Jan 11

The Skinny on Squash

zucchini squash babies

They are so cute when they are babies.

If you want to save the seeds from your squash, but are concerned about cross pollination and growing some freakish veggie the following year, the answer is simple:


Squash only cross with others in the same species; so if you choose only one from each species, you can rest assured.
Unless your neighbor is growing squash, then I can't help you.

growing squash in the garden

Here they come.

Simply choose one from each group:

Curcubita pepo (the most popular)
Most Pumpkins, all summer squash inc. yellow squash and zucchini, many winter squashes including Acorn, Delicata, Tuffy, Sweet Dumpling, Honeybear, Spaghetti Squash

Cucurbita maxima
Most of the Kabochas and Hubbards, Buttercups, Australian Butter, Big Max Pumpkin, Pink Banana

Cucurbita moschata
Butternut varieties, Black Futsu, most of the Crooknecks, Kikuz

Cucurbita Mixta
Cushaw varieties, Hindu White Crookneck Pumpkin, Japanese Pie, Tenessee Sweet Potato

beauty in the veggie garden

beauty in the veggie garden

The list goes on, really there are so many types of squash that it would be fun to add a new type from one group each year. This would also insure that you maintain a good supply of seeds.

Remember also to choose a variety that is either an heirloom or open pollinated, not a hybrid, for saving seeds. Also, beware of volunteer squash coming from the compost.

squash volunteers from compost

Watch out for intruders!

Some seed companies that give you the plants' botanical names include Seed Savers Exchange, Johnny's Select Seeds, Baker Creek, and Territorial Seed Company. You'll notice that in many cases the first part of the name is abbreviated, such as C. pepo and C. mixta. Having this information at hand makes planning much easier.

Here's how to grow a variety of squash vertically.

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  1. […] is a Cucurbita moschata, which means unlike most pumpkins, it won’t cross pollinate with your zucchini and most other squashes, allowing you to save the seed from year to […]

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