Winter Squash

User avatar
wykvlvr
Reactions:
Posts: 404
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:36 am
Location: Southeast Wyoming

Winter Squash

#1

Post: # 38835Unread post wykvlvr
Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:06 am

I tried to raise winter squash that was not a Pepo for the first time in this area last year. I know my growing season is iffy, nights are cool, hail is common, and last year we had an early snowstorm. I had picked 3 varieties to try, Winter Sweet Organic (F1) Kabocha Squash Seed, Bonbon (F1) a buttercup and Tetsukabuto. BonBon was listed at 95 days and actually did have maturing squash when our snow storm hit, Winter Sweet and Tetsukabuto were both listed as 100 days. Winter Sweet had baby squash on it but Tetsukabuto was just flowering.

So I was thinking this year I need faster growing varieties or at least some that take less then 100 days. So I have been looking around at seed companies, looking at types of winter squash and trying to decide what to try this year. I found a few that sounded interesting... So for this year I think I will try:

Lower Salmon River (90 days) which is a C. maxima
Illinois AKA White Crookneck Pumpkin (95 days) which is a C. mixta
Waltham Butternut, Virginia Select (95 days) which is a C. moschata

My almost successful Bon Bon is a buttercup ie C. Maxima and I do still have seeds for it but am not sure if I want to try it again this year or not...
Wyoming
Zone 5
Elevation : 6,063 ft
Climate : semi-arid
Avg annual rainfall = 16 inches

User avatar
karstopography
Reactions:
Posts: 4014
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2020 7:15 am
Location: Southeast Texas

Re: Winter Squash

#2

Post: # 38843Unread post karstopography
Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:13 am

Don’t do South Anna butternut, it takes forever. It also likes the heat, so snowstorms probably aren’t going to help. The thai rai tok pumpkin isn’t any good on being quick either or liking cooler weather. Aren’t most of the Moschata types slow and heat lovers? It’s think it is too hot with warm nights here mid summer for C. pepo or maxima to have any realistic shot. C.pepo has to be put in as soon as possible here in the spring to get in a decent crop before heat and bugs shut it down. But the moschata types I grew seem to mostly thrive in moderately high heat, just a notch below blazing heat, and sort of sulk along otherwise. I think those days to maturity touted on seed packets are optimistic and subject to mostly ideal weather, light and fertility conditions pretty much for the entire growth period. Where does anyone get such ideal conditions for 100 straight days? California, the Mediterranean, Australia?
Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

rxkeith
Reactions:
Posts: 752
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:57 pm
Location: keweenaw peninsula

Re: Winter Squash

#3

Post: # 38844Unread post rxkeith
Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:50 am

my weather conditions are not ideal either. i might have a 100 day season at best,
but both ends can be temper mental. what has grown well for me a number of times
are thelma sanders sweet potato, scarchucks supreme, and sugar hubbard. i grew
mountaineer, a hubbard squash that was bred in montana. mountaineer out produced
sugar hubbard about 3 to 2. taste was very good. sugar hubbard taste is excellent.

mountaineer, thelma sanders, and scarchuks all came from sandhill preservation, but i
have seen thelma sanders else where. thelma sanders was very good. scarchuks was excellent.
if i could grow only two in marginal conditions, i would try scarchuks supreme, and the mountaineer.
hubbards need space. they just grow all over once they get going.


keith

TomHillbilly
Reactions:
Posts: 207
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:38 pm

Re: Winter Squash

#4

Post: # 38848Unread post TomHillbilly
Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:08 am

Go to the grocery store and buy what looks like it was the most mature butternut squash harvested in the field. Take it home and collect the seeds out of it. As you prepare your squash for a meal. Most of the time that is a regular heirloom waltham butternut. Clean the seeds out, and dry them 7 to 10 days. Store those seeds for a short period of weeks, then germinate test 4 or 5 seeds in a wet paper towel.
There is a 80% chance you will get the better strain of butter nut seeds for free. And if for some reason you don't-- then at least you got a squash to eat.. PS-- You still got time to do this, and order butternut seeds, if you fail-- Odds are you won't.
If you love the strain of Butternut you got. Do the same when collecting seeds. But don't collect seeds from your butternut, until it has been stored for over a month. Don't ask me why, but fully mature butternut that has been STORED, has a MUCH greater germination percentage. Most freshly pick butternut seeds won't germinate. I never wash my squash seeds. Good seeds are puffy-- bad seeds dry as flat as a sheet of paper.

User avatar
wykvlvr
Reactions:
Posts: 404
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:36 am
Location: Southeast Wyoming

Re: Winter Squash

#5

Post: # 38858Unread post wykvlvr
Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:20 am

Grin I like the buy a squash plan and may try it... especially since you are correct as far as butternuts go.
But I did want to get an idea how other types behave here and some were picked more for "I want to support the Open Seed Source Intuitive" then hopes of real success here. The Delicata are in that category but then again they may surprise me. OF course if they curl up and die at our first hail storm their seeds will be available in the swap next year with the note not good in cold climates. Same for any of the others I trial...

