Appalachia Gardening

Blind Pig & The Acorn Squash Reporters @ Large

Sow true seed squash varieties

A few weeks ago I shared the results of my Sow True Seed squash growing. Today I’d like to share the reports sent to me by folks who were deputized as Squash Reporters @ Large.

Lanie: I’m getting a ton of yellow squash from my sow true plants! We love squash any way you cook it. My favorite way is just stewed with onions.

Michelle sow true seed squash



Well, here’s my 1st update! ^_^ I attached 4 pics. 20140601-2 is a pic of my whole garden. A wooden shipping crate, 4 cat litter buckets, 2 plastic totes, a ceramic pot, and a nursery pot. I’m growing in composted horse manure that I got for free from a nice man and his horse farm. He even helped me shovel and load it (it took 3 trips in my car…I used the buckets and totes to transport) because I’m disabled. This is my 1st try to garden really! 20140601-3 (those numbers are the dates I took the pics BTW) is the shipping crate, where my squashes live! I used landscaping fabric to save me some work and because I had it. It’s a little hard to tell, but there’s 4 holes cut along the back, and 2 holes in the middle. The 2 back left are the yellow squash, the 2 back right are the zucchini, and the 2 in the middle are the acorn squash. 20140608 is just 1 week later, and look how big my babies are! I put 2 seeds in each hole. 3 of the yellow and zucchini sprouted, and all 4 acorns sprouted. I’d say that’s pretty good germination rate for year-old seeds! 20140618 is another week and a half of growth, so they’re 2.5 weeks old now. They’re getting so giant! I’m going to trellis the 2 summer squashes and leave the flat part to the acorn. I better get to that trellis soon too!

And you have my permission to use this on your blog or whatever…thank you so much for the fun and free food! ^_^
Michele Langston in Arkansas

Julie Hughes: Report 1: In Arizona the true sow plants are big, green, and now bloomless. All the blooms fell off. I had one yellow squash that got about an inch long before it fell off. I am assuming from the heat. I am hoping to keep them watered and green to see what happens. The sweet potato squash is really vining. It is about 4 foot long. Wish I had a better report for you all.

Later Report: In Arizona, the True Sow seeds are having varied luck. The sweet potato squash is vining everywhere, big green huge vines. The crookneck and greek red have been beat back by the heat after such a strong start. After it got to 115 degrees those guys looked spindly and sparse. All of the blooms fell off once it was over a 100 degrees. The pretty vine of sweet potato squash has yet to bloom. It just continues to vine. I think I should have kept some seeds and planted in September and maybe had January squash. Oh well one never knows.

Nanas Sow True Seed Squash


Nana: Black Beauty Zucchini modeled by Papaw.

Barbara Sow True Seed Squash


Barbara: Report 1: These are pictures of my squash. These huge plants now have two squash growing. They are about 6 inches long. Dont know if they will be mature before frost.
Hope you have had a wonderful summer. We had strange weather in New England.

Later report: My Cushaw have finally started growing squash. I have one that it is now about 10 inches long. We had a cool spell and nothing was growing. This week we are back up in the 80’s so hoping that it will mature. Lots of smaller ones growing too. The plants are huge. They grew over the compost bin down the other side.

Big Green Hubbard 2 Sow True Seed Norma



Hi Tipper, There’s a monster in my garden! He’s big and green and running all over the place and his name is Hubbard. He measures 34″ around his big fat waist. Here’s a photo:

He has 3 little brothers and for a short while about 6 weeks ago, I feared all was lost. All my vines were wilted! Squash vine borers invaded my garden and I had to act fast. I raced around with a hypodermic syringe and needle injecting BT (Bacillus Thuringiensis) into the vines just above the worm damaged areas. After that I dusted with Hormex rooting compound and covered the base of the vine up to a foot or so with soil in hopes of getting new roots at the nodes. It worked. I probably didn’t need to use the Hormex but I was in a panic. I think my monster would be bigger if we’d had more rain. I’ve carried a few buckets of water from the pond but not nearly enough.

Regarding the other squashes:

The Greek Sweet Red is blooming but no fruit yet. The vines are running for cover under the Jerusalem Artichokes. I built the Seminole Pumpkins a lovely cattle panel trellis and coaxed them up about 2 feet but then they rebelled and are rambling everywhere with nary a bloom. The trellis isn’t going to waste, though. Chinese Red Noodle Beans and Luffa vines have already made it to the top and are producing abundantly.

