Grow your own Gem Squash
Did you know that the humble gem squash is unique to South Africa? In fact, South Africans in other countries all over the world have taken to ordering seeds of this vegetable so that they can grow them in their new home countries. Gem squash are easy to grow, but do require some patience as the growing season lasts 70-90 days. This benefit of this autumn vegetable is that it will keep for months if stored in a cool, dark place.
Planting tips :
- Choose your location wisely as gem squash need a lot of space to grow. They send out long vines and will take over your vegetable patch if you allow them to.
- Sow gem squash in a sunny spot in rich, well-drained soil. For best results add some compost to the soil before sowing for best results.
- Sow the seeds in rows 1m apart. Keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged as this will cause the seeds to rot.
- Mulching is not necessary as the large leaves of the squash plant provide similar protection from moisture loss.
When to harvest :
- Squash should be harvested in early autumn..
- The fruit is ripe and ready to be picked when the skin is too hard to pierce with your fingernails.
- Wipe them clean and store them in a cool, dark place for up to three months.