Currently most of my hope for a winter squash for storage is on the Lower Salmon River squash. It originally comes from Idaho and is a PNW favorite so it works with cool nights...

I will check out Scarchuks Supreme and Mountaineer at Sandhill.

Grin the new layout we tried last year gave me more box space AND more edge space for growing long trailing vines like squash. I now have 3 almost 20 ft long areas I can trail those vines down without interfering with my main growing area. AND DH is building me at least one Cattle panel trellis Arch. Plus I now have a small bed in the front yard where the bush squash Acorn squash will go.
Wyoming
Zone 5
Elevation : 6,063 ft
Climate : semi-arid
Avg annual rainfall = 16 inches

User avatar
pepperhead212
Reactions:
Posts: 2229
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:07 am
Location: Woodbury, NJ

Re: Winter Squash

#6

Post: # 38894Unread post pepperhead212
Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:49 pm

[mention]wykvlvr[/mention] Unless you are a gambler, don't get the seeds from the store squash! First, you don't know what variety they grew, plus, nothing crosses easier that squash (except, maybe peppers! :o), since bees (and many pollinators) love squash blossoms!

I can only grow moschata squash, due to SVB, and most have been late, and not many very productive. The only one I grow yearly (besides the ones I try once, and never again) is Polaris - a hybrid that I have only gotten from Pinetree Gardens. It usually starts female flowers much earlier than most, and it continues to produce until frost, with fruits all different sizes at the same time. I usually get them about 3-4 lbs each, 7 or 8 per plant, and, one of the things I like best about it, it stores very well. I still have a couple of polaris from 2019 in storage! I already had one South Anna from this last season go bad! It was also very long season, as noted above. Waltham butter nut was not an early variety, the one time I grew it, and only got 2/plant. It did store well, I will say.

This year I am trying another hybrid butternut - Butterbush - a recommendation of [mention]brownrexx[/mention] , who has great success with it every season. It is a much smaller plant, compared to the long vining types, but she still gets a great harvest, of smaller fruits, and very early, for butternut. She says it stores well, too, so I'm trying it.
Woodbury, NJ zone 6B-7

User avatar
brownrexx
Reactions:
Posts: 2013
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:05 pm
Location: Southeast PA, zone 6b

Re: Winter Squash

#7

Post: # 38898Unread post brownrexx
Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:07 pm

Glad to hear that [mention]pepperhead212[/mention] . I think that you will like it.

Here is about half of last year's harvest. I think that I grew 3 or 4 plants.

ImageButter Bush 2020 by Brownrexx, on Flickr

OhioGardener
Reactions:
Posts: 240
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:58 am
Location: SW Ohio, Zone 6

Re: Winter Squash

#8

Post: # 38902Unread post OhioGardener
Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:36 pm

I grow an old Soviet squash (Mindalnaya pumpkin, C. pepo) that I've been stewarding from the last 30 years that will set a good crop of 15 - 20 lb pumpkins in 90 days, sometimes less in warmer weather here in Zone 6. This last season was difficult one and it was already July 1 when I managed to poke seeds in the ground in one of my compost areas. My hope was to at least get a couple to renew my seed stock, but I ended up with over 25 table pumpkins along with many immature soft ball-size fruit which are great sliced, breaded, and fried up like round zucchini. The mature fruits have a sweet almond-like flavor and gradually turn all orange during winter storage where they can keep up to 6 months or so. The ones in the photo were picked a bit premature at about 70 - 75 days after direct seeding, but were able to finish ripening for me in storage.
20200920_183110.jpg
Another squash that I grew this year and recommend is Nanticoke (C. maxima). It has a very long storage life, reportedly up to a year. It's not sweet, but the flesh consistency and color is good and I like that you can plant one species and get multiple shapes and colors. It also got started on July 1 and still managed to produce a good crop for me.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Debbie

User avatar
wykvlvr
Reactions:
Posts: 404
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:36 am
Location: Southeast Wyoming

Re: Winter Squash

#9

Post: # 38905Unread post wykvlvr
Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:53 pm

[mention]pepperhead212[/mention] I was sort of thinking the same thing about the store squash after giving it some thought. Most are hybrids these days so no telling what I would get for that space in my garden. The garden is too small and my growing conditions too iffy to take the chance.
I have seen Butterbush recommended a few times now so have added seeds for it to the order I am working on now. Sigh DH wants onions something I have never grown before...
Hmmm Polaris looks interesting but I think I will go with Butterbush this year. Especially after seeing that photo posted by [mention]brownrexx[/mention] !
Wyoming
Zone 5
Elevation : 6,063 ft
Climate : semi-arid
Avg annual rainfall = 16 inches

User avatar
brownrexx
Reactions:
Posts: 2013
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:05 pm
Location: Southeast PA, zone 6b

Re: Winter Squash

#10

Post: # 38916Unread post brownrexx
Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:08 pm

[mention]wykvlvr[/mention] I plant them close together with no problems. They intertwine together but that does not cause problems.

