This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

winter squash arbor

squash arbor 030

My winter squash vines are growing by inches, or more, a day. They have topped my arbor and lots of fruits are setting. The Waltham butternut do best on an arbor since the vines are long and flexible.

I have five butternut plants growing on the left side of the arbor and, on the right side, four plants of different varieties: Hubbard Blue Ballet (a small fruited hubbard, whose vines are a challenge to train up an arbor as they are so thick), Orange Kabocha, Buttercup, and Delicata (this small vine has been overrun by the other three very vigorous ones).
squash 038 squash 039 squash 043 squash 044

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Blogger redbird said...

I love the arbor idea you have going for your squash. Have you ever had any issues with cross pollination planting your squash varieties close to one another?

August 05, 2013 5:25 PM

Blogger kathy said...

I think cross pollination only is an issue if you save the seeds. I don't save my squash seeds yet. Maybe some day I will. For now, I am still experimenting with different varieties. I want to find out what grows best for me and what I like to eat. And so it makes sense for me to buy seed, plant them close, and not worry about cross pollination.

August 06, 2013 12:02 AM

Blogger Cary said...

I love your arbor idea for heavy squash too! I have used much for cukes and melons, but not my winter squash. Love too the idea of trying many varieties in order to choose which does best for you. Kathy, have squash beetles been a problem for you, and if so, what organic solutions have you tried? Thanks so much for your great ideas!

August 06, 2013 6:29 AM

Blogger redbird said...

That may be right! I was curious because I have squash tightly planted this year and have ended up with a variety that definitely cross pollinated...but all of my squash are from heirloom seeds essentially saved from last year's harvest. I'm seeing a trellis or arbor in my squash future--thank you as always for sharing your garden.

August 06, 2013 11:41 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your squash look wonderful. Was wondering if you have any squash vine borer problems up in your neck of the woods and how you handle it.

August 06, 2013 9:16 PM

Blogger kathy said...

There were some cucumber beetles (black with yellow stripes) around our gardens this year, but no squash beetles (orange with black spots). I've read that squash beetles aren't aggressive feeders, so hand picking is effective. For the cucumber beetles, I've read that sticky tape is effective to trap them. I haven't done anything about our cucumber beetles. They did a bit of damage earlier in the summer, but not an amount to worry about. Now there aren't many left and the cukes and squashes are so big that a few bites can't hurt them.

The squash vine borer is a different issue. The combination of downy mildew and vine borer damage eventually kill my squashes, usually before the cold weather would. We are trying Oxidate (from Johnny's) this year to spray against the mildew and it seems to be helping a lot. I don't know of any thing organic to control the borer. My approach is to do everything I can to keep the squashes happy (lots of sun and rich soil) and see how long they can outgrow the borers. I usually get a pretty good harvest even though every stem is lined with borer holes.

August 08, 2013 1:05 PM

Blogger Connie said...

This such a beautiful/practical way of growing squash.

August 11, 2013 5:25 PM

Anonymous Reddirtmomma said...

Wow, those looks great. The Squash Vine Borer is also a huge problem for us, especially down here in humid NC. I've only been able to grow resistant varieties such as tatume and tromboccino, both moschata varities.

August 15, 2013 10:35 AM


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