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CUCURBITA pepo 'Yellow Crookneck'

Image of Cucurbita pepo 'Yellow Crookneck'

Family

Cucurbitaceae

Botanical Name

CUCURBITA pepo 'Yellow Crookneck'

Plant Common Name

Summer Squash, Yellow Crookneck Summer Squash

General Description

Cultivated for centuries by native populations of North America, summer squash ‘Yellow Crookneck’ remains a popular favorite in the United States. The bumpy, bottle-shaped fruits of this classic heirloom are bent at the neck, and have glossy, golden-yellow skin surrounding firm, delicious, buttery flesh. They are best picked and eaten when very young and tender, and are ready for harvest approximately 65 days from sowing.

Like many summer squash, ‘Yellow Crookneck’ is a member of the New World species Cucurbita pepo. These warm season, annual vines are monoecious, meaning single plants bear separate male and female flowers. The large, yellow, funnel shaped male blossoms are generally produced first, followed by the fruit-producing female flowers, which are distinguished by bulbous ovaries at the bases. Following pollination by bees, these develop into fruits, which are often obscured by the plant’s large, coarse, heart-shaped or deeply lobed foliage.

Plant squash seeds in full sun and deep, rich, well-drained loam when the soil has warmed and all danger of frost has passed. Regular water is essential, but the plants will not tolerate soggy conditions or wet feet. Where drainage is not optimal, it is advisable to plant them in raised mounds of fertile, porous soil. Vining types can be trellised if space is limited. Watch closely for squash bugs, cucumber beetles and vine borers at the base of the stems. Older plants are often susceptible to powdery mildew. Yearly crop rotation and removal of dead plant debris at the end of the growing season can help to minimize insect and disease problems.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Vegetable

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m (2)

  • Width

    3'-30' / 0.9m - 9.1m (20)

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    North America, Mexico, Central America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Cushion/Mound-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Orange

  • Fruit Color

    Yellow

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Edible, Herb / Vegetable, Vine

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes