Heirloom Squash Winter and Summer

goatster(7bGa)May 26, 2005

Folks this is my first year at a vegetable garden and I want to grow the heirlooms. I have a lot of questions, but I want to say that my very first concern is planting things that taste GOOD. I want it to be tender, sweet and just plain tasty. The second thing for me is varieties that are bug proof. Can you suggest squash summer and winter and melons that fit the bill? I appreciate your experinces with these plants.

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silybum(Sunset 16/z8b)

I have been finding some amazing squash this year, of all places, at my favorite grocery store, Whole Foods. The varieties I have are Melon Charentais, Squash Summer Zuchetta, Squash Flying Saucer, Squash Summer Bennings Green Scallop, Pumpkin Musque de Provence & Pumpkin Baby Pam. You can find seeds online.

None are bug proof, but plant lots of flowers and herbs that attract beneficial insects. Use Sluggo to take care of snails and slugs.

Here are a few links:




    Bookmark   May 27, 2005 at 12:22AM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

Goatster, there is, alas, no such thing as a bug-proof veggie. They're all subject to invasion by some pests and diseases.

In some cases, heirlooms are more suseptible. But they more than make up for this by their incredible flavor.

What you have to do is first decide whether you're going to control pests chemically or organically. The trade off is that chemical use is easier, but has a lot of downsides in terms of their effects on the land and your own health. Organic controls take more work, but contribute to the land's and your own overall well-being.

Where you are, the primary insect pests will be squash bugs and squash vine borers. The plants will also be suseptible to a disease called powdering mildew.

Being as this is your first veggie garden, I would stick to some of the tried-and-true standbys. A zucchini variety and/or yellow crookneck for the summer squash and either an acorn, one of the delicata styles, or butternut for the winter squash.

What else are you planning in addition to the squashes?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2005 at 7:14AM
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Thanks for the advice. I am also growing cucumbers, onions, corn, okra, eggplant, bellpepper, tomatoes, sunflowers and many other flowers and herbs in the garden. It really isn't a large plot so I take my 6 year old daughter out with me and we do "bug patrol" she is really a good helper so we are trying to stay on top of it. I know what to look for now and I also realize that the SVB comes out around mid June, so I am going to be ready! I will plant squash again one month later when they go dormant again. I guess you must work around the bugs. I will be planting melons later in the season. I hope to have a "mostly" heirloom garden. Right now my worst bug of all is Colorado Potato Beetle.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2005 at 7:39AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Right now my worst bug of all is Colorado Potato Beetle.

And those can be controlled initially, if you don't have too many tomato, potato or eggplant plants by crushing the orange egg clusters on the undersides of the leaves.

Next step up is to spray with BT San Diego, in other words make sure the BT prep you use says CPB's on the label for there are several different kinds of BT.

BT should control the larvae. For the adults you need 5% Rotenone. Most preps are 2% so you'll have to look around for the 5%.


    Bookmark   May 27, 2005 at 8:32AM
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athagan(z9a N/C Fl)

Well, you're in North Georgia so maybe your bug and disease pressure won't be the same as mine but here in North/Central Florida where I am I'd have to suggest Seminole Pumpkin and Waltham Butternut as being about as bullet proof as squash gets. They both taste pretty good to me, bear well, and so long as they are well mulched and kept watered when they need it they don't need much attention. They're both C. moschata so if you want to save seed you'll either have to isolate or grow one variety at a time.

I'm growing Green Striped Cushaw as well. My first time with them, but they're supposed to be very reliable in the Deep South. The potential drawback will be taste and texture as I've read good and bad about that, but thus far they are going strong.

Nothing much you can do for summer squash as borers and powdery mildew are going to be a problem. There are ways to slowing down or deterring both but sooner or later one or the other is going to do them in. Chances are though you'll get a good bit of squash before they do. I'm going to succession planting on squash myself. In another week to two weeks I'll put the second row in as my first are just about ready to bloom now.


    Bookmark   May 27, 2005 at 9:42AM
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We are having quite good luck with both summer and winter heirlooms.

Here are some winter squash:


And, here are our summer:



Here is a link that might be useful: Life has taught us ...

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 11:07PM
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Hi There, I am having a hard time trying to find seeds for the giant banana squash.(either colour please) The ones I mean are as round as a small dinner plate and almost eighteen inches long they originate in the USA and Mexico.
Someone gave me some seeds when I lived in New Zealand, and they were great to eat but I have long since lost those seeds. Would someone help and tell me where I can buy them in good old Aussie?
Thank you kindly.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2007 at 11:42AM
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New garden convert from down under. Glenn Drowns and Sandhill Preservation center has the squash your looking for and he ships seeds internationally. Check out his web site and get your order in. He works full time as a Biology teacher and it sometimes can take a few weeks to get an order. He does not do Credit cards or on line purchases so the postal service is the only way to pay and get seed. Rodger

Here is a link that might be useful: Sandhill

    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 9:21AM
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