Growing Scallop Sunburst Squash in the Home Garden

I’ve always loved summer squash and didn’t much care which kind I grew – until I tried growing scallop sunburst. These delightful little summer squash are sweet and nutty and bursting with flavor. But that’s not the only easy I grow them. Scallop sunburst squash is simply gorgeous with its scalloped edges and bright yellow skin.

Location: Select a location with rich well-drained soil that receives six to eight hours of direct sunlight a day. Areas that are slightly raised work best as the prevent pooling of water during summer storms.

Soil: Turn the soil to a depth of eight to 10 inches with garden tools or a garden tiller. Remove any roots, rocks and other debris from the soil and rake it smooth with a garden rate. Amend with two to three inches of compost or aged manure to improve drainage, promote good aeration and provide vital nutrients.

Fertilizer: Apply starter fertilizer by working 5-10-10 or 10-10-10 fertilizer into the top six inches of the soil, following the recommended application rate on the bag. Mix the granules in well, as contact with seeds or young roots will cause damage.

Planting: Plant scallop sunburst summer squash in the spring once the soil has warmed to 55 degrees F and all danger of frost has passed. Seeds germinate slowly in cool soil and may not germinate at all if the soil is too wet. Sow the seeds to a depth of ½ to 1 inch, spaced six to eight inches apart in rows spaced 26 inches apart. Thin seedlings to 18 to 24 inches apart in rows when they are two to three inches tall.

Watering: Keep the soil moist until seedlings emerge in seven to 10 days depending on the soil temperature and weather conditions. Reduce watering to once a week or whenever the soil feels dry one inch below the surface. Deep watering once a week is preferred to frequent light waterings as it encourages a strong root system.

Mulching: Mulch around the base of the plants to prevent weeds and conserve moisture. Grass clipping or hay works well, but landscape fabric can be used if preferred.

Harvesting: Harvest these delicious fruits when they are two to four inches in diameter for best flavor. At this stage, skins are tender and the flesh is crisp and nutty. As the squash mature, the skin toughens and seed enlarge.

Serving: Serve scallop sunburst squash raw for a tasty snack or use in a recipe that calls for summer squash. For a special treat, slice off the top and remove the insides. Fill with sauteed veggies and cheese and bake in the oven until soft.

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