Appalachia Gardening

My Squash Report

Sow true seed squash

It was a bumper year for Squash in the Blind Pig & the Acorn garden. We had tons of yellow squash and zucchini squash-which we plant every year. But thanks to the generosity of Sow True Seed we grew all sorts of squash that we’ve never grown before.

Sow True Seed, who sponsored the entire Blind Pig & the Acorn garden, graciously donated extra squash seed so that I could deputize Squash Reporters @ Large.

Below are the squash varieties donated by Sow True Seed-and the results from our garden.

  • Summer Squash Early Summer Crookneck: This is the second or third year we’ve grown Sow True Seed’s early summer crookneck squash-and once again it was a great producer for us.
  • Winter Squash Cushaw Green Striped: We had/have tons of cushaw green striped squash-a very prolific producer.
  • Winter Squash Greek Sweet Red: I was really excited to try the Greek Sweet Red Squash-but it wasn’t to be-our plants seemed to thrive and then died without producing any squash.
  • Winter Squash Pink Jumbo Banana: We did not plant this one-I was afraid of a 40lb squash!
  • Summer Squash Cocozelle Zucchini: Very productive zucchini-my frig is full of them right now and I was able to share many with a friend at work.
  • Pumpkin Winter Luxury: Who knew I could grow pumpkins-my first true pumpkin success-my freezer is full of their goodness.
  • Winter Squash Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato: I could not wait to taste Ms. Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato Squash-but I’m still waiting-this one was a no go for us.
  • Summer Squash Black Beauty: Like the Cocozella-very prolific.
  • Squash Winter Improved True Green Hubbard: No luck with this one. We did produce 2 very ugly looking squash but they were soft and mushy when I found them.
  • Winter Squash Table Queen Blush Acorn: Success! And a recipe to share soon!
  • Winter Squash Seminole Pumpkin: Again-who knew I could grow a pumpkin! I’m guessing the secret to my pumpkin success this year is the varieties are for small pumpkins instead of giant ones.

Dotsons white cushaw squash


Along with the Sow True Seed Squash, we planted a few other varieties sent to us by Blind Pig readers. Bill shared his orange cushaw, green and white striped cushaw, banana squash, and white cushaw seeds with us. Norma shared a heirloom blue pumpkin seed with us-that hails all the way from New Zealand.

We didn’t have any luck with the blue pumpkin-but Bill’s white cushaw produced monstrous squash!

As summer progressed and the garden begin to fill in we noticed one particular squash that seemed to be larger than all the other plants. The runners on Bill’s white cushaw went everywhere! Seemingly overnight they took over the beets and moved on to the tomatoes in the front garden. I told The Deer Hunter I bet that thing’ll reach B.Ruth in Tennessee before it frosts!

We finally had to start cutting the cushaw back-but not before it produced some 20lb squash for us. I figured something that big might be tasteless or tough-but I was wrong. Bill’s cushaws were tender and tasty!

If you were a Squash Reporter @ Large-send me your final report and I’ll share it here on the Blind Pig (THANK YOU to all of you who have already sent me a report!!)


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  • Reply
    Patti Tappel
    August 30, 2014 at 10:15 am

    A neighbor brought us some squash relish, it’s pretty in the jar, I just hope it taste as good as it looks.

  • Reply
    August 28, 2014 at 8:52 am

    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.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 27, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    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.
    Oh well! C’est La Vie!

  • Reply
    August 27, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    My favorite squash is Acorn. I can’t imagine a twenty pound squash. How did you cut it for cooking? It must have been like holding a six month baby. I only grew some bell peppers this year. They were nice and I am now freezing whatever develops and matures now.

  • Reply
    eva nell wike, PhD
    August 27, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Well Tipper, if your squash effort doesn’t take the cake I don’t know what would do so. All the different squash seem worthy of planting.
    Just one more note: Ethelene’s “syrup-making hands” is a new one on me! But I tell you one truth – I loved the hands of those folks who use to make enough syrup to last through the winter back in the Matheson Cove.
    Thanks for all the reminders of goodness in our lives. Now I am bound for NC (Hendersonville) for a street fair!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    August 27, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    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.
    Will email about the rest of them. 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,

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    August 27, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    I enjoyed the reports of all them
    squash, had no idea there were so
    many different kinds. This year I
    didn’t plant any at all, but my
    neighbor brought me oodles. I even
    fixed him a bunch that I split,
    cleaned, and added cornbread stuffing. After baking ’em, I eat
    ’em just like a hot dog…Ken

  • Reply
    August 27, 2014 at 11:58 am

    I’m one of the few unable to successfully grow zucchini. On two plants we had maybe 4 squash. Even the yellow produced little this year. Maybe 4 bags to freeze.

  • Reply
    August 27, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Squash can be so very interesting. I have planted Cushaw in the past and they did well. This year they seem to be at a standstill, except for one I am watching closely that was an accidental planting. It seems to be growing at an expected rate, and I am carefully avoiding the runners with the lawn mower. That Cushaw makes a great pie if substituted for pumpkin in your recipe. Those white Cushaw do seem to retain flavor no matter the size or condition.
    A neighbor shared Kuta squash this year. It has taste much like summer squash but keeps longer.
    I want to try some rare species next year, as I fear some may lose favor and seeds may be hard to find.

  • Reply
    August 27, 2014 at 8:34 am

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

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 27, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Tip, those certainly look and sound interesting. I never knew there were so many varieties of squash. I’m not sure I would know what to do with all of them. I wonder of you could give us a little tutorial….like what kinds store well and what to do with them. I know the yellow crookneck is a squash you eat or throw it away, there is no in between. Some of the others I don’t know so much about.

  • Reply
    August 27, 2014 at 7:36 am

    It sounds like you could feed a whole neighborhood with all those squash! I’m sure it was fun watching them grow!

  • Reply
    Barbara Gantt
    August 27, 2014 at 7:30 am

    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. Barbara

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    August 27, 2014 at 7:15 am

    How exciting to see pictures of and read reports of the “Squash Watch” and results of varieties.
    Now that fall is almost upon us, I think of what we used to call “winter squash” and the good dishes that come from these “hard” varieties of squash. We especially liked cushaw pie in Choestoe. I made them as dessert for “syrup-making hands” at my father’s fall syrup-making time.

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