Crookneck Squash, Summer Squash 'Summer Yellow Crookneck'

Cucurbita pepo

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, Yellow Crookneck, Early Golden Summer Crookneck, Early Summer Crookneck)
» View all varieties of Squash


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama

Clanton, Alabama

Deatsville, Alabama

Mobile, Alabama

Prattville, Alabama

Tuscumbia, Alabama

Wetumpka, Alabama

Anchorage, Alaska

Citrus Heights, California

Escondido, California

Lucerne Valley, California

Rancho Mirage, California

San Diego, 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

Rochester, Washington

Bluefield, West Virginia

Canvas, West Virginia

Sheboygan, Wisconsin

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 9, 2016, hymenocallis from Auburn, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

For the person who asked if it was a wasp that lay the eggs that borers came from it is actually a butterfly that is the culprit. You can look it up and see what they look like but that is the one that vexes us all.


On Aug 22, 2016, Lucylover from San Diego, CA wrote:

Had aphids eating my squash blossoms this year. Got very little production from the 2 crook neck plants. Still want to try again, but need advise on keeping aphids away a natural way.


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?


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.


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?


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!!!


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 la... read more


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!


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 b... read more


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.


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.


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


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.


On Mar 3, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 8a) 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


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


On Aug 25, 2003, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 8a) 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!!!


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 di... read more