(FOR COMMERCIAL USE ONLY)
.ORIDA COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE
INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, GAINESVILLE
Squash Production Guide
(Revision of Circular 103B)
This guide presents general recommendations
For the production of squash in Florida. Modifica-
tion may be necessary as improved practices are
developed through research and experience.
For details on local application of these practi-
es, see your County Agricultural Extension
kgent. Other publications on squash production
Commercial Vegetable Insect and Disease
control Extension Circular 193.
Chemical Weed Control for Florida Vegetable
rops, Extension Circular 196.
Commercial Vegetable Fertilization Guide,
extension Circular 225.
Vegetable Variety Trial Results for 1969-
970-1971 and Recommended Varieties, Fla. Exp.
ta. Circular S-223.
Since these publications are revised periodically,
e sure to get the latest issues.
ACREAGE AND YIELDS*
areass Harvest Period Acres (Bu/A)
rest Florida May-June & Sept.-Oct. 350 95
north Florida May-June & Sept.-Oct. 1,000 110
central Florida Apr.-June & Oct.-Dec. 1,800 125
southwest Florida Oct.-May 1,350 175
southeast Florida Oct.-May 4,400 165
tate 8,900 152
Acreage and yield information taken from Fla. Ag. Sta-
stics-Vegetable Summary, 1972.
New varieties and hybrids are released from
me to time. The Florida Agricultural Experi-
lent Stations conduct trials to screen perform-
nce under our conditions. The following varieties
ave performed well in trials or in commercial
lantings. Listing these varieties here is not
leant to imply that other varieties and hybrids
re not adapted to Florida.
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Summer Squash (Harvested Immature)
Early Yellow Summer Crookneck-Bush. En-
larged blossom end, curved neck.
Early Prolific Straightneck-Bush. Fruit large
)ut club-shaped. Long, smooth to sparsely warted.
Dixie Hybrid-Straightneck type. Uniform.
Seneca Prolific Hybrid-High yields. Early
Seneca Butterbar-Straightneck type, more cy-
indrical 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
smaller than Cocozelle, long, smooth. Black-green
overall. Cylindrical, around 13" by 4" at matur-
y, but 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
een, grooved hard shell. Used for baking.
resh slightly fibrous.
Butternut-Vine. Fruit around 10" long and 4"
ameter at base, thick-necked. Light brown skin,
allow flesh. Good for baking.
Connecticut Field-Large (20 to 25 lbs.).
range skin and orange-yellow flesh.
Small Sugar-Average weight (6 to 8 lbs.). Or-
ge skin and flesh.
"Cuban" Pumpkin (Calabaza)-Seed brought
om Cuba. This type of pumpkin is variable in
ze, shape and color.
north Florida: South Florida:
Feb.-April; Aug.-Sept. Aug.-March
Distance between rows
Distance between plants
3' to 4'
1' to 2'
1" to 11/"
2 lbs. to 3 lbs.
5' to 9'
3' to 5'
1 2" to 2"
1 to 1% lbs.
Seed is usually treated by seedsmen before it is
offered for sale. Any untreated seed should b<
treated with materials available for this purpose
from farm supply stores.
Squash is susceptible to injury from root-kno
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 fee
per 1000 Gal/Acre3 (Any rov
Nematicide Gal/Acre linear feet (36" Row) spacing)
D-D 20-25 59-73 8-10 72-90
Dowfume 4.5-6.0 13-18 1.5-2.0 13-18
Nemagon 1.5-2.0 4.4-5.9 .75-1.0 6.8-8.8
Nemagon 2.1-2.8 6.2-8.2 1.0-1.4 8.8-12.3
Telone 15-20 43-59 6-8 54-72
'The overall rate per acre of fumigant is based on a 12-inch chi
2For organic (peat and muck) soils, rates should be increased 75-100
Fumazone, Nemagon or Oxy BBC should not be used on organic soils.
3These gallonages are based on one chisel per 36" row. Closer r
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
)f the soil-borne diseases, nematodes, insects and
weeds. The multi-purpose fumigants are gener-
ally more expensive than the nematicides listed
Multi-Purpose Soil Fumigants
Fl oz/chisel Fl oz/chisel
per 1000 Gal/Acre3 per 1000
umigant Gal/Acre linear ft. (36" Row) linear ft.
