Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Crookneck Squash, Summer Squash
Cucurbita pepo 'Summer Yellow Crookneck'

Family: Cucurbitaceae (koo-ker-bih-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cucurbita (koo-KER-bih-ta) (Info)
Species: pepo (PEP-oh) (Info)
Cultivar: Summer Yellow Crookneck
Additional cultivar information: (aka Summer Crookneck, Early Golden Summer Crookneck, Early Summer Crookneck)

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2 vendors have this plant for sale.

20 members have or want this plant for trade.

Crookneck (summer)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

Days to Maturity:
41 to 50 days

Mature Skin Color:

Less than 1 pound (0.5 kg)
2 to 3 pounds (1 to 2 kg)


Disease Resistance:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Type:
Open Pollinated

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 19 photos.
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13 positives
5 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral dee5407 On May 19, 2014, dee5407 from Waterford, CA wrote:

This is the first year I have grown this kind of squash.. The fruits are setting they get almost ready to harvest, then they seem to shrivel up. I amended my soil with 15% chicken manure before transplanting and have added a long term release fertilizer and water regularly with drip irrigation. Should I just wait and see.. Or has anyone got a tip or two they would like to share?

Positive lssfishhunter On Feb 10, 2013, lssfishhunter from Jonesville, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

I really like the flavor of this variety. It is very popular around these parts. They produce well but it seems that the Early Prolific Straightneck produces a tad better when the weather gets really hot.

Positive gousa On Jun 5, 2012, gousa from Newkirk, OK wrote:

I am looking for an OP Crookneck Squash that is not as warty as most, lighter color and a smaller vine. (On the internet), it looks as though most of the varieties have been lumped together such as yellow, golden, early, etc. There is a difference in how long the squash stays smooth before getting hard and also the flavor. The more compact vine is great, too.
I have been told that since this plant has been around for so long that it probably has been renamed by seed growers and has also adapted to various conditions which has changed its characteristics. It may have to be genetically tested to find the variety that I am looking for. Can you help me?

Positive mullet22 On Apr 7, 2012, mullet22 from Homosassa, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Container gardening only plant per 5 gallon buckets..the best flavor fried or stewed with onion...the vine borers are quite a problem...nice to find an easier method of killing them off. Not a garden to me without crook neck squash!!!

Positive GSF On Sep 20, 2011, GSF from Deatsville, AL wrote:

This season I've had very good luck with the yellow crookneck. I'm in Central Alabama. Of course I've had to use the waterhose quite a bit for any success.

I had a spring planting and a late summer planting. The spring planting harvest smoked the late summer one. With the spring one I had to wrestle with the drought, cold, & heat. Although I did have a great harvest. We put up over a hundred and something quart jars.

Now the summer harvest is a different story. I too had insect problems along with the heat and drought. In addition I have more cases of the mosiac virus as well. I believe the heat does a lot of damage to this plant irregardless of how much you water it. I had more siamese twin squash, more quick plant deaths.

Of course in the late summer the insects have done had quite a few generations of reproducing. My biggest threat came from stink bugs, there were others but the stink bugs were everywhere. When I'd spray one area I'd find them elsewhere in a couple of days. Permethrin was the main ingrediant at 10%. I believe the wait time was 3 days after you sprayed.

This squash is very good tasting. When you're pressure canning you can afford to let the fruit get fairly big. Once it goes through the pressure canner it becomes soft anyway.

Positive prairiemom On Sep 12, 2011, prairiemom from Huron, SD wrote:

If you become tired of just plain summer squash (most of us don't), try slicing a small onion into the bottom of the pan with a bit of butter, heat until wilted, then slice your yellow summer squash and add just a few small pieces of chopped raw tomato. Simmer until the desired doneness. DO NOT ADD ANY WATER. I add salt and pepper but it is also good without any. I have raised crookneck yellow summer squash for over 70 years and never had a failure! I have tried the straighneck but have always wished I hadn't bothered. it is too wishy-washy in flavor!

Neutral eskarp On Sep 12, 2011, eskarp from Albuquerque, NM wrote:

I LOVE crooknecks the Rio Grande Valley, where I live, squash have been cultivated for hundreds of years. I think the squash bugs have probably been around almost as long. The only way to get any pepo crop here is to start the plants indoors, put them out when well-established under insect cover and DO NOT uncover them until they start to bloom. Once they are uncovered, you have to go through all the plants at least once a day to kill bugs and pick off eggs on the undersides of the leaves. These area may be the only place in the U.S. where you have to fight to get a crop and nobody sneaks around at night leaving giant zucchini on their neighbors' porches! Forget insecticides. One year I isolated a patch of squash in my front yard and applied carbaryl at the recommended intervals but did not pick over the plants nightly as I did my "organic" patch. I got not a single squash before the plants collapsed from the wilt that the bugs spread.

Positive rlmiddlegate On Sep 12, 2011, rlmiddlegate from Emerald Lake Hills, CA wrote:

Bought a tiny crook neck at Whole Foods. This summer we have harvested close to 100 squash from it. Marvelous and tasty. No bugs no worms lots bees and butterflies. I have cut off two (only) powdery mildewed leaves....and that happened after harvesting over 50 squash. It is planted in my raised planter box, with hardward cloth wire bottom to keep gophers out. Sides are redwood and up to 3 feet high. Dirt height is about 1 and 1/2 to 2 feet. I used compost only....and from my own grass clippings, leaves, twigs and kitchen scraps....and no fertilizer of any kind. I have a drip watering system that comes on twice a day in the hottest part of the summer.

Neutral mostlypatio On Jun 15, 2011, mostlypatio from Pittsburgh, PA wrote:

I grew this summer squash in a small plot. The plant was huge, about 3ft tall and over 6 feet wide. Three plants took over my garden. I had good harvest of some very flavorful fruits in early July and then I decided to take them down. The powder mildew on those huge leaves was the subject of complaints from neighboring gardeners.

Negative deanmay On Jun 14, 2009, deanmay from Orange, TX wrote:

I have grown this great tasting squash for the last 3 years. It grows fast and is beautiful. BUT, I have experenced those bore worms every year and they kill my beautiful plants in about a week. I also understand that there is a wasp that lays the eggs and they bore into the stalks. Is there a remedy for these miserable #@%^&*$# ? I would appreciate any help. Thank You

Positive Spriggin On Jun 18, 2007, Spriggin from Selma, OR wrote:

I have grown this squash for years and years. Best tasting when lightly steamed. Prolific and lovely. A garden without crookneck just wouldn't be a garden.

Neutral berrygirl On Mar 3, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Semi-open bush plants produce extended heavy crops of smooth light-yellow fruits with curved necks, bumps develop after edible stage. Best eaten when when 5-6" long. Creamy white, sweet mild flesh has excellent flavor. Keep picked clean to enjoy all season. 55-60 days

Positive pajaritomt On Jul 30, 2006, pajaritomt from Los Alamos, NM (Zone 5a) wrote:

Another favorite squash from my southern childhood. Yellow crooknecks are mild and tender and great just simmered in water with sliced onions. Parsley, etc. can be added, but not required. Easy to grow.

Positive kyle_and_erika On Jun 10, 2006, kyle_and_erika from Batesville, AR wrote:

I dont remember a year when we havent grown yellow crookneck. My great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother all grew it. There is nothing I like better than a skillet of fried yellow crookneck squash and a plate of tomato slices!!! I'm tellin ya, it dont get no better!!!

I would guess that this great food could be grown almost anywhere as it is fast and hardy. Hard not to have success with this one.