We have about 7 weeks left until frost (boy summer is going fast) so I will hope for a miracle for my stragglers and a good report at the end of October.

Best Wishes,

Granny Norma

Chad: Tipper the only thing that grew for me wss the zucchini. It was very dry here in Weaverville

B.Ruth: Tipper, Roy gathered our squash this week. The Winter Squash Pink Jumbo Banana vines only made one squash, not a 40 pounder like I was hoping for! lol  It was large but only about 10 to 15 pounds. Shaped sort of like a banana. Creamy melon color. It did have a long soft area on the bottom. I cut that off, washed it well and cut it up in large chunks. I am planning on baking it today and removing the skin and flesh. I did get 6 beautiful fat seeds out of it. It was at the end of the garden so I hope it didn’t cross with any of the other squash. It is supposed to be used in sweet and savory dishes. I found one recipe for the banana squash in a vegetable cookbook (new one just bought) that I want to try. Will let you know about that recipe. All the rest made well, as I said before we are sure glad we didn’t have room for planting all the seed. We would be having cushaws for footstools and chairs in the yard.
Thanks Tipper,

Ed: My squash report is a sad one. I only got the summer varieties because I knew I could grow them. I could blame it on the cooler than normal spring and the dry spell that followed. I could blame it on the animals that dug up my plants after I watered them from a milk jug that still had some milk in it. I could blame it on the rain that finally came and filled up the trenches that I had created when I made the raised beds in which I planted my seeds. Was it my fault I couldn’t stand in water to pull the weeds that all came up when the monsoons finally came? Was it my fault that by the time the waters finally receded, the weeds were so big that I couldn’t pull them up without pulling up the squash too? Was it my fault that the zucchini I replanted after the first ones didn’t come up turned out to be yellow squash too? Was it my fault that islands that the squash lived on were invaded by alien creatures that attacked the stems and leaves of the poor little plants, knowing I could not see them from the distant shore. It might not seem so from what you have read so far but the invaders awoke the last few IQ points I have left. I located a JIF jar I had recycled, drilled a few holes in the lid and filled it with that 7 (shhhhhh!) stuff I had sworn never to use again. Those mountains on which my ailing little ragamuffins dwelt became the snowcapped peaks of an Alaskan wilderness. Their tattered leaves became angel wings and their stems majestic intricately carved marble pillars.

Here is my recommendation to you. If you decide to do squash deputies again next year, when you see my name as a volunteer, politely tell me that you are sorry but you have already given out your allotment. That will probably work in 2016 too. It will save you the postage to send me the seeds and will save me the embarrassment of having to report my miserable failures.

I did get a few messes of squash though and I grew some of the best sweet onions and radishes I ever ate. I had only two barrel onions out of all I planted and they were sweet too. The radishes were so good I let two of  best looking ones go to seed and harvested the seeds. The seed plants got so big I had to stake them up. I have never heard of anyone saving radish seeds but I did it. If this years luck continues though, I’ll probably grow radishes that will bite back at you.

Quinn: Tipper, I am almost afraid to say anything for fear the weather will change again and everything will die on the vine…but I’ll cross my fingers and say that my winter squash plants are beginning to produce actual squashes! I’ve picked two Thelmas and I’m watching a few more…and the Greek Reds and Jumbo Bananas are each growing at least a couple of squash, including one good-sized banana that’s hanging on a fence! I promise to give you a full report and pictures when there’s more to tell…I get the feeling my season is running weeks behind yours, but maybe that’s normal? It seems like it’s been a slow garden season up here, though…lots of folks are saying the same, and we’ve had some really chilly weather already so everyone is just hoping things will produce and ripen before the really cold weather hits.


What fun we all had! Sow True Seed‘s great generosity allowed us to experience growing both new squash varieties and old favorites.

If you were a squash reporter and didn’t get a chance to send me a report-feel free to add it to this post in the form of a comment.


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  • Reply
    September 24, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Little bit of an update: I just today picked my first “banana squash” because it was the biggest one, laying on the ground, and it’s getting so cold at night I was afraid it would either get damaged or eaten by a critter. It’s about 6 pounds, so no giant, but plenty big enough to be useful. There’s one more sizeable squash hanging on a fence, and I’ll try to leave that one to keep growing a while longer. There a a few small “Thelmas” still growing as well – I got maybe 8 squash total. Those Thelmas are such pretty squash! A cream-colored skin, and pale yellow flesh. I gave a nice one to the folks I buy hay from, and am waiting to hear what they thought of it. I’ve got one large Greek Red still growing, and I found another small one this morning, so fingers crossed.
    Wish I could do a better report, but I’m still watching things grow and hoping we don’t get a hard frost before more things can ripen. It’s been a very peculiar weather year, that’s for sure!

