. of B203 per acre before crop-
*During cold weather or following heavy rainfall, nitrate-nitrogen
sidedressing may be needed.
Part II. Production Under Full-Bed Mulch
Under this system of culture, the crop must be
upplied with all of its soil requirements (lime,
utrients, soil pesticides, soil preparation and bed
hape, etc.) before the mulch is applied. It is al-
most impossible to correct a soil problem after the
lulch is applied.
The following are suggestions for fertilization
under full-bed mulch culture. They should L
modified as needed.
A general sequence of operations for full-be
mulch culture is: (1) land preparation, (2) liming
(3) addition of superphosphate, mixed fertilizer
and minor elements to be broadcast and mixed i
the soil, (4) mixing insecticide into soil, (4a) ir
corporation of herbicide, if used, (5) bed-shaping
(6) fumigation, (7) bed-firming and re-shaping
(7a) application and surface-applied herbicide, i
used, (8) application of the balance of mixed fer
tilizer on the surface, and (9) application o
mulch. The following are guidelines to rates
sources and placement of fertilizer for full-bei
(1) Sources of Rates of N-P-K
A. Nitrogen At least 50% of total N should
be in the nitrate form for soil treated with multi
purpose fumigants. More ammonia-N and lesi
nitrate-N may be used where regular nematicide:
are used. The remainder may be obtained fron
ammonia-N and some urea and water-insolubli
organic. The latter two materials are not gen
erally recommended under full-bed mulch because
fumigated soils retard nitrification.
Fertilizer Rates for 3 Irrigation Systems
Under Full-Bed Mulch Culture on Mineral Soils1
1 The rates suggested in this table are for soils low in residual N-Ps0s
K20. For soils with medium to high residual levels of any of these
nutrients, the amount to be applied should be reduced proportionately
2On limestone soils, add 50 to 75 lbs/acre of MgO for each crop.
B. Phosphorus Superphosphate and triple
superphosphate are highly recommended for a
large part or all of the phosphorus needs under
full-bed mulch culture. Highly ammoniated super-
phosphate and di-ammonium phosphate can be
used to supply some of the phosphorus needs on
sandy soils. Highly ammoniated superphosphate
is not recommended on the limestone soils.
C. Potassium All sources can be used, how-
ever, the chloride (muriate form) ion contributes
to soluble salt problems under full-bed mulch.
For that reason it should be used sparingly, if at
all, where soluble salt causes plant injury.
(2) Fertilizer Timing and Placement
A. Where sub-surface and overhead irriga-
tion is used.
(1) Before bedding, broadcast and mix
into soil the following:
(a) 400 to 500 lbs. of 4-8-8 or 5-10-10
(NOTE This amount of fertilizer may be broad-
cast in a band 30 inches wide over the center of a
false bed and bedded over about 4 inches deep. It
may also be broadcast over the finished bed just
prior to mulching.)
(b) All the micronutrients to be used.
(c) Remainder of P20,.
(2) After bed is shaped and pressed, ap-
ply the remainder of nitrogen and potash on the
surface in a band or bands 8 or 9 inches from
plants. Use 2 bands on 1-row crops and 1 or 3
bands on 2-row crops.
B. Where drip irrigation is used.
(1) Broadcast and mix into soil before
bedding the following:
(a) 50% of total N and K20 recom-
(b) All of PA0 recommended.
(c) All micronutrients recommended.
(2) Apply remainder of total N and K20
recommended through the drip system in incre-
ments daily to weekly as the crop develops. In-
crease amount applied each time as crop develops
need for more nutrients.
(3) Additional nutrients can be supplied
through drip irrigation if deficiencies occur.
Chemical Weed Control
Before attempting wide-scale use of a new her-
bicide, it should be tested on a small area for at
least one season.
For preemergence weed control, it is especially
important that the seedbed be prepared properly
before treatment with herbicides. The seedbed
should be firm, smooth and free of crop residues.
Good soil moisture is necessary for most herbi-
cides to be effective.
After herbicides are applied, the treated soil
should not be disturbed unless otherwise specified
for the herbicide. Cultivate carefully to prevent
movement of untreated soil into the treated area.
HERBICIDES-Rates and Use
Herbicides to Crop Sandy Soils Remarks
Bensulide2 Pre- 5 Incorporate 1 to 1%
(Prefar) planting inches deep in moist
soil. Plant immedi-
ately. Use only once
in 12-month period.
Do not plant other
than labeled crops
for 18 months.
Chloramben Pre- 3 Soil surface should
(Amiben) emergence be moist.
DCPA Post- 10% Apply at lay-by fol-
(Dacthal) emergence lowing cultivation.
1 The amounts (active ingredients) listed here are for overall applica-
tions. For band treatments, reduce the amount proportionately.
2 Suggested for use on trial basis only.
The amount per acre of insecticides and fungi-
cides recommended under "Insect Control" and
"Disease Control" is for full-grown crops and
should be reduced proportionately for smaller
plants. "Minimum Days to Harvest" means the
minimum number of days that must elapse be-
tween last foliar application and harvest. If the
recommended dosages are exceeded, the minimum
days listed may not be applicable and a longer
interval should be allowed.
