11 January 2013, by gj
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.
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
Most of the Kabochas and Hubbards, Buttercups, Australian Butter, Big Max Pumpkin, Pink Banana
Butternut varieties, Black Futsu, most of the Crooknecks, Kikuz
Cushaw varieties, Hindu White Crookneck Pumpkin, Japanese Pie, Tenessee Sweet Potato
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.
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.
Categories: all about seeds, how to grow, squash
16 October 2012, by gj
“For Search Engine Optimization you should always use your keywords in your title…”
“Terms like ‘How-to’ and numbers, as in lists, are more likely to be picked up by search engines.”
“Include at least one internal and one external link.”
“Reuse your keyword multiple times in the same post.”
“..proper use of Bold and Italics, taglines…”
blah blah blah. Wise info I guess, from the blogging gurus.
This is a post about growing squash vertically, not an attempt at SEO; and since I prefer song references as post titles, I’m going to laugh in the face of the Search Engines as well as the rule books, and just give this post a bizarre title while giving you all the info I intend to, and still fulfilling all the SEO Req’s… So here goes…
heirloom and vining
Here’s the deal- squash take up a lot of valuable space.
Even a zucchini plant will grow a good 1-2 feet in every direction. Those darn winter squash spread out all over.
So what can you do if space is limited? -And face it, unless and well, even if you have a farm, space is valuable no matter how much you have.
So grow up!
“Yeah, right GJ. I haven’t been gardening long, but even I know you can’t grow a zucchini vertically. And those winter squashes are just too heavy.”
Muhahaha! my young gardening friend…
actually, yes you can.
small enough to grow up
There are summer squashes, aka ‘zucchini’ that grow vertically, albeit a few.
And there are winter squashes that mature at a smaller size.
If you look at these 4 seed packets, you will find all vining squash
(in list form with external links at the end):
1. Tatume- Cucurbita pepo A summer squash, vining- that can also be left to ripen as a winter squash. That’s some serious squash!
2. Red Kuri- Cucurbita maxima A winter squash that only grows 5-10 lbs. each, so could be supported vertically with a sling.
3. Dishpan Cushaw- Cucurbita mixta A good keeper that grows wide but not long. This one’s a little camera shy.
4. Squah Kikuza- Cucurbits moschata A small Japanese heirloom pumpkin that only grows to 4-7 pounds.
Are you wondering why I included the botanical names? These are all heirloom seeds, so by planting different varieties that cannot cross pollinate (there’s that dern internal link), you can be more assured of your seed purity should you decide to save them.
Ahh… I see my young gardening friend, but you already knew that!
Sometimes lessons are more readily learned without rule books, but with just plain old common sense.
More on Tatume
More on Red Kuri
More on Dishpan Cushaw
More on Squash Kikuza
Blame it all on my roots…The song reference.
Categories: faq's, squash, techniques
22 July 2011, by gj
see the tiny fruit
I often get asked “I have a lot of squash flowers, but no squash. Why?” and “Why are my zucchini (or courgettes) shriveling up and falling off?”
I get the same questions for winter squash.
Squash have male and female flowers.
The females have little tiny babies at the base, the males only have stems.
When the squash first start producing flowers, they provide plenty of males to get ready for when the females start to show up.
So if you have a lot of flowers and no fruit, this may be why.
This is a good time to eat Stuffed Squash Flowers.
When the females arrive they need to be fertilized by the males.
This is most naturally accomplished by bees or other bugs moving from the male to the female flower.
If you see your fruit falling off, the most likely answer is that the fruit were never fertilized.
You can lend a hand.
You can move the pollen from the male to the female using a cotton swab or paintbrush.
My favorite way is to just pick the male flower and rub it on the female.
You’ll need to get to them early in the morning, as squash flowers don’t stay open long.
helping the process paid off
I also learned from my FB friend David that your squash can begin to grow, even get to 5 or 6 inches, then fall off. David knows alot about pollination, so I’m sure he’s right.
He said this is caused by under fertilization.
That really stinks, but it’s good info to know.
So now sit back, relax, and while you wait for your squash to grow- check out our recipe box for some wonderful ways to enjoy what you’re growing.
How to Grow Squash- the video
Categories: faq's, squash
29 April 2011, by gj
on the left - the beginnings
Squash seeds are one of the easiest seeds to keep from what you grew last year, or what you bought at the market.
Of course you can also purchase seed.
young summer squash
After all danger of frost is over, simply plant 2 or 3 seeds in a hill, space your hills 1-2 feet apart.
Squash like a very fertile soil, so have at it with the fertilizer.
An old time farmer told me once- ‘Do you have a pile of cow manure? Then you can grow squash.’
That might be a little over the top, but you get the idea.
squash plants in the garden
Squash, both winter and summer, produce a male and a female flower.
If you see a little fruit, and then it dries up and falls off- it is because it was not fertilized.
Here’s info on how you can fertilize your own.
baby spaghetti squash
Other than that, the main problem you may see with squash is mildew.
This can either be Downy Mildew, caused by weather that is too cold and wet in the spring; or Powdery Mildew, which comes when the weather is too hot and dry later in the season.
I have heard, but not tried Neem Oil as a spray to treat the mildew problem.
If you have other suggestions, please comment here to help others and thanks!!!
There are a number of squash recipes in our Recipe Box.
What’s your favorite way to eat them?
Hand Pollination of Squash
Cross Pollination of Winter Squash
How to Grow Squash – The Video
Categories: how to grow, squash