Cocozelle summer squash grows on a bush type plant, making this variety
ideal for small vegetable gardens. Fruits is dark green with light green
stripes, and is best when harvested under 12”. This open pollinated
variety is very flavorful and tender and great for cooking, freezing, or
canning. Matures in about 55 days. Average water needs.
Detailed planting instructions:
Most summer squash grow on compact vines, in contrast to the sprawling vines of most winter squash and pumpkins. Some varieties have interesting "water marks" on their foliage. Most summer squash varieties form a compact, bushy vine.
Squash like warm soil and are very sensitive to frost. So don’t be in a
rush to plant early in spring. Wait until danger of frost has passed
and soil has warmed to about 70 F, or about 2 weeks after the last
Direct seed ½ to 1 inch deep into hills (which warm and
drain earlier in the season) or rows. Sow 4 to 5 seeds per hill. Space
hills 3 to 4 feet apart. When the plants are 2 to 3 inches tall, thin
to 2 to 3 plants per hill by snipping off unwanted plants without
disturbing the roots of the remaining ones. In rows, sow seeds 4 inches
apart in rows 4 to 5 feet apart. Snip off plants to thin to one plant
every 12 to 24 inches.
For extra early crops, start inside in 2- to 3-inch pots
or cells 3 to 4 weeks before transplanting outside. Sow 3 or 4 seeds
per pot and thin to one or two plants by snipping off the weaker plants
to avoid damaging the roots of those that remain. Harden off by
cutting back on water and reducing temperature before transplanting.
Plant transplants out in the garden about 1 to 2 feet apart after all
danger of frost has passed.
To hasten first harvest by as much as 2 weeks, use black
plastic mulch to warm soil before direct seeding or transplanting.
Early fruits are sometimes wrinkled, turn black or rot due to poor
At the end of the season, remove or till in vines to
reduce mildew. Use row covers to protect plants early in the season and
to prevent insect problems. Remove cover before flowering to allow
pollination by insects or when hot weather arrives.
Mulching plants helps retain moisture and suppress
weeds. Mounding soil around the base of the plants can discourage
squash borers from laying eggs.
Zucchini squash, summer crookneck and patty pan are
the most common varieties of squash grown in the summer garden. These
members of the squash and pumpkin families are prolific producers. They
normally begin to produce about 50 days after germination, and it's
important to know when to harvest to ensure that you have a steady
supply, throughout the summer.
Expect to begin harvesting your summer varieties of squash
when they are immature. Winter varieties mature on the vine and develop
a tough skin to facilitate better winter storage, but summer squash
allowed to grow until large and gourd-like isn't good to eat. It's best
to discard them or add them to the compost pile.
Check your squash as soon as you notice it blooming. Squash grows very
fast, and some squash is ready to pick a few days after it
blooms. Check your garden every 1 to 2 days after that, because once it
starts to producing, it continues steadily throughout the growing
season. The more you pick, the more it will produce. For this reason,
you may want to consider having only a few plants of each variety,
unless you intend to feed the whole neighborhood.
Harvest the elongated varieties of
squash, such as zucchini and yellow squash, when they are about 6 inches
long and 2 inches in diameter. The patty pan squash is best if picked
when it's 4 inches or less in diameter. If you miss a day or two, and
end up with larger squash, grate it and make bread or scoop it out and
fill it with your favorite stuffing to bake.
Remove the squashes by cutting them from
the vine with a sharp knife. They have very thin skins and bruise
easily, so handle them gently. Wearing gloves is advisable, as the
stalks may scratch or irritate your hands.
Store your squash in the refrigerator,
unwashed. Moisture encourages decay of fresh vegetables, so place them
in a plastic bag in the vegetable crisper. If you have a large amount,
place them in a plastic bag and handle them as little as possible to
prevent bruising the delicate skin. They'll stay fresh for 3 to 5 days,
under the proper storage conditions.
Scan for summer squash enemies while you
are in the garden. The cucumber beetle and the squash bug are the two
most common ones to look for. The cucumber beetle usually appears late
in the growing season and may damage the mature fruit. Squash bugs begin
to infest the vines as soon as the blossoms appear. They are usually in
large groups and can damage the plant and the mature fruit. Check with
your local gardening supply store for the proper course of treatment for
these pests, because the sooner you get rid of them, the healthier your
squash plants will be.
Consider harvesting squash blossoms,
which are completely edible and are used in a variety of recipes, as
well as eaten raw in salads. Use your sharp knife to harvest the
blossoms or pick small squash with the blossom attached for an added
treat. Gather them when the petals are open, leaving about an inch of
stem intact. Use them within a day because they deteriorate rapidly once
picked. They may last a few days longer if you rinse them and store
them in ice water in the refrigerator.
Although best picked and enjoyed at their smallest possible size,
“zukes” must be allowed to grow quite large to produce viable seeds.
Other summer (non-storage) squashes, like summer crookneck, should also
be left on the vine long past complete ripeness. Then cut them open,
rinse the seeds well, and dry them in an airborne strainer or on a plate
(not paper).When sample seeds can be snapped in half, store them in
your envelope. Compost the remains.
- Comes in E-Z Lock resealable, reusable triple-layered foil packets
- Seeds are open pollinated and can be grown, harvested, and replanted endlessly
- Dried & sealed airtight for long-term storage
- Nutritional value: An excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, manganese, and potassium.