Squash Shenanigans

Squash plants.

Squash plants.

The squashes have really exploded with recent warm weather, which means there are some delicious meals right around the corner.  I was afraid we wouldn’t see much from them since everything was transplanted so late, but in typical squash fashion they have taken off and grown like (dare I say it?) weeds!  It never ceases to amaze me the difference a week’s worth of warm, humid weather and a good rainfall can make in a garden.


Bush and vining squashes.

All of the squash plants are in 7-gallon grow pouches for this season. I may bump them up to 10-gallon pouches next year, depending on how this year’s yields come along.  Squashes are heavy feeders with intensive root systems, and while I’ve had success growing them in the 7-gallon pouches in the past they may need a little more room to step up production a bit.

Squash "Gelber-Englischer Custard"

Squash “Gelber-Englischer Custard”

Most of our squashes this year are bush varieties.  Our family enjoys stuffed pattypan (scallop) squash, so we have quite a few of those going.  Pattypans are hard to beat, both for their unique shape and classic squash flavor.  It was tough to narrow down choices when ordering seeds, so four lovely varieties grace our garden this season.  I’ve added pictures of each kind, seed packets and plants, to the gallery at the end of this post.
Along with the pattypans are some lemon squash, in the place of our beloved yellow crook-necks, and the ubiquitous summer favorite, zucchini.  I started off with only two zucchini plants, as my neighbors are awesome and I want to keep it that way.  That rounds out our bevy of bush squash varieties for this season.

Squash trellis.

Squash trellis.

Spaghetti and butternut squashes are also grown in pouches and set under hog panel trellises, like those we use for our cucumbers and tomatoes.  Since both types grow on heavy, wildly sprawling vines, I try to utilize vertical space in our garden by encouraging these plants to grow upward.  This involves a series of gentle, ongoing negotiations – twisting a tendril here, coaxing a leaf there – until the plants have sufficiently anchored themselves to the panels.  From that point they are easily woven through the openings on each panel so that the vines have plenty of room to roam.

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Category: Garden
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