Questions about Delicata

amysrq(5)August 11, 2010

I have a delicata taking over my smallish garden in Zone 5, Western MA. I am wondering when these babies are ready to eat. They are currently the size I see in the market, but they are still creamy white, not turning golden yet. The tag only said Delicata, no names or variety mentioned. Some pics I have seen on line of a Delicata are creamy white....might this be ready?

I also wonder about snipping off the new, small squashes as the end of summer approaches. My thinking is that the new babies will never reach maturity before frost and perhaps diverting the plant's energy to what is already a decent size would be a good idea. Of course, if I could harvest a few, that would help, too.

And finally, I am wondering about cutting the vines to keep them from growing into the aisles of my community garden. The vines are pushing 10 feet and I just don't have anywhere else to go with them. Any advice on a haircut?

Thanks!

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tcstoehr

For consumption as a winter squash, let them ripen until the vines are dead. They may be as big as the market ones now, but they are likely far from ripe. Depending on the type you may expect some green striping to develop. I wouldn't expect them to turn golden, just creamy with with some green markings. Possibly a good idea to remove the ones that you think won't ripen in time. If they're small and tender without yet developed seeds, you can eat them like summer squashes. I try to guide the vines to unoccupied spaces when they get out of control, but other times you just have to cut them off. Be firm and take control.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 3:45PM
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amysrq(5)

Thanks TC. These do have the green stripes. I may pull a few of the tiny ones and see how they are to eat. As for unoccupied spaces, I am just running out. I may try to turn them back on themselves, but they are already crowded and getting some PM. I hate to crowd them even more.

Thanks for the "be firm and take control" advice. I do often feel like the garden is out of control. It has been a big learning experience for me, on multiple levels.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 8:20AM
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tcstoehr

I know what you mean. I have a bed of Delicatas close to a bed of Cantaloupes. There's a battle for dominance where they run into each other. I settle the argument with a pair of hedge clippers. Otherwise I think the Delicatas would overrun and shade out the Cataloupes with their higher leaf canopy.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 1:38PM
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jnfr(z5b CO)

I am growing some Sweet Dumpling delicatas and they have strong climbing tendrils. I have them growing on a tomato cage. I figure I'll have to provide some support to the fruit when they get large, but they seem quite happy to climb.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 9:50PM
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Trishcuit

This is my first time growing Delicata as well. Mine are in a community plot also but one edge is a bit of a slope and then chain link. I think I may direct them that way. Gotta love squash and their push for world domination.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 1:44AM
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amysrq(5)

Gotta love squash and their push for world domination.

chuckle chuckle

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 7:31AM
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