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Squash Seedlings: 4 Factors that Affect Crop Farming Success

Squash comes in many varieties. It is important to choose the best variety of seedlings for the particular region, available space, and the crop yield goals. To this end, newcomers to farming should consult with the agronomists at bulk-supply nurseries of squash seedlings before choosing their variety.

Apart from premium-quality stock to start the crop propagation, newcomers to commercial vegetable farming must make sure they understand the requirements for crop success, the resources needed, and factors that affect the commercial farming of plants.  

Information is shared below on the essential requirements for crop success and profitable farming from squash and other types of vegetable seedlings.  

Choosing Where to Plant  

Greenhouse propagation holds several advantages over open field crop farming, including temperature control, protection against hail, frost, and birds. However, not all farmers can afford the large capital layout required for setting up such facilities. For them, choosing the correct site for transplanting the squash seedlings is extremely important. The main factors that come in play are:

  • Topography
  • Climate
  • Soil
  • Water availability

Topography – Field Characteristics  

The farmer must consider the ideal field conditions for the particular vegetable crop. Factors such as the depth of the soil, the drainage, whether it is on a level piece of land or a slope, the gradient of the slope, rocks in the soil, and what was previously grown in the field, matter.

  If the field is in a low-lying area with poor drainage capacity, the risk of waterlogging around the roots increases. This can cause several issues, including root rot. If the field lies on soil previously used as pasture, then provision must be made for treatment against soil-borne diseases and insect infestation.

  Although few areas are 100% perfect for vegetable crop propagation, the farmer should select a piece of land that meets as many of the requirements as possible. For instance, a piece of land that is rock-free, with a slight slope or very level, and with no low-lying areas.

  It is best to avoid growing on a slope with a gradient of more than 1,5%, as this can make it difficult to control soil erosion. If it is the only area where the farmer can propagate the vegetables, it is imperative to create a terrace system, although this can be challenging and expensive.

  Climate Conditions

Farmers should plant a variety that can grow in the particular temperature range and the humidity level the crop will be exposed to. Factors, such as time of the year when planting, risk of frost, hail, and excessive temperature fluctuations must be considered. Also, if the area is known for strong winds, it is essential to install windbreakers or plant appropriate plants on the edge of the field to reduce plant wind exposure during the growth season.  

Soil Conditions  

The soil is the medium from where the plants will get their nutrients. With it consisting of organic and mineral matter, it provides the plants with the necessary mineral content and nutrients from the organic matter. Soil types range from sand and loam to clay. Heavy clay soil makes the propagation of vegetables challenging because it is difficult to achieve enough aeration. Drainage is also limited. These factors can constrict deep and good root formation, essential for squash farming. Too sandy soil is also problematic, as additional irrigation will be needed.

  The farmer should pay close attention to the pH requirements as well. Deep soil preparation must be performed before the delivery of the seedlings to the farm to ensure the plugs can be transplanted immediately into nutrient-rich, well-aerated, and properly drained soil that also has the right pH for farming with the vegetable.  

Water Availability and Quality Vegetable propagation entails irrigation. The water source from which the plants are irrigated must be able to deliver the volume required. Sufficient water pressure must be available to enable constant supply or water to all the plants, using the particular irrigation system chosen by the farmer. In addition, the quality of the water is important. Farmers should avoid watering plants with water too high in salts and aluminium. It is imperative to perform a water analysis before transplanting the squash seedlings to determine if the water salinity level is appropriate for the particular crop.

  Where to Buy Quality Squash Seedlings in South Africa  

Farmers can now purchase premium-quality squash seedlings from Hishtil SA as a leading bulk supplier of vegetable plugs to producers across South Africa. Register as a new client for pricing and related information.  

Spaced out squash seedlings in the Hishtil fields