;hloro- 35-46 103-135 12-15 103-135
letham** 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 ad-
ditional 7-10 day waiting period is generally necessary when the high
rate is used.
Do not use in fields known to have high soil-borne disease stress.
The overall rate per acre listed for chloropicrin is for a 12-inch chisel
spacing; Metham requires a 5-inch chisel spacing and Vorlex requires
an 8-inch chisel spacing.
For organic (peat and muck) soils, the rates listed below, except
Vorlex, should be increased 75-100%. Use Vorlex at the rate of 50
These rates are given as a guide to determine total amount of chemical
needed for a field. Closer row spacing will require more chemical
per acre; wider row spacing, less.
Since fertilizer rates, sources and placement for
nmulched and strip-mulch culture differ consider-
bly from full-bed mulch culture, information for
ch is presented separately.
Part I. Production Under Unmulched or
Placement-Recommendations in the past for
en culture have been to place the main or basic
plication of fertilizer normally used at planting
Stands 2 to 3 inches to each side and slightly
elow the level of the seed or plant roots. An al-
rnative practice, which helps alleviate soluble
lt problems, is the use of broadcast applications
r part or all of the basic fertilizer before plant-
Strip-mulch culture differs from the open meth.
od in that only 20% of the fertilizer is broadcast
and mixed into the bed. The balance is place
under an 8- to 12-inch strip of mulch to reduc<
Timing-The basic application of fertilizer ma)
be applied before planting, during planting, short.
ly after planting, or in split applications combine
ing any two or all three of these. Supplement
fertilizer may be applied whenever needed during
the growing season and especially after heavy
Soil pH-Optimum range for squash production
is between 6.0 and 6.5. Where magnesium level
are low, use dolomitic limestone.
Minor Elements-A general guide for adequate
minor elements in the absence of past experience
or soil test is the addition of 0.3% MnO, 0.27
CuO, 0.3% Fe20s, 0.2% ZnO, and 0.2% B20, wit
the fertilizer. The minor elements can be obtain
from mixtures of oxides and sulfates or fritted mE
trials. Growers should consider the elements al
plied in fungicides in the overall management c
a minor element program.
Higher rates are necessary to overcome th
tendency of minor elements to be completed c
tied-up by the organic matter in muck and peE
soils and from high pH on marl soils.
FERTILIZERS-Rates and Use for Productio
(for open- or strip-mulch culture)
Basic Actual Lbs./A
Application Applied each Number
Actual Lbs./A application of
N-P.,O,-KO N-P.,O-K,O Applicatio
Irrigated 90-120-120 30- 0-30 1 to 3
Unirrigated 60- 80- 80* 30- 0-30 1 to 2
Peat & Muck 90-120-180** *** ***
Rockland 45- 60- 60 30-30-30 1 to 2
Marl 54- 72- 72 30- 0-30 1 to 2
*The total amount may be applied in split applications to red
leaching and fertilizer burn.
**Rates suggested are for new or low PsO2 and K20 organic soi
When soil tests show a medium level of P205, reduce amount appli
by one-third. When P205 levels are high, reduce by two-thir
Follow the same suggestion for KsO. On new organic soils, ap
15 lbs. of CuO, 10 lbs. of MnO and 4 lbs. of B2Oa per acre bef
***During cold weather or following heavy rainfall, nitrate-nitrog
sidedressing may be needed.
Part II. Production Under Full-Bed Mulch
Under this system of culture, the crop must be
supplied with all of its soil requirements (lime,
nutrients, soil pesticides, soil preparation and bed
shape, etc.) before the mulch is applied. It is al-
most impossible to correct a soil problem after
the mulch is applied.
The following are suggestions for fertilization
under full-bed mulch culture. They should be
modified as needed.
A general sequence of operations for full-bed
mulch culture is: (1) land preparation, (2) liming,
(3) addition of superphosphate, mixed fertilizers
and minor elements to be broadcast and mixed in
the soil, (4) mixing insecticide into soil, (4a) in-
corporation of herbicide, if used, (5) bed-shaping,
(6) fumigation, (7) bed-firming and re-shaping,
(7a) application and surface-applied herbicide, if
used, (8) application of the balance of mixed
fertilizer on the surface, and (9) application of
mulch. The following are guidelines to rates,
sources and placement of fertilizer for full-bed
Total major elements suggested per acre for
full-bed mulch culture.
