Notes on the Winter Squash Harvest

Every year is different squash-wise. Last year, we had an abundance of sweet meats, spaghetti squash and banana squash (only a few of which are shown in the photo below). It was my first year growing banana squashes, and I was astounded by their size and abundance. They taste good too.

Note: For those who may not know: banana squashes are the long, light orange ones. Sweet meats are the greenish-blue ones. And spaghetti squashes (not so visible in this photo) are cylindrical and yellow.

various winter squashes from 2016
Winter squash harvest, 2016

 

Since I didn’t grow sweet meat last year, I used Banana squash for pumpkin pie and loved it.

Banana squash
Banana squash
banana squash pieces on baking pan
Banana squash ready for baking
Pumpkin pie with whipped cream on plate
Homemade pumpkin pie

Sweet meat and banana squash are now my go-tos for pie. I figure it’s best to grow them both in case one does better.

This year, after my appendectomy in May, I rushed to get seeds in and forgot to plant banana squash. I blame it on pain and pain meds. I planted everything late and so haphazardly, I was surprised any squash sprouted at all. But most did. Since I didn’t keep track of plantings this year, I can’t tell you what didn’t. Maybe it’s better that way. No regrets.

As usual, I grew the winter squash on a slope that gets plenty of sun but tilts a bit to the north. The clay underneath the topsoil holds water well enough that I don’t irrigate. I grow all my winter squash dryland.

This year, delicata and acorn squash tie for most prolific. This is a first. Spaghetti squash usually does well, but some seeds didn’t sprout (too old, maybe?). I also planted them a bit further up the slope than usual. Maybe it was a tad dry up there with this summer’s heat and lack of rainfall.

Various winter squashes
Winter squash harvest, 2017

I didn’t get a lot of sweet meat, but one is plenty for holiday pumpkin pies and some soup too. I love these homely squashes.

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