I couldn’t help but notice it was a bit nippy this morning when we set of on the school run (F started ‘big school’ last week) and I decided to remove all my squash/pumpkins to the greenhouse for their final drying period. I am pretty sure we wont get any frost but I fear there is so much going on around here I may forget them and it only takes one frost for all the hard work to be ruined.
So, to re-cap, last April I started Squash ‘Turk’s Turban’, ‘Butternut Harrier F1′, ‘Sweet Dumpling’, ‘Buttercup’, ‘Crown Prince’ & ‘Gem/Rolet’ in Greenhouse. To be honest I struggled to germinate some of them and when it warmed up planted some direct outside. All my squash were planted in 125 litre (I think!) plastic buckets bought from The Garden Superstore and were filled with the contents of my compost piles (to be honest not fully matured), some bought manure and topped off with a bag or two of John Innes No 2. The containers are big and heavy and wont be moved unless I empty them first. They worked really well, I had healthy plants and I’m very happy with this method as it saves the raised beds for other things.
A while ago I did photograph the growing squash but I think we will skip this and go straight to the ‘ta-da’ shot:
so this is what I’ve got:
Buttercup (top left) x 2 – not bad, might have liked another one but they are a decent size
Crown Prince (middle back) x 1 – love the colour of this and it’s the biggest, as expected.
Gem/Rolet (right) x bucket loads – this is the only summer squash so needs eating pretty swiftly but the quantity and lovely 1 person portion makes it a winner. I have eaten loads already, pricked with a fork, boiled for 45 mins then cut open seeds removed and eaten direct with a blog of butter and some seasoning.
Sweet Dumling (bottom left) x 4 – I grew this as it’s described as a ‘Shreck’ squash and I thought the kids would like that. It was very late to get started so I am happy with my 4, they are meant to be that size, like the Gem, you get lots of small squash.
Butternut (bottom middle) x 6 – I should have removed some of these earlier, I took off about 6 forming fruit but I think a little late, I think I should have aimed for 5 if I wanted decent sized squash, as it is I have 6 small but edible ones. They could have done with a bit longer to grow, they started late.
Oh, did I forget one? Oh, yes, that would be my ‘comedy’ squash, the petite but perfectly formed Turk’s Turban.
This was part of the three (or two in my case) sisters planting and as you can see, it didn’t flourish. I watered the container planted squash every day, a lot, and it’s been a dry summer here, I tended to rather neglect my raised beds so I think this was the problem, it’s a shame as I was growing this partly for decoration, as you can see it’s very pretty (and tastes good too apparently) there were 2 but one got eaten by slugs early on and this mini version was the only surviver.
Next year I think I will add ‘Marina di Chioggia’ which is an Heirloom variety that’s has fantastic warty skin and I will definitely shift the ‘Turk’s Turban‘ into a container to get a better crop.