The amount of spray or dust required for ad-
equate coverage varies according to size of plants.
Generally, 50 to 150 gallons of spray or 20 to 35
pounds of dust are sufficient for good coverage.
Spray pressure should not exceed 250 psi.
PRECAUTION: Pesticides should be used with
extreme caution. Read the label and follow recom-
mendations on crop use, dosage and time lapse re-
quired between last application and harvest.
Study suggestions for safety and follow carefully.
INSECTICIDES-Rates and Use
Insecticides and Min. Days
Insect Formulations1,' Per Acre to Harvest
Aphids Parathion 4E 1/ pt. 15
Mevinphos 1 pt. 1
Endosulfan 1%/ pts. NTL
Cucumber Lindane 25% WP 1 lb. 1
Beetles, Parathion 4E z pt. 15
Melonworm, Mevinphos 1 pt. 1
Pickleworm, (Phosdrin) 2E
Squashbug Methomyl 1 qt. 3
Carbaryl 11/4 lbs. NTL
(Sevin) 80% WP
Endosulfan 2 qts. NTL
Cutworms Apply toxaphene at 2 pounds active ingre-
dient (5 pounds of 40% WP or 20 pounds of
10% dust or granules) per acre to the soil
surface before planting if cutworms are
known to be present. Do not disturb soil
for three to five days. A 2/%% toxaphene
or 5% trichlorfon (Dylox) bait can be used
as above at 20 to 40 pounds per acre. If
cutworm damage to young plants is noted,
baits should be used at once. Regular ap-
plication of approved pesticides, including
parathion, toxaphene, etc., for control of
foliage insects will prevent the establish-
ment of cutworms. Moisten bait slightly
with water and apply in late afternoon.
Use freshly mixed baits.
Mole Broadcast diazinon at 2 pounds active in-
Crickets gredient per acre as a spray, dust or gran-
ule, 5% trichlorfon (Dylox) bait evenly
over the soil surface at 20 to 40 pounds per
acre before seeding or transplanting if in-
sects are present. After plants are up, use
a fresh bait on soil (not plants) in late
afternoon when soil is moist and warm.
For seedbeds use a bait; or drench with one
of the above materials at the rates given.
Treatments should be made a few days be-
Wireworms Apply parathion or diazinon at 2 pounds
active ingredient per acre on mineral soils;
on organic soils apply parathion at 5 pounds
or diazinon at 4 pounds active ingredient
per acre. Distribute evenly over the soil
surface 2 to 3 weeks before planting and
immediately mix into the upper 6 inches of
1 Other formulations may be registered and available.
STo reduce injury to bees, which are necessary for pollination, spraying
or dusting should be delayed until late afternoon or evening. It is
suggested that parathion spray be applied early enough to dry before
dew falls, reducing possibilities of foliage burn. Do not apply para-
thion when plants are wet or very young.
s Leaf Miners Watch closely for leaf miners. Apply insecticides twice
a week to small seedlings when there are heavy migrations of adult
leaf miners from nearby abandoned host vegetable fields or on older
plants when weekly applications are not giving control. Parathion
and diazinon will usually give satisfactory control of leaf miners in
Central and North Florida.
Several products contain various amounts of the latest strain of
Bacillus. Follow recommendations on the label for crop and dosage.
SMethomyl (Lannate, Nudrin) is cleared only for melonworm and
pickleworm in the Southern U.S.
Angular Leaf Spot (Pseudomonas lachrymans)
- Use only disease-free seed. Weekly applications
of copper spray (3 pounds of 48-53% metallic cop-
per per 100 gal./A) help to control spread of the
disease in the field. Copper does not give satis-
factory control of powdery mildew and thus is not
a substitute for the other materials. Repeated
copper applications may cause yellowing of leaf
margins and possible reduction of yields. No time
limitation when used as suggested.
FUNGICIDES-Rates and Use
Disease Spray to Harvest
Anthracnose Zineb 75%, 1 lb. plus 5
(Glomerella cingu- Maneb 80%, % lb., or 5
lata var. Manzate 200 80%, 1%- 5
orbiculare) 3 lbs., or
Downy Mildew Dithane M-45 80%, 11/2- 5
(Pseudoperonospora 3 lbs.,. or
cubensis) Bravo 6F, 11/2-2 pts., or NTL
Gummy Stem Blight Benlate, 1/-1/2 lb./A NTL
(Mycosphaerella (Benlate does not
citrullina) control downy
Powdery Mildew Karathane 25%, 6-8 7
(Erysiphe oz., or
cichoracearum) Bravo 6F, 11/-2 pts., or NTL
Benlate, 1A-1/ lb./A NTL
Cucumber Scab Bravo 6F, 11/-2 pts., or NTL
(Cladosporium Manzate 200 80%, 11%- 5
cucumerinum) 3 lbs., or
Dithane M-45 80%, 5
Anthracnose, Downy Mildew and Gummy Stem
Blight Downy mildew is serious in all parts of
the state during warm, damp weather. Spray
every four to seven days, beginning before run-
ners start, if necessary. In seasons of light in-
fection, applications may be delayed until runners
form and intervals may be longer.
