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Squash Seedlings

Squash Seedlings – Basic Information Regarding Its Commercial Farming South African farmers interested in propagating butternut, can do so from either seedlings or seeds. The squash seedlings available from top seedling supplier Hishtil SA in Mooketsi and the Western Cape are grown in greenhouse facilities. This makes it possible to ensure optimal pest control, uniformity in plant height and quality, and proper chemical treatment.

v The squash seedlings are delivered to the farmer in special trays. Whether farmers grow squash from seedlings or seeds, it is important to note that most varieties require trailing space, as the plants form vines. Keeping the fruits away from direct contact with the soil helps reduce exposure to pathogens and spoiling at pressure points where the fruits rest on the soil. Squash is rich in Vitamin A, calcium, and phosphorus and is popular for its taste, the many ways it can be prepared, and its relatively low price. Though the plant is now widely grown in South Africa from seeds and seedlings, it was originally propagated in Mexico.

The butternut squash is a summer crop and often propagated under irrigation by small commercial farmers. The plant is quite resistant to UV exposure, with sunburn not really an issue. It is a hardy plant and because it can be left on the field for 30 to 60 days after fruiting, it provides a longer period in which to get the product to the market. Various squash cultivars are propagated, for which such seedlings are available.

With Cucurbita being a warm-season crop, it is grown mostly during the summer months, since the plants are not frost tolerant. The plants can be grown in the dry, warm season and in wet conditions. The best temperature range for fruit development is 18-27 °C. Low humidity helps with better fruit setting. The plants do not grow when exposed to temperatures below 10 °C. If exposed to temperatures below 5 °C, the plants are damaged; they die when exposed to sub-zero temperatures for more than an hour.

It is important to transplant squash seedlings in the soil after the frost period has passed and when the soil temperature is high enough to ensure good establishment. Farmers can propagate from early summer if they use row covers to raise the growth-medium temperature and protect against late frost. Farmers should keep in mind that low temperatures also affect flowering. To minimise the time from plant to harvest, farmers should seriously consider growing from squash seedlings as available from trusted suppliers like Hishtil SA in Mooketsi and the Western Cape.

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