Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Winter Squash and Pumpkins Revisited

This is my first year trying to grow winter squashes.  I love winter squash and I will definitely plant more next year than what I did this year.  (Part of next years garden expansion will be to make more room for all the squashes and pumpkins I'd like to have.)

I did 3 plantings with 4 different varieties as I wanted to experiment with the timing of harvests and the production of different types of winter squash.  

To start, I planted one patch at the beginning of May and another in June.  I love butternuts, so I planted (SESE) Waltham Butternuts along with (BC) Georgia Candy Roasters (which the SVB's killed.) 

Since the SVB's wiped out half of all my early plantings, (in July) I planted (BC) Sweet Dumplings.  I planted 6 hills but only 2 came up.  I swear these are the prettiest plants.

I didn't have anywhere else to put them so they are in the raised bed that had the potatoes in them.  They are still very young, no blooms yet.

I also planted (in July) another variety, (BC) Butternut Rogosa Violina "Gioia", which completely failed to germinate.  I think planting in 100 degree heat may be too much for them. 

So out of the four varieties I started out with, only the Waltham Butternut and Sweet Dumpling remain.  This week I picked about 7 pounds of Butternut from the May planting.  I waited until the vines were browning and I didn't see any "green" to the flesh.

I cleaned them up with a bit of bleach water and they're sitting on my counter waiting to be processed.  Since we don't have a basement or root cellar, my only choice is to process them now since we have at least 2 1/2 months of hot weather yet to go.  I don't think storing them in the fridge is a good option. Overall, I was hoping for larger fruit, but these are respectable considering they are in the "shadier" part of the garden and also in newly turned ground.

The June Waltham plantings are putting out blooms and fruit, so I'll have another small harvest come August.

The Pumpkins that I replanted in July (SVB"S killed the May batch) are starting to vine.  

We're a good month away from seeing if fruit will set though.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  I'd love to get a pumpkin harvest this year.

And I actually have watermelons on the vine...another first for me.

More on the watermelons when they mature.


  1. We planted winter squash this year and it is growing like crazy. I didn't know you had to wait for the vine to turn brown. Hmmm, guess I better do some research!
    I planted a new kind of melon but no blooms so far.

    Your harvest looks great!

  2. This is also my first year planting the winter squash & the butternuts are doing great. Actually, I think it's probably time to pick some of them. Never harvested them before, so I wasn't sure when to pick 'em. A larger winter squash garden next year is also on our list of things to do this fall.

  3. Your garden is doing amazingly well, especially considering the heat wave!