If you’ve gotten a late start on the gardening season, not to fret, as you can still plant many varieties of the Cucurbit family, commonly known as squash. These plants include summer squash, winter squash and melons. The terms “summer” and “winter” squash, however, do not refer to the time of planting; but rather, to the time of harvest. Summer squash has a more tender skin and does not store for a long period while winter squash has a more leathery skin, tends to be picked later in the fall, and will store for months during the winter. Summer squash includes cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash and chayote. Winter squash includes butternut, spaghetti, acorn squash and kabocha. The third category, melons, includes cantaloupe, watermelon and musk melons.
These sun-loving plants will grow into 4-foot- to 6-foot-long vines, meaning it is not a plant for container gardening, but if you don’t have a bed prepared you also can build a simple “lasagna” garden bed. This is a no dig, no till, organic gardening method that builds up your soil health.
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