Squash and Cucumbers - Which ones do you grow?

RedpineDecember 25, 2010

Hi all.

I'm not in the Far North, but I thought that what people there grow, may grow well for me as well. I'm located in Maine near the Quebec border.

Even though there are seed companies in Maine, most of the varieties that they offer just do not do well for me. And the few that they offer that do grow well for me, they don't produce much. Exception: Lemon Cucumber is extremely prolific, but not the easiest to store for later use.

And most of the other USA seed companies seem to cater to more southern areas.

So I was wondering what varieties of squash and cucumbers grow well for you?

In case it matters, my frost free season is usually between June 7 to Sept 30, giving me about 110 days of summer.


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I've got some production out of Hubbard Squash - green and orange, almost volley ball size. The plants take up a lot of space and seem to set fruit well away from the center of the plant. I start (in an unheated greenhouse) them in relatively large pots about a month before planting out. I try to keep the root ball intact when I plant them.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2010 at 4:02PM
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Try Vesey's Seeds in Prince Edward Island, they specialize in seeds for short-seasons. Of their squash, my favourite are East Elite and the slightly larger Sweet Mama. Those two are buttercup winter squash that ripen earliest for me. Even in a cold summer like we had in 2010, they still get far enough along to bring in before the first killing frost and ripen up inside. I picked mine in mid-September, by mid-October they were getting ripe enough to eat, now I've eaten about half of them and the others are firm enough to store until spring or until I eat them, whichever comes first. Vesey's also sells a small spaghetti squash "Small Wonder" (like 2-5 lb fruits instead of huge ones) that is extemely prolific -- the zucchini of the winter squash! The vines are big, it's the fruit that are smaller than typical spag. squash. They also ripen up nicely indoors if they don't manage to ripen outside (like this year again) -- you know they are ripe when they have turned yellow. I've got lots in my basement now that are good for eating and will keep a couple more months. Apart from that, I have had partial success with their acorn squash variety "Tay Belle" I think it is, but for me they would do better in a hot summer where they could ripen fully outside as they have to be pretty near ripe to continue ripening inside. I have tried their hubbard squash and a couple other winter squash varieties, without success. Butternut totally failed for me I recall, as well as some kind of potato or dumpling squash. You probably have conditions a bit better than here, where midsummer days are a high of 23C (74F) and nights down to about 12C (54F) on average. Again, as far as winter squash go, the buttcup ripen earliest, ripen perfectly indoors if they don't make it outside, store at least 6-8 months, and in my view have by far the best taste.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2010 at 8:52PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

The only cucumber that's grown really well for me was "Straight Eight" but it's a salad cuke and I only like them pickled so I haven't been growing them. I have never had success with pickling cukes.

I can grow zucchini well but it varies year-to-year, and I once planted an extra-orange spaghetti squash from McFayden's and got a truckload.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 10:39AM
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The only cucumber I have been able to grow with any success is Sweet Success Hybrid. Quite prolific for me. I can't seem to find the seeds in Canada anymore so actually just this morning ordered them from Park Seed in the USA.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 10:35AM
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We garden in Maine-a few years ago had some free "marketmore" trial seed, and always use them now, very dependable.(and tasty)

If you can, try Tetsukabuto squash, with an early butternut. Vine borers leave them alone, and the Japanese squash keeps, and tastes fantastic...pine tree seeds has them.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 12:49PM
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