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Winter squash questions

Posted by jrslick KS/5 (My Page) on
Tue, May 17, 11 at 11:23

I have grown a few winter squash (Acorn, Butternut, Spaghetti) in the past, just enough for our families. This year I am increasing production to try to have winter squash for the fall and store them for winter sales.

I am planning on planting them after I dig my potatoes. I am still planning on doing this, but I got the idea to grow them at my parents farm too. This is about 35 minutes away.

They have some old outdoor pig lots, haven't been used for 10 years or more. Sure there are alot of weeds, but I can use their tractor and disc and make the tillage a breeze. There is water available if I dig up a leak and fix it (yea, that stinks but I have done it before.)

They don't have any fields that are close enough to water to think about using.

I am planning on planting wide rows, wide enough to drive a tractor between the rows. Put in drip irrigation and and probably transplant all the seedlings, maybe direct seed some too.

During the summer, I will be going to their house at least once a week or every two weeks. I was planning on putting a timer on the water and my mom and nephew wouldn't mind just looking them over every couple of days.

Does it sound like a plan that would work? I am planning on cash renting the area and paying for the water and use of the tractor. Haven't agreed on the price.

Any thoughts?

Jay


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Winter squash questions

i have a tiller i pull with the tractor and plant winter squash and pumpkins as you describe.it works very well. i can till between the rows just before the vines run out of the rows. so i guess my rows run about 6' apart to fit the tractor between. i direct seed. of course once the vines run you can't get the tractor in there.


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RE: Winter squash questions

Randy,

Do you plant in rows or in hills?

I am going to use rows. So it will work with the drip irrigation. Then transplant one seedling every 12 to 18 inches. The shorter vines will be at 12 and the larger vines at 18 to 24 inches.

I thought about using black plastic, but I think we will just use old straw as mulch around the plants and to conserve moisture.

Jay


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RE: Winter squash questions

I have actually had better luck with direct seeding versus transplants. I bought a jab planter this last year and plant on using it, either in the hills or without, haven't decided on that yet. I will be planting prior to Father's day for winter squash.

I, also, have not bothered with watering the plants, just when I planted the seeds in the past. This year, I will have the availability of water, but not sure if I'll water or not.

Marla


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RE: Winter squash questions

i plant in rows. makes it easier to manage the weeds. when i direct seed its acorn and similar squashes @ 18" and butternut,etc @ 24". if the variety is a bush variety its 18".i don't use plastic.


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RE: Winter squash questions

Jr how much land are you going to plant???
and what size tractor do you have?

we plant abought 4 to 5 acres (3 fields) of squash,pumpkins,gords,and and some odd and end stuff..all planted in a 4 foot by 4 foot grid no drip irrigation..

4 fooot by 4 foot beacuse thats abought the size of the wheel base of the tractor..then we plow,wheel harrow to make nicey nice, then put cultivator on with ONLY one tooth in the middle and mark the field north to south then east to west like graph papper. where the marks intersect is where we plant the seed...

then as the plant grows we cross cultivate. as the plant gets biger we remove cultivatin tines as needed, untill you cant cultivate anymore...witch works for us..your never going to stop the weeds...


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RE: Winter squash questions

The old pig lots probably take up 5-8 acres. I am looking at maybe 1/2 acre or more. But the rows are going to be farther apart to allow for the use of the larger tractors.

As far as tractors, my family has several 65-110 hp John Deeres. I also would have access to all there tillage equipment, but most likely I will dig the old 3 point disc out of the trees and use it.

I really like your ideas on how to mark the field. I did that with a rake and pvc pipe. At the intersections I planted a lettuce plug.

Jay


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RE: Winter squash questions

jay this is what we use

Photobucket
all pics are from the web.but its the same tractor and cultivator.

Photobucket

Photobucket

For marking: if you look at the pic of the cultivator, remove all the cultivators and leave one in the middle.. maybe leave one on each side center of the tires for stability depends on how your draft is set up.

Then for cultivatin: remove the center one and add all the others. as the plants get biger keep removing cultivators from the center out..we cultivate abought 4 to 5 times.

In my years of doing this the only real trick is dont plant stuff that grows quick or large with stuff that dosen't. in othere words dont put acorn with large growing pumpkins. the vines on the pumpkins grow a lot quicker.

We keep large pumpkins, Waltham Butternut Squash, and buttercup squash in one field.
then plants like gords, small pumpkins, acorn (bush type) in another field.
also whats your plant date?? we plant around june 8..


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RE: Winter squash questions

Thanks for the pictures. I am planning on a planting date around June 4-5th.

As far as tractors, my family has a 6330, 4240 and 4640. I will probably use the 6330, it is the smallest. I rather doubt I will want to bring out he 4640, 150-160 hp to till between the rows!

I am planning on planting Acorn, Butternut, Spaghetti, and Delicata. Probably one/two 200 foot rows of each. Depending on space.

Jay


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RE: Winter squash questions

WOW!!! no small tractors??? what dose your family farm grow?? OMG i wish i had tractors that big.. the bigist we have is abought 120HP that we use to plow and a 75 HP to disk harrow...

the IH 574 is used for planting, cultivatin, and choping head-lands..


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RE: Winter squash questions

Just your usual soybeans, wheat, milo, hay, cattle and hogs.

Jay


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RE: Winter squash questions

Most farmers in my area don't have the smaller tractors except to run the grain elevators, if that. Smaller tractors and the equipment to use in food crops are very hard to find, here. Most have been either scrapped or sent away.

Marla


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RE: Winter squash questions

I agree Marla, if they are smaller, they are either way to pricey or are restored museum pieces.

I will use the 6330, it is a new style Deere, my brother hooked up a two bottom plow to it to work their garden (20 by 25)

Jay


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RE: Winter squash questions

We were given a 2-bottom plow to use, and except for taking forever, it has worked great.

Marla


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RE: Winter squash questions

LOL!!! sry i just find that funny a tractor that big pulling a 2 bottom polw, just dosent seem right to me...

i think i have a lawn mower that can pull a 2 bottom plow...


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RE: Winter squash questions

Our tractors are 45-50 horsepower, but unless you have sandy soil, I'm not sure you could use the 2-bottom 14s with your lawn mower. LOL. It does sound funny. Our tractors can pull 3bottoms, but we were given the 2bottom to use for free.

Marla


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RE: Winter squash questions

lol all good, we use the 3 or the 4 bottom plow with 18" Mow-Boards. we try to plow abought 10 to 12 inches deep for potatoes...
we have no sandy soil here just lots of slate and rock witch makes for a fun day of plowing. i am so glad we are not still doing 200 arces of potatoes. we down sized to just 20 arces of potatoes and got into growing other stuff
i think i spend more time picking rocks then plowing, at least thats what my back tells me..


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RE: Winter squash questions

My fields have had generations of the family picking up rocks. We still are finding some, luckily not near as many as when I was a child.

Marla


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RE: Winter squash questions

I plant my winter squash and pumkins in a feield I planted the fall before with annual rye grass. I mow it down and till just strips were i put my soaker hoses and I direct seed a long the the hose line.The pumkins and winter squash grow over to the rye which dies out in the heat and keeps the fruits off the dirt.


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RE: Winter squash questions

I agree with the black plastic. It doesn't cost that much and no weeds, plenty of water and nice warm soil!
For bulk try AM Leonards.


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