Row by Row by Episode 47: Winter Squash and Pumpkins for Your Vegetable Garden

Growing Winter Squash and Pumpkins

Winter squash are not planted in the winter months. They are planted in the spring, much like summer squash, but they will store well into the winter. That is why they are called “winter squash”. Winter squash should be planted in the spring after the chance of frost has passed. They are typically planted a few weeks after one would traditionally plant summer squash or zucchini varieties. One of the most under-recognized food sources for the home gardener, winter squash is a valuable crop that should be grown by more people because of the long-lasting shelf life without refrigeration.

Winter Squash Varieties

There are three primary species of winter squash, Cucurbita maxima, Cucurbita pepo, and Cucurbita moschata. Cucurbita maxima include species like kabocha squash that are very sweet and widely considered one of the best-tasting squash types. Cucurbita pepo includes varieties like Delicata and Spaghetti Squash. Cucurbita moschata includes varieties like Butternut, Seminole Pumpkin, Fairytale Pumpkin, and our Blue Bayou Pumpkin. The moschata tends to include more heat tolerant varieties and are a little more resistant to insect pressure. The recommended area of spacing to grow winter squash is at least a 20′ x 20′ or 30′ x 30′ area due to their extensive ground cover, much like watermelons. Most of these squash have 90 days to maturity which is about 40 days longer than summer squash. That being said, it is important to keep this winter squash on drip irrigation to reduce your chances of having issues with downy and powdery mildew.

Show and Tell Segment

On the show and tell segment, Travis has some okra transplants that are ready to be planted. Growing okra from transplants has always been successful for the guys. Greg talks about how excited he is about his shallots that are looking healthy and growing well. Travis mentions that he may have to do a little research on when exactly he should harvest his leeks. However, they seem to be growing and doing just fine. So he will wait to harvest his leeks at a later time. The peppers are ready to “step up” into a 4″ pot once they start getting the second set of true leaves. So the guys are busy stepping up the peppers and getting those acclimated to the bigger seed trays in the greenhouse. The guys also share a new tool called the Hoss Stirrup Hoe which is a long-handled version of their Oscillating Hoe attachment for the Wheel Hoe.

Viewer Questions Segment

On the question and answer segment, the guys answer questions about planting green beans and using fruit trees to attract pollinators. Travis says that pole beans need a panel or some type of trellis because they are climbing beans. Greg says it takes 50 days to maturity on pole beans and to definitely plant before the end of May. Greg states that trees are great for pollinators, but you should think several years ahead of time because they take longer to grow than flowers. With flowers, they are quicker and easier to get them in the ground and blooming if you need something quick. Some tree varieties that are wonderful for pollinators include native oaks or any trees that bloom in the springtime. Greg suggests that you should stay away from trees that are not native to your area because you will have difficulty growing those types.

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