Powdery Mildew The fungicides used for
downy mildew give some control of powdery mil-
dew, but most will not give sufficient control.
Karathane, Bravo and benomyl are effective. If
powdery mildew is a persistent problem, use one
of these materials on a preventative basis, i.e., on
a regular schedule (every seven to 14 days) be-
fore the disease appears.
During cold weather, sulfur may be used on
squash (2 to 4 pounds) two or three times to con-
trol powdery mildew.
Viruses (Mosaics) Most mosaic symptoms in
these crops are caused by aphid-transmitted vi-
ruses that occur naturally in wild hosts. Elimina-
tion of weeds around the field before planting will
help greatly in reducing losses from virus dis-
Bees are necessary for pollination of squash.
Good pollination improves set, shape and size of
fruit. Use at least one hive of honey bees for
every three to five acres of squash. Place bee-
hives in the field so that bees do not have to travel
more than a few hundred feet to feed.
Apply insecticides in late afternoon to reduce
injury to bees.
Harvesting and Handling
Summer squash types are harvested as soon as
the fruit areoTf ibl s'iz'-n e and while e-ajmi is
very tender and see s aare-7hfim ure. Repeated
harvests are made at3-to 5 day-intervals over a
period of several weeks Future production will
be reduced if the fruit are permitted to mature on
the plants. Fruit size and appearance determine
the time of harvest. Elongated fruit are generally
harvested when less than 3 inches in diameter and
under 8 inches in length. Scallop squashes may
be 3 to 4 inches in diameter when harvested.1 Fruit
may be field packed or hauled to a shed or pack-
ing house at the edge of the field or a central loca-
tion in the area. 'Picking and hauling containers
should be kept frde of sand, splinters, or rough-
ness to prevent scuffing or breaking of the tender
Sorting is done to remove fruit showing decay,
mosaic, insect injury, physical damage or other
defects. The fruit are separated into two sizes,
large and small, with the latter usually considered
he better quality. U.S. Standards are available
or grading, but official inspections are rarely re-
uested. Washing may be done under some con-
itions to remove sand, but extreme care must be
sed in handling sandy squash to prevent any
Baskets, crates, or cartons from 5/9 to 1-1/9
ushel size are used as shipping containers and
provide adequate protection when used properly.
urfaces should be smooth to prevent abrasion;
void bulge packing which puts pressure on the
ruit rather than the container; and loose packing
which permits rubbing or scuffing damage.
Temperatures for transit and storage should
e 70 to 100C (45-509F). Chilling injury occurs
t lower temperatures, the damage is cumulative,
nd symptoms are accentuated if the squash are
oved to higher temperatures after chilling has
occurred. Decay, more rapid discoloration of
physically damaged fruit surfaces, and wilting are
ore severe at temperatures above 100C (50F).
elative humidity of 90% should be maintained
during transit and storage.
Winter squash types are generally harvested
hen the fruit are more nearly mature. If multi-
le harvests are made, they should be at less fre-
uent intervals than for summer types. Fruit
aturity, including compositional changes as well
s size and appearance, determines the proper
ime for harvesting. Although the skin of winter
quashes is more developed than that of summer
ypes, it is still tender and susceptible to physical
amage. Only undamaged fruit should be packed.
The most common container for winter squashes
s the 1-1/9 bushel crate. Some large winter
quashes may be shipped in bulk containers or
oosely in trucks. Care should be taken to avoid
ny physical damage.
Transit and storage temperatures should be 7
o 10C (45-500F). Chilling injury of winter
quashes may be severe because of the compara-
ively longer marketing or storage time and the
ecay, frequently alternaria rot, which develops
following chilling injury. Moisture loss is nol
generally a problem with winter squash unless
storage is prolonged or conditions are severe,
Relative humidity should be maintained above
The use of trade names in this publication is solely foi
the purpose of providing specific information. It is not z
guarantee or warranty of the products named and doe.
not signify that they are recommended to the exclusion ol
others of similar composition.
Prepared by: James Montelaro
Acknowledgements: The author wishes to express his
sincere thanks to the many faculty members of the Insti-
tute of Food & Agricultural Sciences who made man3
helpful suggestions in the preparation of this circular
Special contributions were made by:
B. D. Thompson Harvesting and Handling
J. E. Brogdon and F. A. Johnson Insect Control
R. S. Mullin and T. A. Kucharek Disease Control
R. A. Dunn Nematode Control
ingle copies are free to residents of Florida and may be obtained
rom the County Extension Office. Bulk rates are available upon
quest. Please submit details of the request to C.M. Hinton, Publi-
ation Distribution Center, IFAS Building 664, University of
lorida, Gainesville, Florida 32611.
his public document was printed at an annual cost of
353.00, or 11.8 cents per copy to inform growers on
PV 27 V"
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
Cooperative Extension Service, IFAS, University of Florida
and United States Department of Agriculture, Cooperating
K. R. Tefertiller, Director
I-= FISITY OF F LORIOA