Getting Squashed in July

It happens every year about this time, sometimes a bit earlier. Suddenly, we are up to our ears in squash! That’s not a bad thing though. In addition to eating them fresh, I freeze a lot for use later in the year in soups, stocks and other dishes. I am pleased with how they are growing this year, and thought I would give a quick tour.

area with vining squashes

I’ve got the vining types growing up trellises made of remesh panels attached to metal t-posts with zip ties. I train the vines to go up the trellises, and if necessary prune any growth that is too vigorous. Usually that’s only necessary on something like the tromboncinos, which are rampant growers. Some of the less vigorous growers haven’t yet started to climb the poles, including Jester and Tetra. Both of these have started setting on fruits though, and currently they are resting on the mulch of straw.

Jester squash plant

young Jester squash

Others like the Korean squash Meot Jaeng I Ae are vining right on up. I am growing this variety and another Korean one called Teot Bat Put (avocado squash) for the first time, and they both promise to be prolific as well as vigorous growers. They are C. moschata types, and should be resistant to squash vine borers, though I am rarely bothered by that pest. More common here is the squash bug, which usually arrives right about now. I have seen eggs on the underside of one leaf, so I know that they have come out of hiding.

Korean zucchini Meot Jaeng I Ae squash vines

Meot Jaeng I Ae squash almost ready to harvest

Teot Bat Put squash

I’m not surprised the Tromba d’Albenga was first to make it to the top of the trellis. It always does well here for me. It has just now started setting on squash too. Even though technically it is a winter squash, I harvest these at the green stage. They are tasty when roasted in the oven, grilled, or spiralized for use like pasta. The long slender neck is solid flesh, and has a much drier texture than zucchini. I also have the Centercut squash growing, which is a smaller version of the tromboncino. I have this one growing up next to the garden fencing and I’m training it to vine there.

Tromba d’Albenga vines

Tromba d’Albenga setting on

This is my second year growing Celebration, which is a brightly colored acorn type that looks more like a sweet dumpling to me. It was prolific last year, and we enjoyed them cut in half and baked or cut into slices and roasted.

Celebration squash

The heirloom Thelma Sanders acorn squash is a long-time favorite here. The mature squash have a tan skin and a sweet, nutty flavor after baking. It has started setting on too.

Thelma Sanders squash setting on

The bush squashes are in another area, and growing lushly like the vining types. They have filled in the space between their neighbors, tomatoes on one side and a cover crop of field peas on the other side. They are sharing a row with the spring planted brassicas. When the squash are done for I typically sow turnips and radishes in their spot for a fall harvest.

bush squash plants

And joy of joys – I heard a honeybee buzzing around the blossoms this morning! I managed to get a pic of her going in the flower to get the pollen.

honeybee in squash bloom

We are getting our fill of squash at the moment, and the freezer is starting to fill with what I am putting up. I hope you have enjoyed this tour of the many squashes here in July, and I’ll be back soon with more happenings from Happy Acres!



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