Squash and Scallop
A very early and extremely high-yielding squash hybrid. Plant type is a compact.
Botanical and biological features
Squash (Cucurbita pepo, var. giraumontia Duch., the Cucurbitaceae family) belongs to the hard-rind pumpkin species. It is an annual herbaceous plant with a well developed root system.
The squash hybrids represented here fall into the zucchini type. This variety of squash differs from regular squash by a compact and more vigorous bush, large five-lobed leaves with petioles sparsely covered with hairs, higher numbers of female flowers, exceptional earliness and high yield potential. The fruit are elongated or with a slight crook, light to dark green, striped or golden yellow in color, with excellent flavor and dietary qualities.
Germination occurs at 8–10˚С. The optimum growth temperature is 22–27˚С. Under favorable conditions, seedlings emerge 7 days after sowing. At temperatures 10–12˚С, the growth is retarded and the plant is stunted. The squash is moderately tolerant to cold. It withstands short periods of temperature drop down to 5˚С but is intolerant of frost.
The squash is a short-rain crop but it only gives high yields when timely irrigated. It requires fertile, readily warmed up soils and is tolerant of moderate soil salinity.
The squash responds very well to organic fertilizers applied in combination with mineral fertilizers. Phosphorus availability is of great importance at early stages of crop growth.
In crop rotation, the squash is normally preceded by potatoes, cabbage, onions, root crops, legumes or herbaceous crops. Sowing takes place when the soil at the seeding depth (4–6 cm) has warmed up to 8–10˚С and there is no risk of frost. The planting pattern is 150–200 х 60–70 cm. The seeding rate is 2–3 g per 10 m2 (2–3 kg/ha).
With autumn plowing, organic fertilizers are applied at a rate of 40–60 kg per 10 m2 (40–60 ton/ha) in combination with nitroammophoska given at a rate of 400–500 g per 10 m2 (N 60–80, P2O5 60–80, K2O 60–80 kg of active substance per hectare). During the growing season, 2 to 3 supplemental applications of ammonium nitrate are made at a rate of 300–400 g per 10 m2 (N 100–130 kg of active substance per hectare). The fertilizer application rates are adjusted according to the soil nutrient status.
The recommended number of irrigations is 5–10, the amount of water per irrigation being 300–350 l per 10 m2 (300–350 m3/ha). Combining drip irrigation with application of water-soluble fertilizers through the drip irrigation system (fertigation) is a highly efficient technique resulting in a more uniform moisture and fertilizer distribution in the root zone, more efficient water use, less soil compaction, and no soil crust formed. Readily soluble mineral fertilizers are given with each water application.
Earlier plantings under plastic cover are used where very early harvest is desired.
Major pests: cotton aphid, thrips and spider mite. The insecticide sprays Bi-58, Zolone, Sherpa, Fury and Fastac can be used to control cotton aphids and thrips. Effective control of the spider mite can be achieved with insectoacaricides such as Kelthane, Neoron, Danitol, etc.
The fungicide sprays Previcur 607 SL, Cuproxat, Ridomil MC and others are made every 12-14 days to combat diseases such as Downy mildew, Anthracnose and Bacteriosis. Powdery mildew can be held under control by using Bayleton, Topsin M and sulfur preparations.