Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Growing Winter squash (spaghetti squash) in our little garden successfully

This year was my first year growing winter squash and it was so fun to watch grow and we ended up with 15 squash before I pulled the plant. At average weighing 3 pounds (some weighed up to 6!) Now at my local grocery  store they sell for $1.45 a pound so we ended up with around $65 worth of winter squash. We donated some, froze some and of course ate most. :)
I pulled the plant to get some things in for fall BUT still have one that is now growing back again. I am not sure it will last or grow amazing food again with the cool weather but as seen below it has squash starting again. It is just one vine and is really spaghetti squash but it IS growing.

 This is what it looked like the first time it grew.

By the time I pulled the plants they were half way across my lawn. 

Growing Spaghetti squash tips~
~Plant in full sun and always keep soil wet..we water daily unless it rains
~Do not cut the squash off to soon! It will not continue to grow once cut.
~A easy way to see if a squash is done growing is to see if your fingernail can penetrate the side. If it can let it grow more, you can the outside to be hard. They turn a cream colored when ready. I had a green one this year that after I cut turned cream also. 
~The flowers are edible! Fry lightly in butter :)
~ Their is both male and female flowers so make sure you have good bugs to help pollinate.  
This is the female flower that has not open yet.
Below is the male. Male flowers are on a long stem. 

~Once cut off of the vine the squash can last for awhile in a cool dry place, just make sure they do not touch.
~If you want to cook Spaghetti squash this is how I normally do it. Poke holes and place in  a oven at 350 for a hour. Once done let it cool enough to work with it and cut it open length wise. Remove the seeds and use a fork to remove the squash. It should come out like spaghetti. I serve it with butter or pasta sauce. Also goes great with sausage. 
~You can roast the seeds just like pumpkin seeds.
~Cut the squash off the vine about inch or so above the squash. Do not pull off!
~Remember these are runners. I planted some near my mailbox really not knowing how long they would get, well this is how it ended up looking~Neighbors did not mind but the plant really had no where to go lol
~Keep eyes open for pest like the cucumber beetle. We had no issues this time around thankfully.
~As cold weather sets in cut off any new squash growing. They will not have time to grow fully and the plant is better off growing what has all ready started then to try with new ones that will not make it. 
Here is some of our harvest from this summer

Remember to have fun. Squash is actually easy to grow!

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