When to Plant Squash in Tennessee

Plant your squash in Tennessee and reap the benefits! The rich, fertile soil in the state makes for perfect conditions for growing squash. When a farmer plants squash, it is almost guaranteed that they will start to harvest their crop within just two months.

When to plant squash in Tennessee?

when to plant squash in Tennessee

If you are looking to plant squash in Tennessee, you should probably know that the best time to plant squash is between November 1st and February 15th. In particular, spring is the ideal season to plant squash in Tennessee.

That is because squash plants cannot handle chilly temperatures like the weather in late autumn or winter, so you should plan on planting them before spring arrives. If you want to start your seeds sooner, make sure that the temperature remains above 55 degrees Fahrenheit during its germination period.

Squash plants are most vulnerable to cool weather when they are young. They are slow to develop in their first year and can only tolerate temperatures that fall into the low 60s.

Cool air may cause the stems of young squash plants to turn brown and die, so you should try to keep them warm on cold nights throughout their first summer by using row covers or some other type of crop cover. Row covers help keep cold air out and retain heat from the sun if you place them over your bed early in the morning.

How to plant the squash

when to plant squash in Tennessee

Squash seeds should be planted at least 1 inch deep and ideally 2-3 inches, depending on their size and preferred location. Cover plants with 1/4 inch of loose soil, then lay down a blanket or small tarp to keep them moist for germination for about two weeks. Remember to cover seedlings when it gets cold!

Keep the soil moist as you monitor the seedlings’ growth over time, but do not overwater or allow standing water. That will help encourage root growth and prevent fungal diseases. If a disease gets a foothold in your garden, it could spread quickly and ruin the crop.

It is recommended to use well-draining potting soil or raised beds with good organic matter mixed in at an inch layer below the surface. Raised beds provide excellent drainage and add more organic matter as it decomposes below the surface over time.

When the plants have grown to around 3-4 inches tall, you can transplant them into your beds. They will need 1-2 weeks to become established before being planted.

Once planted in their final location, cover plants with 1-2 inches of soil on top of the seedling (planting through the holes in the blanket or tarp with your fingers). You should leave 1-2 inches of space between plants for proper air circulation and help prevent root competition.

Trim any remaining foliage and keep the soil moist. Squash will not thrive in Tennessee if temperatures are below 50F, so you will need to water daily or every other day to prevent the soil from becoming too dry or freezing.

How to take care of the squash

Fertilizer requirements when planting squash:

Keep your soil acidic with compost and mulch close by, as these provide nutrients that help squash grow well.

When planting seeds nearer the center of your patch, use nitrogen-rich fertilizer such as bone meal or blood meal; spread nitrogen-rich topdressing over heavy weeds and grass around the patch.

Fertilize with ammonium nitrate and potassium sulfate while the plant is still young, as this will help promote healthy growth.

Use phosphorus-rich fertilizer such as colloidal phosphate or rock phosphate before maturity, as this helps support root growth and fruit production.

Dolomitic limestone helps achieve optimum pH levels in the soil, ensuring that nutrients are absorbed entirely by the plants.


The first thing to remember is that squash plants need six hours of direct sunlight daily. If your garden does not provide this much sun, try raising the stakes of your plants by placing boards or bricks under the pot and adding soil on top. But note that squash plants need their roots to be well-drained.

Use garden soil rather than topsoil for growing squash since the latter is heavy and does not allow the water to flow through easily. Of course, you can grow squash in containers if you prefer this way or on a raised bed.

While growing squash in containers is convenient, make sure not to encroach too much on the area of your soil where other vegetables are grown, or else your plants will have a hard time getting enough sunlight.


Squash plants are sensitive to freezing weather and cold soil temperatures, so early-season planting is advised in Tennessee. An excellent time to plant most squash varieties is when the average daytime temperature goes above 60 degrees Fahrenheit for two weeks straight.

If you wait until the evenings start cooling off, your squash will be more susceptible to damage from frost. Squash planted in warm soil will have a head start on cold-weather squash varieties, and you can plant your summer squash in the same place where your winter squash grew the year before.

Once your squash starts producing fruit, you should take steps to protect its fruit and leaves from damage due to frosty weather. It is best to use plastic or some other crop cover over the plants before the first frost because this will keep the soil from freezing. You can also plant new winter squash directly into your garden in early spring, but wait until it gets warm enough for the temperatures to reach 60 degrees or higher before you harvest them.