Central Virginia Organic Gardener

"And 'tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes." - William Wordsworth, 1798

Friday, October 16, 2015

2015 Winter Squash

My goodness, it has been a long time since I posted. I need to rectify that!

As some of you know, I have a "thing" for winter squash. (Flash of insight: I have a "thing" for many plants!)  Winter squash is tasty, is the "go to" squash for "pumpkin" pies, is delicious in a curried squash soup and I just love them.

This year, I again grew the old standby, Waltham butternut. This tried and true heirloom is tasty, prolific and has hard stems that make it almost impossible for the squash vine borer to create havoc.  I got a dozen fruits, at least, off of one plant, and it kept pumping them out until fairly recently (too late for some of them to mature, though).  I grew three new squash this year: Gold Nugget (the small, orange one on the left); Galeux d'Eysines (called a "peanut squash) in the center and: Futsu Black (the smaller, warty ones).  None were as prolific as the Waltham, though the Gold Nugget came close.  All these squash have dry flesh, which I prefer, as I believe it tastes better and is easier to cook.  And the Galeux and Futsu are cool looking, too.   The Galeux only produced two large squash, as did the Futsu, but they were fun to grow.

There are two pests that give me the most trouble with the curcubits, the squash vine borer and the cucumber beetle (the borer kills the plant from inside the stem, the cucumber beetle spreads a wilting virus).  This year, I tried a new "barrier" method to deal with them (used this for my cucumbers too, and got a great harvest):  I kept the plants coated with Surround (trademark), a finely ground, Kaolin clay.  You mix it up in a sprayer and spray the plants.  Cucumber beetles, and the moth that lays the vine borer eggs, must not like the gritty texture, and they avoid the plants.  The downside is that Surround will wash off in a heavy rain and must be reapplied.

Oh, I got all these seeds through Pinetree Garden Seeds,Pinetree Garden Seeds

Happy gardening!


Katrina McMinds said...

Hi there! We just moved to central va and I am now starting to plan my garden! I'm curious about the clay substance you sprayed on your squash as I planted pumpkin and my old house and the borer bug destroyed my entire crop and broke my heart along with it! Where would I find that? Also which of these did you find makes the best pumpkin pie? I want to plant tons and tons of those ;)
Happy gardening!! I'm off to read more of your blog.

Judy Thomas said...

Sorry for the delay in response. Surround is a trademarked, finely milled, Kaolin clay powder. It is sold through Gardens Alive: