Yesterday we irrigated for about 7 hours. Today when I went out at noon to check on the condition of the squash bed, some of the plants were up to three leaves with a small fourth leaf starting to expand.
The growth pattern of the squash plants at this young stage is interesting. We irrigate once a week, with occasional additional waterings for a couple of weeks after planting the seeds. The squash plants puts on a spurt of above ground growth for the first couple of days after an irrigation. Then growth seems to be arrested as the soil dries down. I wish I could see what was going on under the ground during the slow growth period. Does all growth slow down, or do the roots continue to grow into the soil at a rapid rate? I'd like to think that the roots continue to grow rapidly even if the leaves and stems grow slowly. But I have seen no data.
Several hills of squash had no seedlings when I last wrote, but now there are only two or three hills with no seedlings. Some of those seedlings are growing very slowly. Here's what the patch looks like today:
I put in another half hour before irrigating to spread straw around the patch.
Total time spent on squash patch so far: 11 man - hours.