Early Summer Crookneck Summer Squash seeds

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Early Summer Crookneck Zucchini
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Early Summer Crookneck Summer Squash seeds

 

It belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae, genus Cucurbita and species C. moschata. The Scientific name is Cucurbita pepo. It is also known as yellow squash. Its synonyms are Cucurbita colombiana (Zhit) Bulasov, Cucurbita hippopera Ser, Cucurbita macrocarpa Gsp, Cucurbita melonoformis carrier, Cucurbita pepo var. moschata Duchesne, Gymnopetalum calyculatum Miq and pepo moschata (Duchesne) Brittoon.

It is native to Northern South America and Central America but has been widely grown throughout the world. It is one of the earliest plants that were domesticated in Mexico. The seeds are sown in warm soil during the sunny season. It requires soil that is fertile and well drained. The plant does not tolerate extreme cold and should, therefore, be planted in a warm area. Mulching is required is necessary to conserve water and reduce weeds. If the seed is required squash must be left to grow to maturity and be left for 3 0r 4 more weeks for the seed to ripen. The fruit is then cut open and the seeds scraped out and then fermented in water for 2 to 4 days. The floaters are then poured out and the seeds washed and dried thoroughly.

The plant has bright yellow bumpy skin. Has a yellow flesh which is very delicious. The stem has a crooked neck and is hairy. The summer squash is very perishable. They take 53 days to mature. The fruit has a size of 5 – 6 inches. The flesh is mild flavour and has high water content. It can be cooked easily. The plant grows to a height of 24 – 30 inches. The rots are shallow and therefore need mulching to help keep the moisture. The plant is monoeciuos meaning one plant has both male and female flowers. Pollination is carried out by the bees. The plant has green leaves. They are best harvested when immature because the skin toughens and the quality reduces as the squash grows to maturity. The plant is bushy, unlike the winter squash plants that spread. This plant is the same as c. pepo variety C. pepovar. Ovifera. It is not edible and should not be confused with other similar varieties.

The plant is eaten as a vegetable although it is a fruit. The fruit is rich in vitamin C, Vitamin A and niacin and can be eaten cooked or raw. The other parts of the plant are also edible. Vegetable oil can be extracted from the seeds. The squash is used in Moche ceramics. 

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