If you planted squash in your garden this year, you may not have any fruit\non the plants just yet. In that case, you may be wondering when your squash\nplants will produce fruit, and if there is anything you should do to help them\nalong.\n\n\n\nSo, when does a squash plant produce fruit? \nA summer squash plant produces\nfruit in the summer, 40 to 60 days after planting and 3 to 7 days after a flower\nis pollinated. A winter squash plant\nproduces fruit in the fall, 80 to 120 days after planting and 60 to 90 days\nafter a flower is pollinated. Squash\nplants will continue to grow until they are killed by cold and frost.\n\n\n\nOf course, depending on the variety of squash plant you choose, it may take\na longer time for your plant to begin producing fruit. Other factors such\nas improper pruning, over fertilization, and environmental conditions can all\ndelay the growth of fruit on your squash plant. Let\u2019s take a closer look\nat squash plants, when they bear fruit, and the factors that can affect your\nharvest.\n\n\n\nWhen Do Squash Plants Produce Fruit?\n\n\n\nDepending on the variety, a summer squash plant can produce\nfruit 40 to 60 days after planting. \nFruit will usually appear 3 to 7 days after a flower is pollinated.\n\n\n\nA winter squash plant can produce fruit 80 to 120 days after\nplanting. Fruit will usually appear 60\nto 90 days after a flower is pollinated.\n\n\n\nWinter squash take much longer to mature than summer squash.\n\n\n\nFor more information, check out this article from Michigan State University on when vegetables are ready to harvest.\n\n\n\nYou should harvest a summer squash when it is 6 to 8 inches\nlong, with a diameter of 2 inches or less. \nFor a scallop (Patty Pan) squash, you should harvest when the diameter\nis 3 to 4 inches. If you wait any longer,\nthe skin will become tough and the flesh will become bitter.\n\n\n\nFor more information on summer squash, check out this article on squash from the University of Illinois Extension.\n\n\n\nYou can also check out this article from the Utah State University Extension on summer and winter squash.\n\n\n\nRemember that transplanted squash plants often get\ndamaged. If you do decide to transplant,\nbe very careful not to disturb or damage the root system.\n\n\n\nA better option is to sow squash from seed directly into\nyour garden. You should wait until the\nsoil temperature is 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (16 to 21 degrees Celsius)\nbefore planting.\n\n\n\nYou should also wait until the last danger of frost has passed in your area. To look up frost dates in your area, check out this frost date calculator from the Old Farmer\u2019s Almanac.\n\n\n\nPlant your seeds to a depth of about a half of an inch. Your seeds should germinate in 7 to 10 days if the soil is warm and moist enough.\n\n\n\nFor more information, check out my article on how long squash seeds take to germinate, and how to speed it up.\n\n\n\nAfter germination, you should thin the plants so that they are 8 to 12 inches apart. For more information, check out this article on growing squash from the University of Minnesota Extension.\n\n\n\nHow Much Fruit Does A Squash Plant Produce?\n\n\n\nSquash plants are known to be very generous producers of\nfruit. A single plant should produce at\nleast 6 to 12 squash in a season. Some\npeople report harvests of up to 40 squash on a single plant!\n\n\n\nThis plant is producing lots of zucchini squash.\n\n\n\nOf course, the harvest will depend on the variety of squash\nyou choose to sow and the quality of care you give your plants.\n\n\n\nThe fruit on a summer squash plant is yellow or green with white flesh. The fruit on winter squash is tan with orange flesh.\n\n\n\nOnce the fruit is mature, be sure to harvest and use immediately. If any fruit gets too ripe, pull it off so the plant can use its energy to produce new fruit.\n\n\n\nDo Squash Plants Die After Harvest?\n\n\n\nMost squash plants do not die after fruiting. Instead, they can\nsurvive until cold and frost in the fall kill them off.\n\n\n\nAccording to Michigan State University, \u201cSummer squash\nplants produce fruit until they are killed by frost, but production drops after\nabout 4 weeks. Fruit develop rapidly and fields should be harvested every 2 or\n3 days. Remove all fruit of usable size at each harvest. Fruit left on the\nplant will reduce the subsequent set of other fruit.\u201d\n\n\n\nFor more information, check out this article on growing squash from the University of Michigan Extension.\n\n\n\nWhat Kind Of Squash Plant Should I Get?\n\n\n\nThere are both summer and winter varieties of squash to consider. In\naddition, you can choose squash plants that have a shorter height and smaller\nwidth. This is ideal if you want to grow them in containers, either\nindoors or outdoors.\n\n\n\nSpaghetti squash are one type of squash you can try to grow.\n\n\n\nBefore choosing squash plants, you should also consider the length of your\ngrowing season and the time to maturity for the squash plants you choose. Remember that winter squash take much longer\nto mature than summer squash.\n\n\n\nHere are some squash varieties from Burpee that you can try \u2013 the first\nthree are summer squash, and the last three are winter squash.\n\n\n\nBurpee\u2019s Best Hybrid Squash \u2013 this squash plant produces green fruit (7-8 inches long) that matures in 40 days. This variety grows to a height of 28 to 30 inches. For more information, check out the Burpee\u2019s Best Hybrid Squash on the Burpee website.Saffron Summer Squash \u2013 this squash plant produces yellow fruit (7-8 inches long) that matures in 50 to 55 days. This variety grows to a height of 24 to 30 inches. For more information, check out the Saffron Summer Squash on the Burpee website.Golden Egg Hybrid Summer Squash \u2013 this squash plant produces golden yellow fruit (4 inches long) that matures in 41 days. This variety grows to a height of 26 inches. For more information, check out the Golden Egg Hybrid Summer Squash on the Burpee website. Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato Squash \u2013 this squash plant produces tan fruit (7 to 8 inches long) that matures in 85 to 90 days. This variety grows to a height of 10 to 12 inches. For more information, check out the Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato Squash on the Burpee website.Waltham Butternut Winter Squash \u2013 this squash plant produces tan fruit (12 to 15 inches long) that matures in 85 days. This variety grows to a height of 10 to 12 inches. For more information, check out the Waltham Butternut Winter Squash on the Burpee website.Vegetable Spaghetti Winter Squash \u2013 this squash plant produces yellow fruit (15 to 18 inches long) that matures in 100 days. This variety grows to a height of 10 to 12 inches. For more information, check out the Vegetable Spaghetti Winter Squash on the Burpee website.\n\n\n\nDo You Need Two Squash Plants To Produce Fruit?\n\n\n\nNo, you do not need two squash plants to produce fruit. However, having more squash plants increases\nthe chances of pollination. This is\nimportant if your garden is lacking bees due to chemical or pesticide use by\nnearby businesses, farms, or neighbors.\n\n\n\nA squash plant is monoecious, meaning that it has separate male\nand female flowers on the same plant. \nOften, the male flowers will show up on the plant a week or two before\nthe female flowers.\n\n\n\nEventually, the male flowers will drop off the plant \u2013 if this\nhappens, don\u2019t be alarmed! Your plant\nshould continue producing male flowers, along with female flowers, unless\ntemperatures are too cold.\n\n\n\nSquash plants are monoecious, meaning they have both male and female flowers. However, they still need bees to help them pollinate and produce fruit!\n\n\n\nIf you don\u2019t have any bees, you can pluck off a male flower from the plant and use it to pollinate female flowers. For more information, check out this article on squash pollination from the Iowa State University Extension.\n\n\n\nWhat Other Factors Can Affect Fruit On Squash Plants?\n\n\n\nThe quality of care that you give your squash plants will help to determine\nhow much fruit you get each year. Some of the most important factors are\ntemperature, watering, fertilizing, and pruning.\n\n\n\nTemperature\n\n\n\nEarly fall frosts or late spring frosts can spell death for both young and\nmature squash plants. Soil temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16\ndegrees Celsius) early in the season may delay germination of squash seeds.\n\n\n\nIf you already planted squash seeds outside and a frost is threatening your plants, check out my article on how to protect plants from cold and frost.\n\n\n\nWatering\n\n\n\nAvoid letting the soil stay dry for too long. If you find that you have a problem with dry soil, check out my article on how to treat dry soil.\n\n\n\nAvoid both over watering and under watering your squash plants!\n\n\n\nOn the other hand, over watering your squash plants can lead to root rot and\neventual death. Since squash vines grow\nalong the ground, moist soil also poses the threat of rotten vines and leaves,\nalong with disease from the soil.\n\n\n\nThe best way to decide when to water is to feel the soil with your fingers. If the soil feels dry 2 or 3 inches below the\nsurface, then go ahead and water.\n\n\n\nFor more information, check out my article on over watering your plants.\n\n\n\nTry to water early in the morning, rather than at night, to allow water to\nsoak into the soil. Avoid getting the leaves wet to prevent rot, mold,\nand diseases.\n\n\n\nFertilizing\n\n\n\nBefore you sow squash seeds in your garden, add some compost to your\nsoil. It will provide organic material and nutrients for your plants as\nthey grow. The best part is that you can make compost yourself from\nordinary yard and kitchen waste!\n\n\n\nCompost is a great way to add both organic material and nutrients to your soil!\n\n\n\nFor more information, check out my article on how to make compost.\n\n\n\nIt may be necessary to use fertilizers as a supplement to compost, in order\nto provide extra nutrients if your soil is lacking. The best way to tell if you\nneed fertilizer is with a soil test.\n\n\n\nFor more information, check out my article on soil testing.\n\n\n\n Finally, remember that it is possible\nto harm or kill your squash plants by over fertilizing them. For example,\ntoo much nitrogen can prevent your squash plant from producing any fruit.\n\n\n\nFor more information, check out my article on over fertilizing and my article on low-nitrogen fertilizers.\n\n\n\nPruning\n\n\n\nSome gardeners choose to pull off some of the flowers on a squash plant. This allows the plant to conserve energy so\nit can spread out its production of fruit over a longer time period.\n\n\n\nIf you are growing squash indoors, pruning can help to keep the plant\nmanageable and within the confines of its container.\n\n\n\nConclusion\n\n\n\nBy now, you have a much better idea of when your squash plant will produce\nfruit. You also know a bit more about how to take care of squash plants\nand how to avoid the problems that can affect your harvest.\n\n\n\nI hope you found this article helpful \u2013 if so, please share it with someone\nwho can use the information. If you have any questions or advice about squash\nplants, please leave a comment below.