Squash bugs are bad I know but who’s like me and planting squash anyway? I’m going to plant the normal squash but I’m also going to give Tromboncino a try.
How I got into edible food gardening was squash. My dad planted butternut squash and zucchini. I remember it being a success every year as a kid. In my teenage years I turned away from gardening and got into video games which I still do in spurs with my old games. I got my first job as a gardener at a amusement park which brought me back into gardening. The first crop I planted as a adult was butternut squash. At least here in Colorado squash is one of the easiest crops you can grow and gives a decent yield. Nothing like the yield of a standard fruit tree but a good yield none the less. You get a few meals out of a 6-10 space.
I save my seeds each year and grow whatever crazy hybrids come out of them. This year I am also growing some green-fleshed squash to see what that tastes like.
Waltham butternut seems less favored by the bugs than others squashes are, they get the squash bugs after the other squash is killed. It’s a staple and they last until Spring. I still have a few in the basement.
Interesting. I also noticed the squash bugs do not hit my butternut or acorn squash until they’ve had their fill of the various zucchini squashes.
If you decide to control squash bugs I’ve found seven dust is effective. Squash Bugs: How to Identify and Get Rid of Squash Bugs | The Old Farmer's Almanac
Tromboncino, butternut and a mellon. 50 years ago I planted bush acorn and they only grew a foot long and produced 8 to 10 squash. I can’t find that variety. I have found short vine acorn limited to 5 feet. 1 foot is easy to SEVEN.
I always just plant a few rotating crops of zucchinis. They grow so fast, by the time the borers kill one, I can have another going a few weeks later. That being said, I’m also trying trombocino this year, cause everyone says it’s a “better” summer squash then zucchini. I’ll need to build a trellis for it though!
I’m also trying a few random squash from seed savers, solely based on their descriptions, so I have no idea how they’ll do.
From what I have heard part of the issue is certain plants or certain seeds go extinct over time. I remember watching a video done by MIGardner about how many older varieties of seeds have been bred out in terms of taste for increased production for example. This was a video where he said he was trying to bring back a extinct tomato from seed. I know some germinated and became plants but am not sure what happened with those tomato plants. I wonder if the bush acorn you got has simply gone extinct like that tomato. Either that or over time it could have been relegated to more hard to find places. I know there are some plants that are super hard for me to find because local nursery do not carry it and online either does not sell it all together or they sale it bur have shipping restrictions.
Last year the only seeds or starter plants that were totally unavailable to me were squash. None at co ops, Walmart, tractor supply or any of the local places. I thought that was odd.
I’m waiting until April 15th to plant my Tromboncino. I just moved the seedlings to a little larger container.
There are a lot of new gardeners starting in the last two years. Squash is so easy to grow and produces pretty good amounts of crops so many new gardeners likely bought the seeds. I know last year I was trying to expand on my tree collection and you could not find any tree for sale after January. Meanwhile many trees this year did not sell out until mid to late March. I know last growing season online seed companies were having to shut down there website constantly to catch up on seed sales and there was no mention of them having to do that this year.
This is good let’s hope the new growers get better at growing things soon.
Hopefully they do. The number 1 issue I see with new gardeners is they overcrowd. I remember starting with peppers and I would try to grow 10 peppers in a 14 inch pot. Most of the peppers just never got big and all the leaves fell off. That is something I realized with a lot of new gardeners. They would make beds and way over plant the bed. A squash plant may grow 10 feet for example. I think the newer gardeners that started in the covid19 victory garden phase are figuring this out because we are not having close to the availability problems we had the last 2 years. We are having price troubles were depending on where you buy a tree it has doubled in price but we are certainly not having problems with plants me available this year again.
Bon Bon is the best. I’m going to plant some. And Butter Belly summer squash. Perfect Pick zucchini is another favorite, and acorn. I’m not short on space or time, just energy.
I love winter squash and am still working my way through the last in storage! I only grow C. moschata winter squash varieties because the squash vine borers are a pain and the garden is fully organic. These varieties are completely resistant to SVBs. I’ve never had a huge problem with squash bugs. I grow on tall trellises and I find it easy to hand pick them into the soapy bottle of death and squish the eggs. The eggs are very visible from underneath.
My favorites winter squash varieties are heirlooms African Winter Squash (the ones that are still in the garage) and Kikuza. Black Futsu has a unique nutty flavor, but is less sweet, and makes very tasty butternut ravioli.
For zucchini, I mostly grow Costata Romanesco, an Italian heirloom from Franchi seeds, that has the best taste. Not super productive, but enough, and I get around the SVB problem by doing multiple plantings.
Most of the ones I order from increased production of seed, bought even more paper seed packages (one of the rate limiting steps the last two years), and ordered extra help. The demand is still there, but they are keeping up a bit better.
Clark, that is a great article on the bugs. Thanks for posting it.
Touch wood, I’ve never had a problem with squash bugs and we’ve been growing them since the early 90s. Got a 20 x 15 path I grow every year atop of the compost pile. In a good year, we usually get the better part of a thousand pounds of squash. In a bad year, we still get two or three hundred pounds of pumpkins, acorn, and a few other varieties. So yes, I’m growing squash this year.
Eventually the squash bugs find everyone.