Marshan Moll is a young vegetable producer operating in the Brits area of the North West. Brits is an important agricultural region situated close to the major population centres of Gauteng, and has short, mild winters with some frost-free areas. Prevailing conditions on the farm Mollshoop allow the planting of cucurbits as early as July in most years.
Gem squash is one of the crops produced on Mollshoop and the preferred variety is PINNACLE. The first planting for the 2020 summer season was direct-seeded on 1 August with the first fruit picked on 20 October, 81 days after sowing. Four plantings totaling 52ha were made between August and October to ensure a regular supply of product throughout the summer and early winter of 2021. The high yields and excellent uniformity of PINNACLE fruit throughout the plants’ productive life mean a reliable and consistent quality is delivered to customers. Irrigation is by drippers and planting is on raised ridges. Marshan aims for a final plant population of between 12 000 and 13 000 per hectare, and growing practices are continually being adjusted. Special attention is given to early growth and plant health, the results of which are clearly evident in the pictures.
An old sprayer has been replaced since the previous crop and the improvement in chemical efficacy has been marked. There had been virtually no disease or pest problems by the time of first pick. Building on his previous years’ experience, Marshan bases his marketing efforts on yields of around 30 ton per hectare, which the PINNACLE is more than capable of producing. With the attention to detail received on this farm and the early appearance of the fields, there is every reason to expect this to be achieved and exceeded.