Winter Squash Questions and Update

jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)June 22, 2011

After working the ground a little wet, renting a tractor tiller to work the rows and planting the seed by covering it with clods, I have the starts of a really good winter squash crop.

I got exactly what I needed for this crop to come up a 1.5 inch rain that took all night to fall. It softened the soil, broke up the clods and gave the seeds enough moisture to germinate. I would say I have 60-70 percent of the field up, the rest is just coming up.

I got the drip irrigation put in and it is running too! I wish it was buried, but it will work.

I have several questions.

1) Does anyone have good experience with killing off velvet leaf? I knew this may be a problem, but I was reluctant to put down a pre-emergant herbicide. I couldn't throw more money into this endeavor. My wife already thought I spent too much!

2) What wholesale prices have you been getting from stores and what prices have you been getting at farmers markets for Acorn, Butternut, Spaghetti, Sweet Dumpling and Delicita squash.

I know what others have been getting at markets, that is what I figured my expenses on, but I am going to look into some wholesale pricing too, just to cover my bases if I get a really good crop.

Thanks,

Jay

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myfamilysfarm

Jay, I don't do wholesale, but the Amish auction last year prices varied alot. 1/2 boxes as low as $2 or as high as $15. Alot depended upon timing and varieties. Of those varieties that you mentioned, the Sweet Dumpling sold the cheapest, people didn't realized what they were. We didn't have any Spaghetti at the auction last year.

It's too early to figure what kind of prices, since we haven't seen any harvested yet.

You should be able to cover your expenses.

Marla

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 8:39AM
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brookw_gw

I have around 40 varieties of winter squashes this year, but butternut and spaghetti are my main wholesale crops. Last year, I sold all squashes for $1/lb retail--60 cents a pound to my restaurant. They buy SO much from me (sometimes 200 lbs a week), I cut them a little break on the squash. Sell those blossoms as well. I only pick the male blossoms, so there is no fruit loss at all. My restaurant wants them closed so they're easier for them to stuff. Looking back at my records, I sold nearly 10,000 of them last year as well. I plant mine on a grid so I can get the tractor close to them from two different directions for weed control. They shade so well, I never worry about watering them. Actually, it rains so much here it's the opposite. I drowned last year and replanted up to 3 times.

By the way, I loved my Rogue scuffle hoe so much, I bought 2 more--their largest and a short handled one. The big one is ideal for the squash plots.

Brook

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 10:20AM
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