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July 19, 2014

KC Gardens: Has the time to reap summer squash arrived?

Generally, the long varieties of summer squash should be harvested at 6 to 8 inches long, or 2 inches in diameter. Expect to pick them frequently through the season.

How do you know when it is time to harvest summer squash? — Marilyn

Summer squash should be harvested when they are still immature, which is before the skin and seeds have toughened. Leaving them on the plant too long will sap the strength of the mother plant, and more importantly the fruit will be tough. Generally the long varieties should be harvested at 6 to 8 inches long, or 2 inches in diameter.

Patty pan types should be harvested at about 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Summer squash develop quickly, so frequent picking will be in order. — Carole Brandt, Johnson County Extension master gardener

To read more on this topic or to get your gardening questions answered on The Star’s KC Gardens blog by Carole Brandt and other extension experts, go to KCGardens.KansasCity.com.

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