N PO, K20
100 to 200 lbs. 50 to 100 (old land) 120 to 240 lbs.
100 to 200 (new land)
Placement of the fertilizer materials may vary
somewhat. The following approach has been used
successfully by growers:
(1) Broadcast and disk in:
(a) Superphosphate (20%) at rate of 400
to 600 lbs. per acre before fumigation.
(Vary amount depending on residual
(b) Minor elements-Use rates suggested
for unmulched production.
(c) Mixed fertilizer-300 to 500 Ibs. of
5-10-10 or 6-12-12 as a "starter."
(Note-Alternative is to broadcast the
starter fertilizer on the surface just
prior to applying mulch cover.)
(2) Apply on bed surface:
Balance of fertilizer in two broad
bands on each side of a one-row bed
or in three bands on a two-row bed. A
total of 500 to 1,000 lbs. of an 18-0-25
mixture can be used here, depending
on the length of harvest season anti-
NOTE: Nitrogen should come primarily from
a nitrate source for soils that have been fumigated
and fully mulched. A ratio of 60 to 70% nitrate-
nitrogen and 30 to 40% ammonia-nitrogen is sug-
gested. Some natural organic can be added, but
they will not convert readily in fumigated soil
until re-inoculated with the nitrifiers.
Chemical Weed Control
Before attempting wide-scale use of a new herbi-
cide, it should be tested on a small area for at least
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
Time of (Active
Herbicides to Crop Sandy Soils Remarks
Bensulide2 Preplanting 5 Incorporate 1 to 1%
(Prefar) inches deep in moist
soil. Plant immedi
Chloramben Pre- 3 Soil surface should
(Amiben) emergence be moist.
DCPA Post- 10/2 Apply at lay-by fol
(Dacthal) emergence lowing cultivation.
'The amounts (active ingredients) listed here are for overall applica-
tions. For band treatments, reduce the amount proportionately.
2Suggested 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
dosages recommended are exceeded, the minimum
days listed may not be applicable and a longer in-
terval should be allowed.
The amount of spray or dust required for ade-
quate coverage varies according to size of the
plants. Generally, 50 to 150 gallons of spray or
20 to 35 pounds of dust are sufficient for good cov-
erage. Pressure in spraying should not exceed
PRECAUTIONS: Pesticides should be used
with extreme caution. Read the label and fol-
low recommendations on crop use, dosage and
time lapse required between last application and
harvest. Study suggestions for safety and fol-
Insecticides and Amounts Min. Days
Insect Formulations1,2 Per Acre to Harvest
Leaf Miners3 Diazinon 4E 1-11/ pt. 7
Parathion 4E % pt. 15
Aphids Parathion 4E 1/ pt. 15
Mevinphos 1 pt. 1
Endosulfan 1 qt. NTL
cucumberr Lindane 25% WP 1 lb. 1
Beetles, Parathion 4E 1/ pt. 15
Pickleworm, (Phosdrin) -S---1- pt. 1
(Sevin) 80% WP 11/4 lbs. NTL
(Thiodan) 2E 2 qts. NTL
,utworms Apply chlordane at 2 pounds active ingredi-
ent (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% chlordane bait
can be used as above at 20 to 40 pounds per
acre. If cutworm damage to young plants
is noted, use a fresh bait on the soil (not on
plants) in late afternoon when soil is moist
INSECT CONTROL (Continued)
Insecticides and Amounts Min. Days
Insect Formulations,.2 Per Acre to Harvest
Mole Broadcast aldrin or diazinon at 2 pounds or
Crickets chlordane at 4 pounds active ingredient per
acre as a spray, dust or granule, or a 2%
chlordane or aldrin bait evenly over the soil
surface at 20 to 40 pounds per acre before
seeding or transplanting if insects are pres-
ent. After plants are up, use a fresh bait
on soil (not plants) in late afternoon when
soil is moist and warm.
'NOTE: Other insecticide formulations may be registered and available.
-To 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.
3Leafmniers-Watch closely for leafminers. 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. The interval for diaz-
inon for winter squash is 3 days.
