Squash 2022

Squashes (and melons) of all types were a total bust here this year. I waded through the forest of 8 ft tall Johnsongrass in the bottom of the garden where most of my squash and watermelons were planted, earlier this week… I abandoned that section fairly early, when almost none grew. Found a couple of butternut types(I had planted both Waltham and South Anna), and a couple of small green somethings that I don’t necessarily recognize.
But… have one ‘volunteer’ that popped up here at the back porch, that’s run all over the back yard, producing several huge delicata-looking squash. I’d tried growing delicata several times before, and they always lacked vigor, and produced very few, small squash… color me unimpressed… but if this one tastes good, I’ll probably save seeds and plant them next year to see what the next generation looks like!

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I have been unimpressed with delicata, too. Low vigor and honestly not that tasty.

The strangest hybrid squash I have ever seen in my garden.


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What variety is that? It has the shape of a butternut but it is not growing as a vine.

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@jeremybyington

Some are like that Second cropping with white zucchini squash

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Was gifted seeds of “South Anna Butternut” (“Waltham Butternut” X “Seminole Pumpkin”)—so trialed those this year. Impressed by performance so far—a very productive, disease-tolerant squash. Too early to make any definite statements—they may, after all, sweeten up and improve in storage—but the non-stringy texture and flavor are so far better than “Cherokee Tan” (a durable native moschata, very similar to the Seminole Pumpkin which went into this cross), but somewhat inferior to W.B. It’s not something I’d complain about eating over the winter: especially if times get hard.

And that’s where I think this one has potential—as a survival/lean times squash—something that’ll pump out decent, nutritious food with very little input. If it stores about as well as its Seminole parent, it’ll be a real winner.

Two words of warning: extreme vigor! I planted six hills in one of our gardens—and South Anna ate the whole thing! We’re talking 40’+ vines here! South Anna needs room. It’d be right at home in a cornfield.

This is not really a stable cultivar—more of a population; the fruits are quite diverse. Many look just like butternuts, some are more globular like the Seminole. And a few take on weirder forms: sausages, torpedoes, or fat barbells. Some are light tan—like a butternut—while others are orange-ish with green striping.

Here are some I picked recently. This represents less than a quarter of the overall harvest.

Not bad considering that after planting them and giving them a little fertilizer I left them to their own devices all season. No spraying, no care whatsoever.

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Pumpkins harvested this year, I think this variety is pest free here.

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The zuchini are still coming

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Finished them up. The best we ate are these a few days ago. They are incredibly good if harvested when they are 6 inches.

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Squash & melons both were pretty much a bust here. Not a single summer squash lived long enough to make a fruit. Planted a half-dozen or more different winter squash varieties, but ended up with less than a dozen total fruits… looks like a couple of South Anna butternuts, a few Seminole pumpkin, and a couple of Mrs. Amerson squash.
But! I had a volunteer squash pop up at the hydrangea next to the steps at my back porch that we allowed to run… it produced 16 Delicata-looking squash averaging a little over 5 lbs each. On previous attempts at purposely growing Delicata squash, I’ve rarely had a vine produce more than a couple of small fruits, usually less than a pound!

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those look like candystick delicata and if so you’ll love them

Oh, but they only LOOK like a Delicata; everything else about them is ‘Spaghettii’ squash - they’re hard as a rock and take twice as long to cook as a typical Spaghetti squash. And, I mean really hard - gave one to the next door neighbor… she told me she had to take it out to the woodpile and chop it in half with a hatchet.

Delicata and Spaghetti are both C.pepo, and in last year’s garden, I had Honeyboat and Spaghetti growing in close proximity to one another, so the seed this vine grew from would have been from a discarded seed… probably from a spaghetti squash ‘mother’, as the delicatas were singularly unproductive.

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Can you tell me anything about this? Can’t find anything on Google.

@ampersand Woodrey’s Sweet Potato Squash was my best squash this year. We had a 1 month period of no rain which made my other squash struggle (I did not water when the rain barrels were empty). Woodrey’s took a long time to fruit, but when it did, it went crazy. The vines were incredibly long relative to the mochata and maxima varieties I grew. This may be standard info for a Cushaw-type squash, but it was my first successful growth of a mixta/angiosperma type.

I made a pumpkin pie with it for Thanksgiving and it turned out very nice. I also roasted some squash last weekend and it was really good. The color of the flesh is greenish yellow, not the dark orange that one might expect (odd for pumpkin pie).

So the only downside is if you have limited space to grow these mosters.

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@Lucky_P

Got tan pumpkins from butternut pumpkin hybrids one year. Surprises are fun.

I can’t remember if I checked back here. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I had some health stuff flare up over the summer and we also had an awful drought - so my first year gardening at the new house was a bust. The varieties I grew at home: ‘Sonca’ butternut, ‘Black Futsu’, and ‘Lower Salmon River’.

This is the first year ‘Sonca’ didn’t take off - which was heartbreaking. (They are, in my opinion, just the best if you like a really moist and rich butternut squash!) Both ‘Lower Salmon River’ and ‘Black Futsu’ were fairly productive despite my neglect and low precipitation. I didn’t enjoy ‘Black Futsu’ really but ‘Lower Salmon River’ was alright - it definitely needs to be roasted to bring out the fullness of its flavor. I think I prefer ‘Bitterroot Buttercup’ and will go back to growing that next year.

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We grew Sweet Fall squash. They are very good, sweet and rich flavored. Hubby likes them because they get EATEN…and all the way to the thin rind.
They made great pies at Thanksgiving, also muffins and pumpkin pancakes. They also get eaten with just butter and salt.

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@joleneakamama

Are those an heirloom where you can save seed?

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Yes, though the neighbor we got the original seed from said her brother had grown other varieties and they could be crossed, she had grown them and was happy with the food. We bought seed off of Etsy too as we wanted to grow a lot.

Most we grew had the football type shape seen on the seed packages, some had a flat botom and different color. ALL of them are sweet and tasty!

I’m no expert at seed saving, but have been cleaning and drying them as we eat them.

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@joleneakamama did the seller on Etsy note whether it’s moschata, maxima, or pepo…? Not sure if your neighbor would know. I like the color and shape!

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