  • Reply
    Chris Smith, Sow True Seed
    September 23, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Thank you Squash Reports – it’s always great to hear all your squash growing stories – the successes and the failures! Thank you for joining the great experiment we call gardening 🙂

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    September 22, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Tell Ed that Mother Nature is always grading on the curve. Sooo, I heard she will be giving him at least a B+ if not an A-!!!
    After all, his radishes and sweet onions did great! Then his squash turned yellow while waving the “I am drowning flag” then this gave the “alien creatures” they misunderstood “I surrender” flag. With success his goal with all expense of his health on the enemy line, what could one do but fight off the enemies with “the dreaded 7 Dive-bombing Flying Dusters”, a last ditch effort to save the day! Even if it was just a few yellow squash! You are a hero Mr. Ed! You deserve the grade!
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…Tell Ed to send you a few of those magnificent radish seed. I will take just a few myownself!
    Even if they do bite back!

  • Reply
    September 22, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    I just loved your blog today, Tipper. I enjoy growing squash, pumpkin, or anything on a vine. It seems it can be so unpredictable depending on weather. I once grew enough pumpkins for Sunday School class project, then next year it looked as though I had planted some type of dwarf variety.
    It is such a joy when one finds a long lost seed. I had looked for the pamillion (sp) for years by asking and searching the web. I recalled the delicious pie of long ago, and remembered the skin that had to be sawed off. Finally hit the jackpot, as a man mailed me seed, and found one at a produce market this year being used for decorative purposes. I will surely guard those seed and try to introduce this great find to other gardeners in the area. The lady at the market knew exactly what I was searching for. Gardeners are happy folks, as one can tell from all your deputized squash growers.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 22, 2014 at 11:50 am

    I was happy to play my part in the experiment. Every scale needs a low point and a high point. I’m not sure who made the highest marks but I’m a cinch for the lowest. I am honored that my efforts, while not enhancing my own image, have served to cast a better light on all the other participants.
    Who said “What more can one ask than to serve his better man.”

  • Reply
    September 22, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Oh, my goodness! You deserve a gold star for all the readers who you helped and got going with their squash gardens. That is so wonderful! I enjoyed reading each story.

  • Reply
    Barbar Gantt
    September 22, 2014 at 9:44 am

    I ended up with 38 pounds of Cushaw. I was very pleased with the results. The plant that produced these squash was started inside then transplanted. The seeds started in the garden didn’t get big enough to produce any squash big enough to eat. Our growing season was late starting. We had a lot of late spring frost. I believe that starting these indoors would work best for New England weather. I enjoyed taking part in this and hope we can do a different veggie next year. Barbara

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    September 22, 2014 at 7:39 am

    I sent pictures early on by email, but they must have gotten lost in the mail.
    My vines were beautiful. I know you know they were vigorous for when the Pink Jumbo Banana we planted here in East Tennessee vined, it went up and over the mountain, came thru Murphy and over past your place. I am sure we heard the screams of delight by the grapevine….errr I mean squash vine! All kidding aside…The cushaws were just beautiful, as well as the Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato, acorn type shape, made many pretty tannish color squash, quite tasty too! Of course the summer squash Zucchini Cocozelle, on (just one plant) produced dozens of beautiful squash, remember there were several of these plants, in my raised beds, so multiply those, MERCY!
    For a while I had a fear that the vines were not going to quit producing! I already had threats after my friends (not any more) found out we were the ones dropping off bags of squash at their door when they were gone.
    This was lots of fun! I enjoyed all the wonderful effort of everyone and their comments. For the most part, except for a few, even the plants we planted by the signs, finally caught up and made pretty vines! To our surprise one hill (planted on the good day) zucchini didn’t sprout at all. GOOD THING, since all the others sprouted and caught up. I am a believer of planting by the signs, used only if the ground is workable and it is not pouring rain or a skiff of late spring snow! LOL
    I also want to thank you Tipper for free food and Sow True Seeds for the seed.
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…My computer got electrified by lightning and that may have been the reason the pictures didn’t arrive to you.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 22, 2014 at 7:30 am

    Fine reporting, thanks to everyone who participated. It’s good that the Blind Pig folks can help Sow True perfect there seeds!

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