My neighbour has grown squash for the first time this season. After wanting to grow her own vegetables for years, I suggested an easy starter plant, the summer Squash. Squash are North American natives and are easy to grow.
As the growing season progressed, her plants have grown well, but her first timer joy turned to sorrow when she saw the squash had bumps on its skin and she asked, "what happened to my yellow squash with bumps on skin?"
Summer Crookneck Squash
I reassured her that many varieties of squash have bumpy skin although summer squash do tend to have softer, smoother skins than a winter squash. The yellow crookneck squash tends to be smooth-skinned, but it can develop bumps.
The crookneck squash will grow 8 to 10 inches long with pale meaty flesh that has a slightly sweet flavour. Squashes are a versatile, sustaining food that are used in soups and stews and are delicious roasted and steamed.
It’s important to harvest the yellow crookneck squash before it’s fully grown as their skins are still soft and they taste better. The longer they are left to grow, the tougher their skin becomes and this is when they develop bumps on their skin.
Here’s a video to show the early growth of a yellow crookneck squash:
How Do I Grow Healthy Crookneck Squash?
Squash grow on sprawling vines and need plenty of space and full sun. Because they tend to put down shallow roots, they need a daily supply of water to maintain their health and to allow the fruit to grow.
My neighbour grew her squash from seed and I have included links for purchasing squash seed at the end of this blog. Squash seed can be started off indoors or you can sow the seeds directly outdoors.
Seeds take between 5 – 10 days to germinate depending upon the warmth of the soil and the moisture available. Take care not to overwater at this stage. The soil needs to be lightly moist but not wet.
Once your young plant is outside growing, ensure it has space, water and sun. It is good practice to apply a mulch around the squash plant to prevent the sun from drying the soil and to maintain soil warmth. Mulching also keeps weeds at bay.
So Why Does My Yellow Squash Have Bumps on Skin?
Squash do naturally grow bumps on their skin, which looks unappealing but the bumps don’t affect taste or quality. Squash belong to the same family of plants as cucumbers, pumpkins and melons and can be susceptible to disease.
There are some common problems that can cause the yellow crookneck squash to have bumpy skin. You may have excess calcium in your soil or some problem insects, and there are aphids which carry disease.
If you get a serious attack of aphids, prune out affected stems and remove the debris off site, or a strong blast of water will knock them off the plant. It’s important each plant has plenty of space to grow so a healthy flow of air can pass through the plants.
How Can I Prevent Problems and Grow Healthy Squash?
An excellent start would be to purchase disease resistant seeds and then grow squash in the healthiest conditions you can. Don’t overwater, keep weeds at bay, and, maintain soil health through rotating crops.
Remember too that, squash are thirsty plants and if its warm, fast growers too. Visit plants daily to see how the squash are growing. Pick yellow squash before they mature as the older they get, the more bumps they’ll grow.
So, the bumps on the skin of your yellow squash are natural. Pick the squash when young and don’t leave them to become old and ‘woody’. They are ready to eat when you can still make an indent in the flesh with your nail. Here’s a video to show you when to harvest your squash.
So, remember, bumps do not mean that you have grown an unhealthy plant. Buy the best seeds you can and create amazing growing conditions and you’ll have an endless crop of squash.
Two varieties of crookneck yellow squash seeds for you to buy:
So, I hope you liked my blog post about yellow squash with bumps on skin. Please comment below if you would like to add to the discussion and maybe if you have a great variety of yellow squash you have grown successfully, then please tell us. Also remember to share this with your family and friends to help them enjoy their yellow squash.