Squash are some of the oldest crops. There is evidence that the vegetables were grown in Mexico over 10,000 years ago. They were most likely used as containers and utensils because of their hard outer layer. See more facts below.
- The U.S. imports more squash than any other country. On average, about 300,000 MT is imported each year. In 2016, imports were valued at $384 million.
- Over 90% of the vegetable is imported into the U.S. comes from Mexico.
- In 2016 37,400 acres were planted and 36,300 acres of that was harvested.
- California is the number one state in squash production followed by Florida, Georgia, and Michigan.
- The majority of these vegetables grow on vines.
- The vegetable can grow on a variety of soil types, but they must be in well-drained soil.
- One acre could yield about 10,800 – 11,000 squash, which could last you close to 30 years if you ate one a day.
- They require ample water to produce well. About 1 inch of water is need each week during production. Sandy soils may need more.
- Winter squash grows late and has hard, thick rind, with usually a dense orange or yellow flesh.
- Winter varieties grown in the U.S. include types of pumpkins, butternut, acorn, spaghetti, buttercup and Hubbard.
- It takes winter squash about 80 – 120 days to mature after being panted, depending on the type, soil, and location.
- Summer squash is small, fast growing and usually consumed while the fruit is immature.
- Summer varieties grown in the U.S. include zucchini, yellow and scallop.
- It takes summer varieties about 45 – 60 days to mature after being panted, depending on the type, soil, and location.
- The word squash comes from the Algonquin word “askutasquash”, which means “eaten raw”.
Agricultural Marketing Resource Center
State of New Jersey Department of Agriculture
University of Georgia Extension
Michigan State University Extension
Library of Congress Everyday Mysteries