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Thursday, 23 July 2009

My Pumpkin & Winter Squash Patch.

Just thought I would share the progress of my pumpkin and winter squash site with you all. In this area measuring approx twelve feet by fourteen feet I have fitted in four pumpkin plants of two varieties and ten winter squash plants each a different variety (can you tell I found it hard to choose which not to grow and there are still some in my seed box I haven‘t tried, maybe next year).

So this is what the patch looked like when I planted them out back in May (young pumkin/ squash patch) they were pot bound and looked rather sorry for themselves. I was worried that they would have not amount to anything as they took a while to really get going, so for the more sorry specimens approx twelve of the plants I resowed a seed next to the original plants this was during the first week of June. There was some germination and one of the plants that was totally removed by slugs has been replaced by a healthy looking youngster. But since the end of June I have noticed that the original plants have suddenly started to look relatively healthy and are now growing great guns, producing lots of flowers and a lot more fruit than I would have expected.

A lot of the early fruit where attacked by slugs and so the later part of June month found me applying slug pellets at least twice a week. This certainly culled the blighters numbers and today is the first I have seen signs of them again (a couple chomped fruit and one culprit sitting brass face underneath the evidence), so I’ve applied some more around the areas they are coming out to feed.

With the recent wet weather mainly at night, I have also noticed as of this morning a couple signs of powdery mildew, so I have also applied a solution of diluted milk to all the foliage, hopefully that will help to keep the fungi at bay.

Any hoo! here are some photos of the different fruits growing in the sea of curcubit leaves. I’ll try to identify them for you.

Pumpkin: Hooligan an F1 hybrid

Squash: Onion.

Shark Fin Squash aka 'the squash with plans to take over the world!!!!'

Squash: Cornell's Delicata

Squash: Celebration.

Squash: Kabocha.

Squash: Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato

Butternut Squash just starting.

Winter squash: Blue Banana.

Squash: Boston.

Squash: Crown Prince.

Pumpkin: Snowman.
Bar the butternut squash (only an immature fruit not yet flowered/ pollinated) there are definately fruits setting and forming on all the plants (I've only photographed the larger specimans), so even if I only get one fruit per plant I'm sure to get at least 11 to 12 winter storing fruits but I won't celebrate yet as its not wise to count your eggs before they hatch.


  1. Errmmm, I take it you like squash then, lol. I didn't know that diluted milk was a cure for powdery mildew. It just shows that plants do make a comeback. They've obviously just been waiting for the right conditions to get going.

  2. Yes we like squashes but have only ever had the regular pumpkin when we lived in Trinidad and butternut squash since we moved to the UK.

    When I started to grow veg over here the seed catalogues dazzled me with their wide range of squashes and pumpkins, so I ad to try some.

    I acquired most of the seed I have grown this year from seed swaps, so no real cost involved. This lets me try a few varieties each year with the opportunity to pass on the ones I/ we don't like, find the ones we enjoy (which I could then invest properly in a bought seed packet) and get new ones to try all for the cost of a few stamps.

    And yes it always amazes me how under the right conditions how plants soon catch up and grow away.

    I found out about the diluted milk last year quite late in the season, so I'm trying it this year. Everything I read says it is effective, so I’m hoping for good results. Another very effective cure according to the professionals is baking soda and horticultural oil combined there are recipes on the net if you want to give this one ago. I have decided to use the milk one as I didn't feel like searching out horticultural oil.

  3. Amazing ! I really didn't know there was such a variety to grow in this country. I am growing about 4 varieties, I will let you know which ones when I jot down the names.
    I have waited for a year to get my Vietnamese coriander and now I have it and it's growing like crazy, the smell makes me feel ill when I pick the leaves. I love experimenting with different herbs in my cooking and I adore the smell of regular coriander, so thought I might like this one, but I don't think I am going to. perhaps I should try it in a recipe before I give it away.

  4. I think the trick with growing curcubits over here is to pick quick maturing varieties or varieties that are grown with success in colder type environments like here, such as some areas of Canada and the States.

    I of course have not done any research and have picked them purely for their looks and storage capacity :)

    I'm sorry to hear that your Vietnamese coriander isn't agreeing with you. As you say try it first in a recipe then you can decide to keep it or give it away. It roots really well in water so if you did want to give it away to more than one friend you could easily take a few cutting, root them in water then pot them up for a cheap and cheerful Xmas gifts.



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