Mary's Veggie Garden

October 29, 2012

2012 Squash Harvest

Filed under: Gardening,Squash,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 2:52 pm
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With all the squash harvested, washed, and stored in the basement for winter eating, it’s time to take a look back at the season.

2012 Harvest: Tetsukabuto (dark green), Spaghetti, Waltham and Eary Butternut

Last spring I delayed (for no reason) the squash planting, sowing seed 5/31, a week later than normal. Then in my home garden chipmunks ate about half the seed so I replanted two weeks later. Normally chipmunks don’t bother early plantings in this garden, but this year they’ve been voracious. When I replanted I covered the hills with big plastic nursery pots held in place with a good-sized rock. This solved the problem, but the squash got off to a late start. The squashes were also in the shadiest part of my home garden. All these problems showed in the yield of my Early Butternuts – only 8 pounds from 3 hills.

I grow squash in two locations: my shady home garden and my sunny community garden plot at Vassar Farm (VF). Tetsukabuto is the only variety in both gardens so it is interesting to compare results. At home I harvested 9 squashes totalling 28.6 pounds. At VF I harvested 8 squashes weighing 28.8 pounds.  However I had 2 hills (4 plants) at home and only 1 hill (2 plants) at VF so each plant in full sun was twice as productive.

Rumbo squash

Total harvest:

  • 2012 – 150 pounds
  • 2011 – 268 pounds
  • 2010 – 117 pounds

The big difference in year-to-year totals is caused by the Rumbo squash variety. I grow 4-6 plants in an area 4’x10′.  That is not completely true – the vines are 20′-30′ long and run all over the garden. The Rumbo harvest varies wildly from year to year. In 2008 & 2011 each plant set 2 or even 3 squashes and the total exceeded 170 pounds. This year each plant set late and only set one squash, totaling 58 pounds. Rumbo must be very sensitive to the weather conditions. I thought the problem was old seed, but a careful look at the data proved otherwise.

More Tetsukabuto and a purchased (gasp!) Blue Hubbard

I’ve often thought about trying a Hubbard, so, with room on my shelves, I bought one. I haven’t tried growing Hubbards, given their attractiveness to Squash Vine Borers.



  1. The Rumbo squash looks powdery. Is that a fungus? I’m assuming not.

    Lovely harvest. Maybe next year I’ll have winter squash.

    Comment by pooks — October 29, 2012 @ 3:03 pm | Reply

    • I don’t know what it is. It doesn’t wash off and it doesn’t bother me since I don’t use the skin. It doesn’t seem to effect storage or flavor either.

      Comment by marysveggiegarden — October 29, 2012 @ 5:21 pm | Reply

  2. Full sun makes a huge difference in squash production. Could the powdery look on the Rumbo squash an indication of maturity? Wintermelon develops a powdery coating when mature, wondering if it is the same with Rumbo.

    Comment by Norma Chang — October 30, 2012 @ 2:17 pm | Reply

    • Norma, it might be what you see on wintermelon. Butternuts also have that powdery look though not as much as Rumbo. I don’t even know how to find the answer. There is definitely powdery mildew in the garden, but I don’t know if it could be on the skin. In any case, it doesn’t affect the flavor because the Rumbos always look like that and they always taste great.

      Comment by marysveggiegarden — October 30, 2012 @ 3:06 pm | Reply

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