Last Updated on October 29, 2022
Crooked neck squash is a type of summer squash that would be a great addition to your garden. It’s so easy growing crooked neck squash and you can enjoy some nice flavorful squash dishes from it. They can be used for both raw and cooking applications.
This squash is a warm-season vegetable that grows so easily and fast. It is also a very prolific summer squash plant.
In this article, we are going to be looking at growing crooked neck squash. We will as well look into commencing crooked squash from seeds or seedlings, the right time to plant this squash, and many more. So let’s begin.
Crooked neck squash is also known as yellow squash because of its yellow-skinned nature. It is botanically a member of Cucurbita pepo. From the name ‘crooked’ we can see the shape of the neck is bent or curved. The shape can somehow be compared to a bottle shape. The flesh of this summer squash may be smooth or bumpy.
Crookneck squash is mostly found in North America. Up until the arrival of zucchini squash, the crookneck squash was majorly the dominant summer squash grown.
This squash can be harvested when it’s still immature as a baby yellow crooked squash. It can as well be harvested when it’s fully matured in its full size. It can also be left on the vine to mature fully to a hardened gourd stage. Crooked neck squash is one of the very few summer squash that can be dried to a gourd-like stage.
This tasty squash is packed with great nutrients such as carotenoid, lutein, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, fiber, folate, and bioavailable copper.
Crookneck Yellow Squash Plant
Crooked neck squash plants love to be grown in a warm environment. Hence, growing crooked neck squash plants should be in the warm season. Unlike other winter squashes and pumpkins, they don’t grow on long vines, so they are easier to be grown in a container and small spaces.
Let’s dive in further and see how to grow this flavorful summer squash.
Growing Crooked Neck Yellow Squash Plants
Growing crooked neck squash is pretty easy and it’s a great choice for beginner gardeners. Starting this squash from their seeds is pretty straightforward and they will grow optimally especially when seeded directly into the soil garden.
This squash can b grown in most types of soil and the soil should be very fertile. For optimal results, we recommend you work or mix about 2 to 4 inches of compost or other garden soil amendments as required.
Growing Crooked Neck Squash From Seeds
As we mentioned, crooked neck squash requires rich soil to thrive well because they are heavy feeders.
After working the soil with appropriate compost or soil amendments, proceed to seed planting. Plan to sow your seeds around 2 weeks after the last frost or when the soil outside is 65 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
Plant your seed by pressing it into the soil to about 1 inch deep. Then cover the seed with some soil or compost and water adequately.
Give the crooked squash seed spacing of about 2 to 3 feet apart. The majority of summer squash doesn’t usually grow in a vine manner. They tend to grow several feet wide. Therefore, it’s crucial you don’t crowd this squash so they don’t get invaded by squash bugs and powdery mildew if they end up getting any infestation.
You should begin to see germination within 3 to 10 days of seed sowing. The first fruit production should be within 60 days of planting. The crooked neck squash plant can keep producing fruit until frost or diseases end their growth.
Growing Crooked Neck Squash From Seedlings
You can as well start your seeds indoors and transplant the germinated young seedlings outdoors. You can also purchase the seedlings from your local garden stores.
It is essential you harden off your seedlings two weeks before transplanting. Do this by leaving them outside or exposing them to outdoor conditions so they can adjust to outdoor conditions.
Once it’s time for transplanting your seedlings outdoors, prepare the soil just like you would do for seeds by working in some compost before planting. Carefully remove the plant’s root ball from its container. Make a hole in the same depth of the container and plant your seedlings.
Plant spacing should be at least 2 feet apart. Ensure you water the seedlings appropriately.
Growing Recommendations For Growing Crooked Neck Squash
Here are some growing requirements for crooked neck squash:
Sunlight: As a warmth-loving plant, crooked neck squash requires a sunny spot. Ensure the soil temperature outdoors is at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit before planting.
Soil and Soil pH: The soil for this squash must be well-draining. The soil should also be worked in by compost or other soil amendments. Crooked neck squash thrives well in a pH range of 6.0 to 6.8.
Watering: This squash plant should be watered optimally. Water deep at least once a week. The soil needs to be moist so aim to water to a depth of 4 inches. It’s better to feed your plant one long drink of water than watering several times at different periods. You can tell your plants require watering by looking at their appearance. During the day when the weather is hot, the leaves tend to wilt. However, when night comes, the leaves tend to spring back. But if you notice the leaves don’t spring back pr they’re still wilted the next morning, it’s important you water your squash immediately.
Mulch: When you’re done planting, ensue you mulch around your seedlings to prevent weeds and maintain warm and moist soil.
Fertilize: Crooked neck squash are heavy feeders so it’s important you fertilize your soil. You can side-dress your plants with a 5-10-10 fertilizer. The nitrogen level of the fertilizer should be kept low so your squash plant can produce more squash rather than more leaves.
What does the name crookneck squash refer to?
The name of the plant comes from the shape of its flower. Crookneck squash does not grow straight up, but twists around to make a sort of hook. The flower is white with a yellow center.
Can beginning gardeners grow crookneck squash?
Crooknecks are one of the most versatile vegetables in your garden. They are easy to grow and very tasty. There are many varieties of this squash, such as the buttercup, goldrush, and yellow crookneck.
When should I plant them?
This squash is also known as a winter melon because it is ready to harvest in the fall when the weather gets cold.
It is important that you plant your seeds a few weeks before the last frost date. When your soil temperature reaches 55 degrees Fahrenheit, you can plant them.
What are good ways to grow crooked squash?
To start with, you should get seeds from your local nursery. Seeds should be planted in small pots or in a warm area of your garden. You will need to keep an eye on them to make sure they are growing well.
Make sure you have a place where you can keep your plants warm. You can use a heating mat or put them inside a greenhouse. You should water your plants every day for one week after planting.
Then, you should water them at least twice a week until the plants begin to flower. Make sure that you fertilize your plants. This will help your crookneck squash grow better. You can either apply fertilizer directly to the plants, or you can feed the plants with a foliar spray.
A foliar spray is applied to the leaves of the plants. You should cut off any dead leaves from your plants before they start flowering. Dead leaves and stems can prevent the flowers from growing and blooming. When you cut them off, you will be able to enjoy the fruit that grows out of the flowers.
How far do crookneck squash need to be spaced apart?
I think you should space them around of 3 ft apart, and 2 at the closest. Squash love to grow close together. The larger the plant the farther apart it will go.
How tall does crookneck squash grow?
Crookneck squash grows to be about 5 feet tall, but it can reach heights of up to 7 feet. It has a light green color and produces fruits that are 1 to 3 inches long.
How do you fertilize crookneck squash?
Squash fertilization is similar to that of other crops. The first step is to apply a balanced fertilizer. The general rule is one-third nitrogen, one-third phosphorus, and one-third potassium. If your squash plants are small, you may want to apply liquid fertilizer at the beginning of the growing season.
Growing crooked neck squash is really easy and you can always enjoy the result of your squash plant once they’re ready for harvest.
Your crooked neck squash should be ready for picking from 45 to 65 days after planting depending on the variety grown. If you want better tasting squash, harvest them when they reach about 6 inches in length.