Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Winter Squash -- I Think I'm Doing Something Right...

I picked my first ever butternut squash on Saturday. The vines have been doing well on all the winter squashes I grew from seed this year, and finally this week the largest of the Waltham butternut squashes turned close to the color of the one I bought recently at the grocery store, losing most of its green stripy look, and turning more of a tan color. I didn't realize till I brought it into the kitchen out of the bright sun, it does still have just a little bit of green on the end nearest the stem. I picked a tiny one too, that had mostly turned. I'm thinking I maybe should have left them longer. I'm hoping they will continue to ripen.

Store-bought is on the left.

I'm growing spaghetti squash too. One is quite large and getting yellow (the color of the ones in the grocery store.) There are more coming along too.

I was tempted to harvest that yellow spaghetti squash on the left, but after I saw that the butternuts under regular kitchen lighting still had some green, I decided to leave it a while longer.

I'm also growing Delicata (there's one in the photo above with the butternuts), Sweet Meat and Blue Hubbard, which all have fruits coming along.

I'm not sure if this is Hubbard or Sweet Meat. The vines are all intertwined.

I think this is another Waltham butternut

The green is just starting to fade on this one. I'm leaving it for a while longer.

The vines are still producing, although the leaves nearest the roots are all turning brown and withering. But then they are also producing more branches in the leaf axils. For most of the summer, this spot against the south wall of the house, on top of gravel, has been wonderfully sunny for the plants, growing in large black pots. They wilt so easily, and have been watered lots! It's hard to get in there with a gallon watering can, I'm afraid of stepping on all those tangled vines. So I've been turning the sprinkler on them. Not the most efficient way to water pots.


Here you can see new smaller leaves growing where the old ones have died.

Do I sound excited? I love squash so much. It's probably sacrilege for a veggie gardener to say, but I love winter squash even better than tomatoes.

13 comments:

  1. Marvelous, your squashes. The hospital where I worked in the 80s and 90s had only two things in the cafeteria besides banana pudding that were tasty: acorn squash and bread pudding.

    Butternut squash was one of my mother's favorite vegetables to grow. My sister's favorite SIL refused to eat her pumpkin pie because he was afraid she'd tricked him into eating butternut squash. No accounting for tastes, is there?

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  2. So envious. I need to find a hotspot like that for my winter squash. The butternuts are still little and green. My mom always said they were ripe enough to store when you couldn't break the skin with your fingernail. She was wrong about a lot of things but I believe her on that one. I usually pick them after the first frost and let them finish ripening in the furnace room.

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  3. Oh, they look so good! I love winter squash baked with apples and sausage. You can grow so many wonderful things there which is, if I recall, the whole point of your choosing to live in PNW.

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  4. Oh Alison, they all look great! It is so fun to grow the winter squash and I especially love the sweetmeat..yum! Looks like you will have enough for many delicious soups and bakes on those chilly winter days. xo

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  5. Color me very envious. Andrew hates squash, all kinds. I can occasionally sneak a little but by him in a stew or such but just straight up squash for dinner (as I would LOVE it)...not gonna happen. Glad to know someone out there is getting her squash on!

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  6. Squash licious! Craving for some squash soup now....

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  7. Your squash looks amazing especially considering you are growing them in pots! Pots always add a lot of heat, and being on the gravel probably adds heat too. I find winter squash a lot more difficult to grow than summer squash. For some reason voles always kill my pumpkin vines.

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  8. We just don't have the place or the heat for winter squash, but what fun you are having with yours. From my old days as a farm girl, I would say you should leave them on the vine to harden off, much like pumpkins.

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  9. I'm smitten with squash too and ready to try all sorts for next year, hanging swags of squash, since I missed the squash boat this year. They are water hogs tho, aren't they?

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  10. I'm so impressed that you're getting this harvest from container-grown plants. It never occurred to me that squash was a candidate for pots. I might try some next summer next to my sunny hot driveway area.

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  11. You are doing something right! I like butternut squash, but my favorite is acorn.

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  12. I never grow squash but I think it's cool to see it and delicious and healthy to eat. The Delicata always looks so pretty. I'm excited for you. Nice job.

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  13. The seedling I got from you is doing great--you definitely are doing something right!

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