Our favorite plant expert, Lance Roberson shares tips to growing squash in Central Texas and how COVID-19 has shifted his business.
Pumpkins, cantaloupe, squash, zucchini, and gourds are all part of the squash family. Did you know? Squash is actually a FRUIT, not a vegetable! All types of squash are fruits, as they contain seeds and develop from the flower-producing part of a plant. Squash can be eaten in a multitude of ways. The entire squash plant is edible, including the flesh, skin, leaves, flowers, and seeds.
Yellow squash and zucchini have varieties that can produce fruit year-round. They are very drought tolerant compared to most fruit crops, with many kinds not needing any external water sources to produce fruit here in Central Texas.
- When do you water? There will be an obvious leaf weep when it needs water!
- Squash can be grown in beds, pots, or anything that holds soil and generally fruits well. It is great to start in small pots or in starter trays as they like the drying out period even when young.
- The thickness of the rind or skin is what tells us the fruit is ripe on the plant, when it is tough to pierce with your fingernails it is ready!
Grocery Store Tip: When you’re buying squash, look for ones that are heavy for their size and firm, not soft. Opt for smaller ones, as squash tends to get more bitter the bigger it grows.