spaghetti squash question

kristenmarie(Z4-5/New Mexico)September 19, 2011

Hi

This is our 2nd year growing spaghetti squash for market and I'm curious about this plant. I've probably got 200 or so of these squash, and while some set fruit sorta yellow/green all one color, then slowly turn more yellow, others seem to have set fruit more like a zucchini with a strong mottling.... and it doesnt' seem to be going away Do they ALL turn that yellow color spaghetti squash are supposed to be... eventually? Has anyone else dealt with this? Also, does anyone know if any good market gardener forums where people talk about stuff like this, prices, etc? This particular forum has never been very busy in the 10 years I've stopped in periodically....

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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

I think this forum is pretty active. This is the busy time of year for many of us. I currently have a half acre of Winter Squash, including Spaghetti. I know what you talk about when the fruit is green and green/yellow. All of mine are turning a nice yellow, just give them time. That is if the vines are still alive.

About price, I have been charging $1.25 per pound for all winter squash. It is a fair price and I have been moving alot and I have A LOT more to sell. I made a chart that breaks on the half dollar and put a weight range that goes with that price. Then I set up tubs at market and fill them with that sized and price squash. That way I don't have to weigh each one when the customers checks out. Then when things slow down I can weigh and bin-up the squash.

Jay

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 9:12PM
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myfamilysfarm

I can answer your questions regarding spaghetti squash. Some of them will not change color. Color doesn't tell you whether the squash is ripe. The hardness of the shell is the tell-tale of ripeness. The shell will be hard enough that you will not be able to puncture it with your fingernail when you push semi-hard.

I sold the squash both as weight and by the 'eaches'. Either way works well. I usually charged $1.00-1.50 per lb, or I weighed some and charged the average weight times the per pound price. I did not divide the squashes into separate tubs because I had people complain that they picked up a 3lb squash out of the 1 lb bucket and expected to pay the 1lb price. Mine were usually priced at $2. each. I usually started with weighing them and when I got down to the smaller ones, then I changed to the each price.

Most of the years were just by weight, I did sell a few by the bushel box. I had several people that would come by in Sept/Oct to buy several pounds (20+) at a time, then the next week they would buy more.

I sorta become the squash lady, after being the tomato lady after the strawberry lady, after the plant lady.

Otherwise, to make the story short, don't worry about color, just the hardness of the shell.

Jay, I'm glad your crop is doing well, with 1/2 acres you should harvest about 20-40 bushel of squash. I seemed to only have 20 bushel no matter how many seeds I planted.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 12:59PM
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spogarden

Garden web was sold about 10 years ago. The new owners messed up a lot of peoples log in. After being an active member for many years, suddenly I could no longer log in. Many of us left, which was a shame, cause these forums used to be super busy. I come back and visit once in a while, with my new ID. I did contact them at the time, they said they 'fixed' my sign-in ID, but they didn't. The old ID never worked again.

I have seen what you are talking about on squash and wondered if it was the seed or cross pollination. Some of them don't look quite like the rest. Jrslick is right, look at the plant. And pick one for dinner, the best way to find out is to try them. Then next week at market you can say 'we just had one of these last night and it was fabulous'.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 1:14PM
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myfamilysfarm

I have had several customers that I trusted, try some of the odd looking ones for my. Responses were they just looked different on the outside, same on inside.

Marla

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 3:17PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

Marla,

Do you call 50 pounds of winter squash a bushel? If so, I picked another 9 bushels tonight. It doesn't even look like I put a dent in the Spaghetti squash! I probably have another 6-7 in the basement from last week. We have a big city festival this weekend. I sell lots of jellies and this year I have all the winter squash. There are people who sell pumpkins too, I am hoping for good sales.

Jay

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 10:12PM
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myfamilysfarm

It feels like it or more, I use 1 1/9 bushel boxes that I got from the Amish. Bushels are more volume versus weight. I would guess that 50# would be close. While they are in the basement, just 'visit' them each week and make sure none are getting soft spots. I recommend storing them on wooden racks where they would not touch each other. Doing the weeking visits and storing them as I recommend, I have had some keep well over the 6 months that I tell people. I had 1 butternut keep for over 2 years. Keep in mind the longer off of the vine, the harder the shell gets. that butternut needed a chainsaw to cut it.

I always sold more winter squash than pumpkins and their easier to pack around, individually.

Marla

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 1:40PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

They are just in the basement for a few days. With any luck, I hope to get many of them sold this weekend.

Jay

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 3:31PM
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myfamilysfarm

If your market is anything like my old market, at least 1/2 will be gone. good luck

Marla

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 4:52PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

Well it was a beautiful day. 70's, no wind, Sunny and very few sales. It pretty much stunk! I did get a few more people to sign up for my online market, so it wasn't a total bust.

The main reason I continue to sell during this weekend is that my booth becomes "Command Center" and parking lot for strollers, wagons, bikes, jackets and much more. Btwn the girls dancing, a kid parade and much more, it is nice to have central place to go to.

Jay

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 12:57AM
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paveggie(z5-6)

Kristenmarie - late to the party here but about the color mottling. Two things come to mind. One is a possible outcross of some type wherein the interior spaghetti-like character wasn't lost. These outcrosses can also cross with "normal" ones. That's only a problem if you are maintaining your own seed supply. If you are, then next crops could be even more mixed.

The other reason could be effect of one of the viruses which affect squash. (Sometimes if the virus infection is light, the fruits could still be edible.) In case of virus, tho, the plants ought to be removed if possible to avoid further spread of the virus.

Yes, normally the spaghettis do turn color, but the shell hardness, as mentioned previously, is the sign of maturity. The most mature at harvest should store the best. If you think some less mature, then I'd sell those for customers who intend to use them within a very short time.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2011 at 1:44AM
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sdsettles

I live in the Pacific North West. I have my spaghetti squash growing on a trellis system, and have many very nice sized squash and for the most part are doing great. Yet, some of my squash are getting started and will grow to about 4-6" in diameter and then begin to wilt/shrivel. What am I doing wrong???
There does not seem to be any pests, nor is there any mildew or discoloration to the vines them selves. I have TONS of bees buzzing about...

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 1:46PM
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myfamilysfarm

The squash may not be getting enough moisture. I've never tried to trellis any squash, so I'm not sure if that might cause different problems or not. I would think that you would need to 'sling' them, especially since I've had 10# fruit. I'm sure you have checked at the base of the plant for any 'extra' particles above and beyond the normal.

Marla

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 5:13PM
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