Friday, August 29, 2014

Winter squash

Well they grow in the summer but they keep through the winter, so the name makes sense I guess.  It looks like a good year for winter squash.  I grew two plants each of Metro Butternut, Teksukabotu and Honey Bear Acorn.  The Butternut and Teksukabotu plants each set 3 squashes each, for a total of 12 squash.  The remaining Acorn has 4 squash (the other was lost to the borer).  Yesterday I removed the dead and dying foliage, leaving a somewhat bare patch.

About a week ago I noticed that the plants had started growing again and setting new squash.  The same thing happened 4 years ago.  Why?   My theory is this:  It was a good year for squash.  Until recently the plants had put their energy into developing the squash that were set in early summer.  Now that those squash are fully ripened they can put their energy into setting new squash.  The Teksukabotu is doing this:
And the Butternut is too:

Much of the new growth is happening on the back side of the trellis, where I have to train the vines to allow access to the okra plants.

The big question is this - will the fruits mature in time before the first frost?  I guess that depends on when the first frost takes place.  Mid-October is typical around here.  If it's early October they probably won't ripen in time.  At any rate there's nothing to lose by letting them ripen, at least the squash that have already been pollinated.  I will cull any that are setting now so the plants can feed their energy into the ones already set.  But first I'll let them flower to feed the bees.


Daphne Gould said...

I've got new ones setting too. One patch is doing so well and has a lot of maturing squash, but sadly the other sections are a bit bare of squash. I hope they set more soon. They really don't have a lot of time.

Mark Willis said...

I'm hoping for a long warm spell for you!

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