User avatar
root_grow
Reactions:
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:21 pm
Location: Coastal Washington

Re: Winter Squash

#11

Post: # 38924Unread post root_grow
Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:29 pm

Nights here barely stay above 50 here even in summer, and I don't get much heat in the daytime to compensate. Butternuts are the most offended by this, so I definitely wouldn't recommend seeds from a grocery store butternut. Last year I trialed the Lofthouse Landrace Butternuts, and they were amazing and impressive. This past season was particularly cold and gray and the rains returned early September, but I still got several ripe butternuts from each vine, even though I planted them kind of late. Finally quick butternuts!!!

Lower Salmon River is one of my favorite squashes. They're pretty quick to ripen but still large and really very beautiful. Plus they're insanely delicious and creamy. I just love their intense orange glow inside and out! Not sure I'd call it a PNW "favorite" though, I've never seen them outside of my garden, sadly - more people need to get on this bandwagon!

Last year I was pleasantly surprised by Flat White Boer. Burgess Buttercups are usually a good choice, bred in North Dakota for a quick season and harsh conditions. Marina di Chioggia fared surprisingly well, but the others gave more squash per vine (but mostly because the continual drizzle caused constant moisture in all their nooks and crannies and helped mold take over). Hopi Pale Grey is super too - and I definitely don't still have one hanging around from 2 years ago... I guess I'm testing its storage capabilities... (it seems unphased)

Thelma Sanders is another favorite, really delicious and productive, but it is a pepo.

User avatar
wykvlvr
Reactions:
Posts: 404
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:36 am
Location: Southeast Wyoming

Re: Winter Squash

#12

Post: # 38967Unread post wykvlvr
Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:23 pm

Nice to see someone who has experience with the Lower Salmon River. Had to quote from web sites as it was hard to find other info... Grin one reason I look for plants that work in the PNW is I know those can handle our cooler nights, I just need to watch for sunburn and windburn both being very common here.
Bon Bon F1 is supposedly an "improved, earlier" Burgess Buttercup and as mentioned it actually had squash big enough to call ripening before our early snow storm. I will try it again but not sure if I will do it this year. Will have to look up Flat White Boer, Hopi Pale Grey and Marina di Chioggia .
Thelma Sanders has been mentioned by more then one person before you so I may have to get seeds and give it a try.
My only concern with any of the Lofthouse landraces is I generally only plant 2 or 3 plants of each variety and I am not sure that would do them justice. I have the same concerns with Nanitoke. Of course I may get smart and just say okay all landrace and lets plant 10 or 12 plants...
Wyoming
Zone 5
Elevation : 6,063 ft
Climate : semi-arid
Avg annual rainfall = 16 inches

TomHillbilly
Reactions:
Posts: 207
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:38 pm

Re: Winter Squash

#13

Post: # 38972Unread post TomHillbilly
Thu Jan 21, 2021 3:05 pm

I've learned a lot from reading these posts. I've learned I'm totally ignorant about growing winter squash in the high elevation of zone 5.  I've only lived at 2,400 feet in zone 6. And 1,500 feet in zone 7. Growing winter squash, pumpkins, and cushaw, are so easy. Many grew them as a means of cheap hog feed. Parts of the garden that made itself early, were planted in these items late. Then forgotten about until October. Everyone did it in my childhood. Smashed them over the fence for the hogs. Some people still grow this stuff today by the truck loads. The odd thing is-- most no longer raise hogs. It has to be extra work clearing it off the garden.
 PS-- I guess some people in zone 5 have wondered why I have had difficulties trying to grow cauliflower, broccoli, and rutabagas.

User avatar
root_grow
Reactions:
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:21 pm
Location: Coastal Washington

Re: Winter Squash

#14

Post: # 38988Unread post root_grow
Thu Jan 21, 2021 5:08 pm

I suppose to get the full experience of the landrace you would need lots of plants, but it's also just really fun to dip into a packet of butternut seeds knowing either they'll all produce something early and delicious, or maybe a couple will be extra well suited to your conditions. I had 5 of them last year and got everything from super short and fat to huge with long necks, and decided more of them really is the way to go ;)
I only grow one moschata variety every year though so I can always save more seeds.

User avatar
wykvlvr
Reactions:
Posts: 404
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:36 am
Location: Southeast Wyoming

Re: Winter Squash

#15

Post: # 38998Unread post wykvlvr
Thu Jan 21, 2021 5:52 pm

LOL it could be interesting that is for sure and I would know they are suited for my climate... but yes I think to really do them justice they should be the only one I plant. I will definitely think about it some more, I mean it is a few months yet before I have to settle on a winter squash(s). Traditionally March and April are our snowiest months with warm weather plants going in on May 15 at the earliest to as late as mid June...
Wyoming
Zone 5
Elevation : 6,063 ft
Climate : semi-arid
Avg annual rainfall = 16 inches

Post Reply

Return to “Squash”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests