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Hello Squash

October 24th, 2013

I’ve never had much space in the garden for growing winter squash.  Their vines sprawl far and wide, much farther than I ever had the space to give them in my tiny space.  Now that I have a large garden, squash finally made the cut.
squash harvest 3
Frost was predicted for the night before last, so I decided it was time to harvest all the winter squash. This year I grew ‘Sweet Meat’ and ‘Waltham Butternut” from Baker Creek,  along with ‘Burgess Buttercup Squash’ and ‘Delicata’ from High Mowing Seeds.
squash harvest 5
squash harvest 4
There were loads of beautiful delicata squash in the garden as well, but the voles and porcupines have been going crazy eating them. I managed to harvest four for us to eat. You can see here they were starting in on the pumpkins as well. At least they almost always came back to this pumpkin instead of gnawing on every single one.
squash harvest 2
Now all the squash are sitting in an upstairs window where they’ll stay warm. Squash don’t like cool storage like other vegetables, it’s best to keep them in the same conditions you like to live in. I’ll probably pile them in a corner of the living room after a few weeks.
squash harvest 1
In mid summer I planted a second crop of zucchini, mostly for feeding the chickens, ducks and pigs. They’re still going very strong. In fact I harvested about twice this many zucchini. They’ll be slowly eaten by the animals and us over the nest few weeks. The smaller ones are dried into zucchini noodles for us to eat on this winter.
zucchini harvest
Next year I’m planting about half of my big main garden in squash. I plan on growing a good amount for animal feed in a well mulched area of the garden since I won’t have time to grow crops that need more attention. I’m thinking however that an electric fence around the garden is going to be a good idea.

Do you grow winter squash in your garden?

33 Comments to “Hello Squash”
  1. Adelina Anderson on October 24, 2013 at 6:00 am

    No squash in our garden – too small for them. However we are up to our ears in squash from our CSA. I have been mashing squash in our potatoes, making curry squash, roasting squash, making butternut squash rolls, and hoping to make squash ravioli this weekend.

    Reply to Adelina Anderson's comment

    • Susy on October 24, 2013 at 6:45 am

      MMMM, I love squash ravioli!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. Joan on October 24, 2013 at 6:37 am

    I grow lots of winter squash, even in this, my ‘little garden’ year. I have great luck with Waltham Butternut, okay luck with Delicata, and not so much luck with the others. This year I grew a few Carnival squash, which I think are very pretty, but the yield was poor. I’ve tried planting Sweet Meat a number of times but never had any luck with them, I think I should buy a new packet of seeds – mine never seem to germinate or if they do, don’t grow big enough to produce.

    Reply to Joan's comment

  3. Adriana on October 24, 2013 at 7:17 am

    Our squash did not do well this year, but we usually try to grow a good amount for winter storage. We’ve grown many kinds over the years. This year we tried to grow giant pumpkins for the kids to carve, but didn’t get any. Fortunately, we had a volunteer that produced a couple of smaller pumpkins so at least we’ll have those for Halloween. Last year we also grew birdhouse gourds that will be Christmas presents this year. I like your idea of drying zucchini for noodles. I’ve dried them to eat as “chips” in past, will have to try in lasagna next year.

    Reply to Adriana's comment

  4. Robin on October 24, 2013 at 7:59 am

    Mmm! They look great!

    Butternut is my favorite squash. Besides being simple to peel, the texture is smooth and delicious. My favorite way to use them is butternut squash soup with chorizo or linguica.

    Reply to Robin's comment

    • Joan on October 24, 2013 at 8:26 am

      I agree, butternut is by far my favorite too! It’s just the right size for one meal, and so easy to peel…

      Reply to Joan's comment

  5. Myra S. on October 24, 2013 at 8:15 am

    The vines do tend to explore their surroundings, don’t they? Our favorite is the butternut squash for pies or just roasted in the oven. I’ve not grown the summer ones yet as I’m the only one likes them but I know the chickens would be happy to share. I have some seeds from a candy roaster variety saved from one a friend gave us to eat and will try that next year. Evidently it’s an old heirloom from the south. Looking forward to that one.

    Reply to Myra S.'s comment

  6. Nebraska Dave on October 24, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Susy, since the official Internet weather channel temperature is 32, there should be frost on the garden this morning but I’m not seeing it on my back yard beds. The squash was at Terra Nova Gardens this year. The ones planted didn’t fair too well but the volunteer ones that must have been in the mulch spread out last fall did wonderfully well. Six pumpkins, several Zucchini, and many summer squash. I’ve never grown squash other than Zucchini. The dreaded Vine Borer is a real pest here and after Zucchini gets to the peak of production they just keel over and die from the vine borer. You can understand how challenging starting from scratch with a new garden can be.

    I may have to resort to an electric fence as well to keep the night shade critters out of the garden. Eventually, I’ll have several layers of garden defense with decoy crops on the outside of the fence. The plan is to make it easy to eat the decoy crops and so difficult to get past the fence, the animals will decide it isn’t worth the effort to see what’s behind fence number 1. :0)

    Have a great squash day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

    • Lorna on October 24, 2013 at 8:55 am

      Vine borers are a huge problem here as well, but I had decent results growing Tromboncino, which can be used in place of Zucchini for cooking/baking–very mild and easy to work with.

      Reply to Lorna's comment

    • Erika on October 24, 2013 at 10:40 am

      We plant garlic with our squash and that helps keep the vine borers away. Of course we’re here in southern MS and it might be different where your at. We just plant them in a row along side the squash but don’t expect big beautiful bulbs they are just for keeping the bugs away. You might try a garlic spray maybe would work.


