Squash Farming in India – Complete Information on Growing

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Squash Farming in India - Complete Information on Growing

Squash is a herbaceous annual viny, trailing and creeping plant and produces variable and large vegetables in shape, colour, size, and marking with a peduncle that is corky on the surface. This vegetable belongs to the “Cucurbitaceae” and “Cucurbita” genus. You can find mainly 2 types of squash; summer squash and winter squash, and most summer squash have a bushy growth habit, unlike the rambling vines of various winter squashes.

How to do Squash Farming?

Starting commercial Squash cultivation is easy and simple, just like growing other crops. Squash plants are very hardy and strong, requiring less care and other handling. When you start growing any plant, you need to know the various essential tractor equipment that would be useful for profitable cultivation. You should find the tractor according to your budget; therefore, you can check for a second hand tractor price online.  

Varieties of Squash

There are two types of squash available: summer squash and winter squash. There are many improved varieties available within these groups. Autumn Cup Squash, Banana Squash, Acorn Squash, Ambercup Squash, Butternut Squash, Buttercup Squash, Carnival Squash, Delicata Squash, Fairytale Pumpkin Squash, Sweet Dumpling Squash, Gold Nugget Squash, Hubbard Squash, Kabocha Squash and  Spaghetti Squash are some of the varieties grown in the worldwide. Butternut squash is gaining popularity for maintaining its quality, and sunburns are not a big problem.

Climate Required for Squash Cultivation

Squash thrives best in warm climatic conditions, and it is a warm-season crop. Squash vegetables cannot tolerate any frost conditions. The optimum temperature for good quality and squash yield is 22°C to 29°C. Squash seeds germinate best at 28°C – 32°C. Therefore, planting/sowing squash is recommended when soil temperatures are high enough for seeds to germinate and the last frost season has passed.

Soil Required for Squash Cultivation

You can cultivate the squash on a wide range of soils. However, they grow best in sandy loam, well-draining soil and soil rich in organic matter. But if they are grown in clay soil, it will be difficult to harvest in a wet field and require additional labour to clean them, and you should avoid the lower areas. If you grow squash on a large scale, a soil test should be done to detect nutrient deficiencies in the field. The optimum soil pH is 5.5 to 6.5, which will yield good fruit quality.

Propagation and Seed Rate for Squash Cultivation 

You can do the squash propagation through seeds. However, you can reproduce the plant vegetatively via cuttings. Root cuttings can be expected to bear fruit sooner than plants from seed. Usually, summer squash is directly sown or transplanted for early marketing. Generally, 2 to 4 kg of seed is required in one hectare of land.

Sowing Time, Land Preparation, and Method 

Prepare the field by doing harrowing and 2 to 3 ploughing, then ploughing the field at a distance of 2 m. You should make the pit with a country plough or tractor to a depth of 15 cm. Remove any weeds from previous crops and it is advisable to dig a pit between the hills at a distance of 2 to 3 metres. We recommend sowing the seeds in moist soil 2.5 to 4 cm deep. When it comes to spacing, medium-vine squash should be planted 2.0 to 2.0 m apart in rows, with plants spaced 0.5 to 0.6 m apart in rows. For larger varieties, provide additional spacing.

Irrigation in Squash Cultivation

You should carry out frequent irrigation in dry or drought conditions for better output. You should carry furrow irrigation after every 10 days interval, especially vegetative, planting and flowering and fruit set stage. After fruit maturity, you should avoid irrigation and can also adapt drip irrigation for better water management.   

Weed Control in Squash Cultivation

You need to complete the weeding in squash farming because it is a very important activity and carry on a regular basis to get a good yield. In the cultivation of squash, weeding and hoeing should be done by hand. To control weed growth, do shallow cultivation when the plants are about 2 weeks old. Shallow cultivation of squash plants is required before the ground is covered by vines to keep the soil in good tillage and free from weeds. You may train the vines to grow over a trellis or fence.

Fertilizers and Manure in Squash Cultivation

Planting time, early vegetative development, flowering, and fruiting time are important steps for applying fertilizer. However, the rate of application depends on the analysis of the soil. Apply 20 to 25 tonnes of well-decomposed cow dung per hectare during field preparation. At the time of sowing, apply four complete manure bags and field manure. And you mix them in the soil at the rate of 1 to 2 kg per hill. 2 to 3 weeks after planting, when the vine is about 30 cm tall, side-dress with 3 bags of urea at the rate of 1 to 2 Tbsp per plant. One month after planting, and when the plant’s vine reaches about 90cm, side-dress 1 bag of 1 to 2 tablespoons of potash per plant. Additional urea and potash may be applied every 2 weeks when required.

Equipment Requirement

When you want to get information about squash cultivation, you should also know the equipment that will help to boost the yield. Cultivators, tillers and tractors are crucial factors in squash farming. You can buy the mini tractor when you start farming in a small garden. 

For further information regarding squash farming in India, stay tuned with us. 

 

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