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Starting Squash

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Starting Squash

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/12/2015, 3:05 pm

I'm thinking about starting squash seeds indoors this year but have heard that their roots don't like to be disturbed so peat pots are best.  Has anyone tried starting them in egg cartons?

Here's an article:
http://www.instructables.com/id/easy-seed-starter./

If you've had success, did you put down some growing medium first, then the seed, then more medium?  What do you think about placing the seed on the bottom of the cup?

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Re: Starting Squash

Post  sanderson on 3/12/2015, 3:17 pm

CC, I have started squash seeds in Mel's Mix in seedling pots, yogurt cups and soda cups. No problems gently transplanting.

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Re: Starting Squash

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 3/12/2015, 4:10 pm

Depending on how much room you have, I start my plants in planters designed to go into window boxes.  For squash I plant 1 in each 6 inches.  I just transplanted my squash yesterday so I don't have a picture to show how big they had grown, but the plants are about 8 inches across and tall.  When I grab the soil around them I barely see any roots and they transplant without a hitch.  I've done this for the 3rd year now with great success.



This picture shows the largest transplanted squash and the net bag is 8 inches wide for size perspective:


Last edited by audrey.jeanne.roberts on 3/12/2015, 4:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Starting Squash

Post  yolos on 3/12/2015, 4:20 pm

But egg carton "cups" are awfully small.  I would think the squash would have to be transplanted fairly soon after sprouting.  I think it would be a good method for some of the smaller plants but not sure about squash.
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Re: Starting Squash

Post  johnp on 3/12/2015, 4:44 pm

I did an experiment last season and started half my squash in containers and half in the ground at the right time. By the time the squash were ready there was no difference between the two as both were ready at the same time. I did it with butternut, butternut hybrid, acorn and spaghetti.
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Re: Starting Squash

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 3/12/2015, 4:49 pm

@johnp wrote:I did an experiment last season and started half my squash in containers and half in the ground at the right time. By the time the squash were ready there was no difference between the two as both were ready at the same time. I did it with butternut, butternut hybrid, acorn and spaghetti.
That does not surprise me with how fast squash grow. I would imagine the same could be said for a lot of growing zones, though perhaps not for the shortest growing season. What zone are you in?
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Re: Starting Squash

Post  plantoid on 3/12/2015, 7:11 pm

Because of the risk of frosts up to the 31 May some years , I've taken to  starting all our curbits etc. every 14 days from the third week of March on a heated bed under LED UV light .

 Once the seedlings are with the first pair of leaves they get put out in the glasshouse and if frost is likely I'll cover then with fleece over night .
 some times if it is a hard frost forecast for over night with low temps & being overcast the next day , I'll light a big 3 " dia  home made candle in the green house to give a bit of warmth and also some extra CO2 for the plants to use .

 I've grown them in my 1 & 1/4 x 75 mm tall seed tubes , which are about the same diameter as a cardboard toilet roll tube and they were very successful.
I've also grown them in my 3 " square x 75 mm tall seed tubes .
 
I found a sight difference with mine in the square tubes they didn't get knocked back as much as the smaller 1&1/4 tubes when initially set out in the MM beds .  i guess it's possibly due to a slightly bigger root development in the bigger tubes . But like has already been said they all soon catch up with each other.
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Re: Starting Squash

Post  sanderson on 3/12/2015, 11:44 pm

I have a large and a small plastic window box. I was just about ready to toss them until I saw your photo, Audrey. I think I will start some cucumbers and winter squash, maybe a crookneck in them. Thanks.

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Re: Starting Squash

Post  johnp on 3/13/2015, 8:50 am

According to Burpee's gardening guide our zip code is in zone 6. Ten miles north is in zone 5. So I think I am in a cold zone 6 or a hot zone 5. Anyway according to Burpee our last frost date is the middle of April. That is totally incorrect, it is the middle of May. We can have frost any time after the first of Sept. but normally not until Oct. This year all my squash will be started in the ground after Mother's day. Today however I will be starting tomatoes, peppers and eggplant in containers.
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