Positive Gabrielle On Feb 5, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is my Mom's favorite squash - she is from the South, and it is what she grew up with. I grow it every year and am always amazed with how big the plant gets! The only problem is squash bugs . . . YUCK!!! Inspecting daily and handpicking eggs really helps keep them under control.

Positive Gindee77 On Jun 5, 2005, Gindee77 from Hampton, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

We like growing these squash to use on the grill. They grow fast and seem to bloom and set squash before we know it. They make a great side-dish!

Negative lizbar On Jul 3, 2004, lizbar from Montgomery, AL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I planted the seeds 2-3 years ago and they are just coming up. I didn't know what it was, but I knew it was taking over my small garden. It has grown about 2 feet in height and about 3 feet in width with runners--if not more in the past week. It would literally grow during the day to where it was noticeable. I wanted to pull it since it was crowding my cucumbers, garlic, tomatoes, and marigolds, but I was curious as to what it was.

Positive Farmerdill On Nov 17, 2003, Farmerdill from Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

The 19th century warted Giant Summer Crookneck is indeed a great tasting summer squash, It grows but produces at a slower rate than its hybrid counterparts like Horn of Plenty or Dixie. In this area most folks will only eat the crooknecks, but the old time straightneck Early Prolific also boasts good flavor. My father would eat nothing else.

Neutral berrygirl On Aug 25, 2003, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I totally agree with Melody on the flavor. I grew a straight-knecked variety for the first time this yr. i believe the cultivar was called saffron. it was the most bland thing ive ever tasted. i tried "doctoring" it up with lots of butter and blk. pepper when i cooked them but they didnt taste like squash. i will go back to the tried and true crooks next yr. live and learn!!!

Positive melody On Jul 29, 2002, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

These are my favorite summer squash.Seeds are widely available,but since it is Open Pollinated,you can save your own from year to year.This old variety has fallen somewhat out of favor because the hybrid 'straightnecks' ship and store better for commercial growers.The Crooknecks have better flavor than their bland tasting hybrid mom says they taste 'squashier'.

Curcubits cross pollinate easily,so it's best to grow only 1 variety from each squash species to ensure seed purity.

These have a very sweet,nutty flavor and when rolled in cornmeal and fried in an iron skillet,are a prime example of Southern Cooking.They have good solid flesh,and hold up well in steaming and stir frys also. A touch of lemon juice really brings out the flavor in steamed dishes.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Clanton, Alabama
Deatsville, Alabama
Mobile, Alabama
Prattville, Alabama
Wetumpka, Alabama
Anchorage, Alaska
Citrus Heights, California
Escondido, California
Lucerne Valley, California
Rancho Mirage, California
Turlock, California
Waterford, California
Suffield, Connecticut
Crystal River, Florida
Homosassa, Florida
Silver Springs, Florida
Williston, Florida
Augusta, Georgia
Braselton, Georgia
Hawkinsville, Georgia
Mountain Home, Idaho
Hampton, Illinois
Round Lake, Illinois
Benton, Kentucky
Bethelridge, Kentucky
Crumpton, Maryland
Walled Lake, Michigan
Clinton, Mississippi
Aurora, Missouri
Saint Louis, Missouri
Cut Bank, Montana
Silver Springs, Nevada
Farmington, New Hampshire
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Brevard, North Carolina
Cornelius, North Carolina
Belfield, North Dakota
Medora, North Dakota
Vinton, Ohio
Boise City, Oklahoma
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Selma, Oregon
Wilsonville, Oregon
Aston, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Waterford, Pennsylvania
Jonesville, South Carolina
Huron, South Dakota
Miller, South Dakota
Knoxville, Tennessee
Watertown, Tennessee
Abilene, Texas
Boerne, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
La Marque, Texas
Liberty Hill, Texas
Orange, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Goldvein, Virginia
Radford, Virginia
Roanoke, Virginia
Troy, Virginia
Grand Mound, Washington
Olympia, Washington
Canvas, West Virginia
Sheboygan, Wisconsin

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