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 will 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 lea
margins and possibly reduction of yields. No tim
limitation when used as suggested.
Disease Spray to Harves
Anthracnose Zineb 75%, 1 lb. plus 5
(Glomerella cingu- Maneb 80%, % lb., or 5
lata var. Manzate 200 80%, 1%-3 5
orbiculare) lbs., or
Downy Mildew Dithane M-45 80%, 1%- 5
(Pseudoperonospora 3 lbs., or
cubensis) Bravo W75, 1-2 lbs., or NTL
Gummy Stem Blight Benlate, 1/-% lb./A NTL
(Mycosphaerella (Benlate does not con-
citrullina) trol downy mildew.)
Powdery Mildew Karathane 25%, 6-8 oz., 7
cichoracearum) Bravo W75, 1/2-2 lbs., or NTL
Benlate, 1/4- lb./A NTL
Cucumber Scab Bravo W75, 1-2 lbs., or NTL
(Cladosporium Manzate 200 80%, 1- 5
cucumerinum) 3 lbs., or
Dithane M-45 80%, 1- 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
towny mildew give some control of powdery mil-
lew, but most will not give sufficient control.
Karathane, Bravo, and benomyl are effective. If
)owdery 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) before
he disease appears.
During cold weather, sulfur may be used on
quash (2 to 4 pounds) two or three times to con-
rol powdery mildew.
Viruses (Mosaics)-Most mosaic symptoms in
these crops are caused by aphid-transmitted vi-
uses that occur naturally in wild hosts. Elimina-
ion of weeds around the field before planting will
elp greatly in reducing losses from virus diseases.
Bees are necessary for pollination of squash.
ood pollination improves set, shape and size of
ruit. Use at least one hive of honey bees for
very three to five acres of squash. Place bee-
lives in the field so that bees do not have to
ravel more than a few hundred feet to feed.
Apply insecticides in late afternoon to avoid in-
ury to bees.
Harvesting and Handling
Summer squash: This type squash is harvested
rhile the skin is still very tender and the seeds
re immature. Since one prerequisite for high
quality summer squash is a tender skin, this com-
odity is easily wounded during handling. Wrap-
ing the squash individually will offer some pro-
ection against abrasion from the fruits rubbing
against each other or the container.
A number of containers are available and most
kill provide adequate protection if used properly.
'iberboard cartons are not as rough as wooden
crates but neither are they as strong. A bulgi
pack puts pressure on the squash instead of let
ting the container support stack weight. A slaci
pack allows the squash to move around so tha
rubbing damage can be a problem.
Summer squash are subject to chilling injury
below 450F and will deteriorate rapidly at temper
atures above 50F. High relative humidity (90%)
is essential to prevent excessive water loss.
Winter squash: This type squash is harvested
after the seeds become mature. The skin is nol
as tender as that of summer squash, but can
should still be taken to harvest and pack only the
squash free from injury and decay. Since winte]
squash have a more mature and tougher skin, rela
tive humidity and the resultant water loss are no
nearly as important as for summer squash. Winte
squash are subject to chilling injury and should
be stored at 50'-55oF with a relative humidity o
The use of trade names in this publication is solely fo
the purpose of providing specific information. It is not
guarantee or warranty of the products named and doe
not signify that they are recommended to the exclusion o
others of similar composition.
Prepared by: James Montelaro
Stephen R. Kostewicz
Acknowledgements: The authors wish to express their
sincere thanks to the many faculty members of the Insti
tute of Food and Agricultural Sciences who made man
helpful suggestions in the preparation of this circular
Special contributions were made by:
R. K. Showalter-Harvesting and Handling
J. E. Brogdon and F. A. Johnson-Insect Contr
R. S. Mullin and T. A. Kucharek-Disease Contr
W. L. Currey-Weed Control
D. W. Dickson-Nematode Control
Single copies free to residents of Florida. Bulk rates
available upon request. Please submit details on
request to Chairman, Editorial Department, Institute
of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of
Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611.
This public document was promulgated at an
annual cost of $515.14, or 10.3 cents per copy
to inform growers on squash production.
6 41978 o "*V11
JUN 14 19g7AY 30 wn
Institute of Food and Agricultural Scences
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
Joe N. Busby, Dean