You do not need a huge garden space to grow annual yellow squash (Cucurbita pepo). In fact, you can grow a yellow summer squash plant easily in a container on your balcony or patio. Starting the squash seeds indoors several weeks before the last frost date in your area will allow you to be eating the harvest from your summer squash plants even sooner than planting them directly into pots outdoors.
Starting the Seed
Step 1: Fill Your Pots
Fill peat pots three-quarters full of potting soil. Water the pots until the soil is completely wet.
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Step 2: Plant the Seeds
Place one yellow squash seed in each wet peat pot. Cover the seed with potting soil until the soil level is even with the top of the pot.
Step 3: Cover Your Pots
Place a sheet of plastic wrap loosely over the top of the peat pots. Remove the plastic wrap when the squash seedlings break through the top of the soil.
Step 4: Water Your Seedlings
Water the seedling as often as needed to keep the soil moist to the touch.
Transplant into Containers
Step 1: Choose Your Seedlings
Choose the healthiest, strongest looking seedlings for transplanting.
Step 2: Get Containers Ready
Select planting containers that are at least two gallons in size. The optimal container for growing squash will be at least 18 inches in diameter and 16 to 18 inches deep.
Step 3: Fill Your Containers
Fill the container with a good quality potting soil.
Step 4: Dig a Hole
Use a garden trowel or spade to dig a hole in the center of the soil twice as large and as deep as the peat pot.
Step 5: Replant Your Squash
Place the peat pot with the squash plant in the hole and fill in the remaining soil around the plant.
Step 6: Stake Plant if Necessary
Insert a long plant stake into the soil near the outside of the pot if you're growing a vining type squash. As the summer squash grows, tie the vine to the stake using plant tape to train the squash to grow vertically up the stake. Place the squash vine against the stake and loosely tie the vine in place. Tie the plant to the stake when the vines reach six to eight inches in length. Plant tape, available at most garden centers, helps train plants to grow in a specific direction. It will not damage the vine or the plant as it grows.
Step 7: Feed Your Squash
Fertilize the plants using any general garden fertilizer according to label instructions after the squash has been transplanted into the containers.
Step 8: Enjoy Your Squash
Harvest the summer squash when they are between 5 and 6 inches long and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Things You'll Need
2 gallon growing container
Wooden plant stakes
Plant tying tape