      Reply to Erika's comment

  7. PennyAshevilleNC on October 24, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Dried zucchini noodles?? I think that sounds fantastic– are they as straightforward to make as they sound?
    No squash for me- the vine borers are irritating (I agree Nebraska Dave).

    Reply to PennyAshevilleNC's comment

    • Susy on October 24, 2013 at 10:02 am

      Yep, as easy as you’re thinking. Cut zucchini into noodles, I cut them lengthwise into strips about 1/4-1/3″ thick, then I simply dehydrate and store in a jar. I also dehydrate smaller pieces for soups as well.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Karla on October 24, 2013 at 12:09 pm

        Do you have a dehydrator, or do you use your oven?

        to Karla's comment

      • Susy on October 24, 2013 at 12:13 pm

        I use my oven, which has a dehydrator setting, so I set it around 125 to dry them. They usually take about 24 hrs.

        to Susy's comment

      • PennyAshevilleNC on October 25, 2013 at 9:06 am

        Sweet! Thanks for sharing– I am excited to try it

        to PennyAshevilleNC's comment

  8. Jennifer Fisk on October 24, 2013 at 9:38 am

    I didn’t grow winter squash this year so I bought into fall CSA share from Bar Harbor Community Garden. Now I have multiple varieties of beautiful squash at a very reasonable cost.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  9. Erika on October 24, 2013 at 10:35 am

    You squash look wonderful. I love growing squash winter, summer, whatever I like putting winter squash in stews. I would love to know more about the zucchini noodles and how you dry them, eat them, etc. I’ve dry them in chips and those are yummy yellow squash not so much but the zucchini’s were


    Reply to Erika's comment

    • Erika on October 24, 2013 at 10:36 am

      Me again I saw you answered that right about my comment and I skipped right over it. LOL


      Reply to Erika's comment

  10. sarah on October 24, 2013 at 10:38 am

    I love squash so much and have just had the worst time growing it. Here in Texas the SVB runs rampant and the only people I’ve known to grow any squash do it by using a ton of pesticides. I feel like I’ve tried everything to no avail :(

    Reply to sarah's comment

  11. amy on October 24, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Reply to amy's comment

  12. Melissa on October 24, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Tahitian winter squash were really productive for me this year (10-20 lb long-necked butternut-type). We harvested wheelbarrows full from just a few plants. I usually plant a few varieties and just see what grows. In the past Guatemalan Blue and Waltham butternut have done well, but nothing has compared to the Tahitians this year. These really spread. We seeded them in a large mulched area of the garden that we are improving, where watermelons also ran rampant.

    Reply to Melissa's comment

  13. KimH on October 24, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    I’ve always grown all sorts of squashes in my gardens.. always. This year I only had a few zuchs and a couple yellow squash make it.. and even then, I got only a few..
    I’ve got 2 plots at a community garden.. each is 20×30 and I tend to plant one almost exclusively in squashes.. All sorts.. If I could only ever eat one vegetable family for the rest of my life.. it’d be the squashes.

    Reply to KimH's comment

  14. Marcia on October 24, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    I grew three plants of spaghetti squash which yielded around 80-90 squash. Yes, 90! I also had two volunteer buttercup plants in my garden that gave me two squash. I love the Turks Turban squash but my seeds did not sprout this year.

    Reply to Marcia's comment

    • KimH on October 24, 2013 at 2:17 pm

      That is insane.. Where do you live? I’ve been growing Spag Squash for 30 years and only ever got about 6 squash at the very most on one plant… Whatever you’re doing.. keep it up! And let me know how you did it.. lol..

      Reply to KimH's comment

      • Marcia on October 26, 2013 at 12:44 am

        I live in Calgary, Alberta but my main garden is about an hour away in a small farming community called Torrington. The three plants had a big section of garden 15’x20′ to sprawl over. I guess it is true that the more space they have, the more they produce. The soil is also nice, rich dark loam. I should have taken pictures because it looked like a veritable jungle with some vines bearing leaves almost 3 feet off the ground.

        to Marcia's comment

    • Susy on October 24, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      That’s a lot of spaghetti squash!

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Marcia on October 26, 2013 at 12:51 am

        Yes! And they are big too! I’m giving them away left, right and center because they is NO way the two of us (or even the two other households that are fed from that garden) will ever eat through all that. I so hate to waste my hard work.

        to Marcia's comment

  15. KimP on October 24, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    LOVE Sweet Meat, but my season isn’t quite long enough to grow them to full sweetness. I usually have good luck with Red Kuri and Bush Buttercup, though.

    Reply to KimP's comment

  16. Susan Ingle on October 24, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    What are zucchini noodles… do you make them and then how do you prepare them for a meal? I guess if you’ve written about them before I might have missed that post, so thought I’d ask. : )

    Reply to Susan Ingle's comment

    • Susy on October 24, 2013 at 8:00 pm

      I havne’t written about them in the past, well, not really. With so many people asking, I’m thinking a post next week should clear up the questions.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  17. Misti on October 25, 2013 at 9:21 am

    I miss two years ago when we had a great crop of spaghetti squash (minus the couple of that were stolen from the community garden). This year—no squash for us. The bad timing with getting our garden up, not having everything ready, though I did try, the squash bugs were awful. :(

    Reply to Misti's comment

  18. Alley on October 26, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    I wish I had the space! I tried growing butternut for the first time this year (only one plant) and it just didn’t have enough space to really produce. Some day!

    Reply to Alley's comment

  19. Reid on February 13, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    I am growing four winter squash this year: Long Island Cheese, Galeaux D’eysines (Seed Saver’s Exchange) and Greek Sweet Red (a butternut type from Baker Creek).

    I am growing 2 summer squash: Lemon, and Caserta Zucchini.

    Reply to Reid's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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