Single Packet of 200 Seeds
Having a slightly tapered neck, the Early Prolific Straightneck Squash matures in just 50 days of planting. In 1938, the All American Selections, which is a non-profit organization, selected this plant as the winner for being easy to grow but still maintaining high quality. It resembles the Yellow crookedneck squash but without the curve in its neck. If harvested frequently, it will produce new squashes for weeks, making it a perfect plant for those who love to cook what they plant. If fruits are left on the vine for too long, this will send a message to the plant that it has produced enough, and it stops.
Believed to have been an offspring of the yellow crookneck squash, DNA testing has proven that it came about as a result of an out-crossing of a cultivator of the crookneck group with a cultivator of the acorn group. It grows to a height of 12 to 24 inches, with a size of about 1-3 pounds, depending upon the environment and other conditions. Its growth habit is a bushy vine, with its small yellow flowers attracting bees, butterflies and certain types of birds.
Its pale yellow or whitish skin may be pebbled with bumps, but can also be smooth. In order to preserve its great taste, one should harvest it when it reaches five to six inches in length. Harvesting the Early Prolific Straightneck Squash early is also acceptable. It has a classical flavor that comes with summer squashes, with a mild black pepper and nutty flavor when cooked.
Though this plant is in season year-round, its peak season is during the summer months. It is a part of the Cucurbita Pepo family that is predominately grown and used in cooking in North America. Due to its straight neck, the Early Prolific Straightneck Squash is mostly preferred over the crooked-necked squash by commercial sellers. This is because the crookedneck squash has a tendency to break during shipping.
Sowing the Seeds
Squash seeds aren't too fond of being transplanted and are best sown directly in the garden, after all danger of frost has passed. Begin by clearing your sowing area of all unwanted plant life and other obnoxious weeds that you find. Sow the seeds at a depth of 1" under topsoil, on hills which are raised 8 inches tall. Check below for additional information on spacing and growth habits.
Squash plants will enjoy the heat of summer and thrive in temperatures that are above 65F. Since Squash is a heavy feeder, the soil should be rich in organic matter, but will also need to be well drained. To improve drainage, it is recommended to add a light compost to any hard, compacted soil in the sowing area. This will prevent the roots from rotting. Water the seeds daily with a mild setting so that they are kept moist until germination occurs. Avoid overwatering.
Germination & Growth
Squash seeds will begin to sprout open in roughly 7 to 14 days after sowing. The plants will grow to a mature height of 1 to 2 feet tall and can take up 2 to 3 feet of garden space. These plants form a bush like growth and can be spaced by hills or mounds of dirt, rather than rows. As explained above mounds should be 18 to 24 inches wide and at least 8 inches tall. Space each mound at least 3 to 4 feet apart from one another. When sprouts become visible, direct the vines outwards towards areas that do not contain other plant life.