Wonderful things in small packages

On Friday, I picked two butternut squash, which were small but most welcome. Then clearing up the vibes yesterday, I discovered another two, which were even smaller but still most welcome.

At Old Sleningford Farm, their squash seem to get big and even ripen on the vine, so I’m wondering how they manage this when they are further north and their site is more exposed. I guess, without asking, that they must start the seeds off earlier than I do.

As it happens, the seeds I used came from a squash I bought in France at Easter – which was grown in Spain. I had considered the possibility that I might get no fruit, considering the seeds wouldn’t have been adapted to my climate (although we did have an unusually hot summer, as it turned out). Therefore to get these small squash is a bonus.

I doubt they will have any seeds but, if they do, I will save some and see if I can grow squash from them next year. And I will try to remember to start them off in February perhaps, so that the plants are already bigger by the time of the last frosts.

The amount of space I have for growing vegetables next year will be less than I have now, so it is going to take even more planning. I’ll do that once the pond has been built and the next round of trees are in the ground, though, as I can’t quite envisage the space yet.

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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16 Responses to Wonderful things in small packages

  1. skyeent says:

    Oh well done! Yes to get squash at all is quite an achievement. I’ve no sharks fin melon this year despite (or because of actually!) the hotter summer. the vines are still growing well though and I’ve tried eating the greens with mixed success.

    • Helen says:

      Yes, the heat might have stopped the melons fertilising. But you’ve tried eating the vines?

      • skyeent says:

        No, the heat meant I didn’t pot on the young plants when they should have been as I was working more outside, so they were late planted out. They may have been overwatered a bit like the tomatoes too.
        Yes the leaves of most cucubits are edible. I found the younger leaves quite nice, but older ones were a bit strong tasting and furry! I thought I might as well get some food out of the plant. I am hopeful I may get a japanese squash, one fruit looks promising, if a little small

  2. We enjoyed butternut squash recently – first time for Jackie

  3. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    I have never managed to grow butternut squashes but have had success with other varieties but not this year I am afraid!

    • Helen says:

      I think they like a lot of heat but also a lot of water – I did water them religiously. But definitely not the most suitable crop for our normal climate!
      I hope you will have a better year next year with your squash.

  4. Clare Pooley says:

    Those butternut squash look fine, Helen! I planted out two butternut squash plants and two melons. Rabbits eat both the squash plants and one of the melons, which was disappointing. I managed to get a couple of small melons off the remaining plant which wasn’t bad after our dry summer. Best of luck with your squash next year. I love them!

    • Helen says:

      I’m impressed that you got any melons, Clare. I tried melons last year and got none!

      • Clare Pooley says:

        The weather was ideal with so much sunshine. The only problem was I didn’t plant them out til July and then we went away for two separate weeks, one in July and one in August, when they didn’t get watered and there was no rain either for the whole of July and August. Next year I will grow two plants, one outside like this year and one in a growbag in the greenhouse. I’ll get them going much earlier and endeavour to water them more (find someone to water them while we are away!)

        • Helen says:

          Yes, I’ve noticed that they need a long growing period. I put three plants in the ground but the only one which produced fruit was the one which went in the ground earliest.

  5. Karen says:

    I think that even though it was a small crop you have successfully grown a squash that typically grew further south. Good luck next year.

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