The Q&A Archives: Opo Squash

Question: I recently got some Opo squash seeds from my friend and i want to learn how to grow the seeds. I live in northeast Ohio.

Answer: Opo squash is also called Pul Qua, Long Melon, and Bottle Gourd.

Originating from the tropical areas of Southeast Asia, this Oriental Squash is sometimes referred to as a melon. Actually a variety of squash from the cucumber family, Opo Squash is popular in Oriental cuisine. Similar to more familiar types of squash, Opo Squash can often be used in much the same way. A long, thin squash with smooth skin, Opo Squash resembles a large zucchini that is yellow-green in color.

Squash crops require more space than other garden vegetables, so it's a good idea to plan their location in advance. Plant the seeds in the spring, after the soil warms, and pick a site that gets full sun and has well-drained soil. Leave them plenty of room, or they will overrun less vigorous vegetables. Sow summer squash seeds in widely spaced hills or rows, three or four feet apart. Winter squashes can be sown in rows six to ten feet apart.

Squash prefers a soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.8. Because this vegetable has such a long growing season, be sure to provide sufficient nutrients for continuing growth. Fertilize with lots of organic materials like well-rotted manure or compost. A side dressing of soluble fertilizer towards the middle of the season, just before vines start to run, will help keep winter squash production going.

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