Pick a squash, any squash…

by Amy on April 12, 2008

The last few years I’ve been focusing my vegetable gardening efforts on heirloom tomatoes, but this year I’ve decided I want to master the growing of squash. I’ve grown a few here and there in past years, but not with any overwhelming or satisfying amount of success.

Going through my seeds this morning, I’ve counted thirteen varieties. Obviously I don’t intend to grow this many types of squash plants. They would require much more space than I have, and really, what am I going to do with thirteen kinds of squash, all sitting around in piles at harvest time?

More pumpkin, etc. seedlings.

Various pumpkin and squash seedlings hardening off last year.

Here’s what I have:

Dill’s Atlantic Giant
Musquee de Provence
Lumina Pumpkin
Long Island Cheese Squash
Sugar Pumpkin
Jarrahdale Pumpkin

Pumpkin Vine

Jarrahdale pumpkin vine at the back of our yard two summers ago. I had one fruit from the plant.

Swan Neck Gourd
Mixed Gourds
Early Yellow Crookneck Squash
Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck Squash

White Patty Pan Summer Squash
Swan White Acorn Squash
Grey Zucchini

Grey zucchini plant

Grey zucchini in my garden last summer.

I’m leaning toward those in the list that are bold. What do you think? I’d love to hear any tips or tricks for growing squash and pumpkins in a back yard or community garden plot.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy April 12, 2008 at 8:54 pm

I seem to remember Mother Earth News having some good articles about growing squash. They’ve got a whole bunch of online content now.

My squash experiment last year was a complete flop. I waited too long and bought discounted plants at a garden centre that was about to close for the season. I put them in my new raised bed, rubbing my hands in glee. They promptly got powdery mildew and never really thrived. I don’t think the flowers were getting properly pollinated either. Anyway, I gave up on the homemade mildew sprays and decided to try again some other time.

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Tricia April 14, 2008 at 12:43 am

I grew squash and watermelon in my garden the first year that I had this garden (Zucchini too) and I found that all of those plants took up quite a bit of room.

If you have the space it’s certainly worth growing a few varieties. I don’t know what the maturity dates are for the ones you are trying but if they mature at slightly different times it might work out well as far as harvesting storing your produce later.

My parents grew squash and pumpkins in their gardens. They’re fairly easy to grow.

BTW sorry I’m behind! I just added you to the Green Thumb Sunday list.

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Melamalie April 15, 2008 at 2:14 pm

I’m trying again this year, hopefully with more success. Due to last year’s major heat and drought issues, I’m going to mulch heavily with straw and put in soaker hoses to get a more even watering. Last year I found that after 30 minutes holding the hose beside the tomatoes, I was too tired to give the squash the time they deserved Other than that, I don’t have any tips on growing. I think you probably know more about it than I do anyway!

For varieties, one that my mom grew successfully last year (I killed mine due to aforementioned water issues) was Acorn Table Queen. It’s a small-ish acorn squash, good for one large to two average servings, that keeps really well and is hugely prolific and YUMMY. Let me know if you want seeds. I’m not growing that one this year (I’m trying another acorn variety), but it’s on my “when I have more space” list for sure.

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june November 18, 2009 at 2:48 pm

Can you eat the Swan Neck gourd ?

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Scott Miller July 31, 2010 at 10:39 am

I planted swan neck gourds this year with good results. When do I pick them. I would like them to be dry for decoration.
Thanks

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