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Winter squash

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Winter squash

Post  altagarden on 4/22/2011, 11:40 pm


Hey Canadians,

Everything I read said to start winter squash right in the garden. I am doubtful due to our short growing season, even though my book on northern gardening says seed it outside in late May.

Can I seed it indoors now and put it out after our last frost date? (May 24) I have Table Queen Acorn squash seeds if that makes any difference. Packages says up to 90 days for maturity. I am going to start the Zucchini Gold Rush inside.
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Re: Winter squash

Post  Goosegirl on 4/23/2011, 8:58 am

@altagarden wrote:
Hey Canadians,

Everything I read said to start winter squash right in the garden. I am doubtful due to our short growing season, even though my book on northern gardening says seed it outside in late May.

Can I seed it indoors now and put it out after our last frost date? (May 24) I have Table Queen Acorn squash seeds if that makes any difference. Packages says up to 90 days for maturity. I am going to start the Zucchini Gold Rush inside.

I'm not in Canada, but my climate is more like yours than most of my US neighbors! I just started my Table Queen seeds inside 2 days ago and am anxiously awaiting sproutlings! My last frost date is supposed to be somewhere in late May, so I am hoping to put out my warm weather veggies by the beginning of June.

TC


Last edited by Goosegirl on 4/23/2011, 9:00 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : spelling! only one cuppa joe so far)
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Re: Winter squash

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/23/2011, 9:46 am

I'm not anywhere near your climate, I'm in NE TX, but I have started mine indoors with success, just be careful transplanting them. Start with more than you need, and if you are very lucky and they all make it, thin them.
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Re: Winter squash

Post  Lavender Debs on 4/23/2011, 10:08 am

Hey Alta, I'm from the PNW, Vancouver costal type weather. Wet that rots everything and cools the soil is our problem. There is a popular poster called boffer who has a table top SFG with a tunnel (hoop house) cover and a heat mat. He already has a garden that I do not expect to have in my uncovered, unheated SFG until late May. If you want squash that might be the solution you need. After my 2nd cuppa jo I'll go look for his post but I think it is in the regional section under Pacific North West and a post about how the garden is doing in April (maybe it was March).

It sounds complicated but he makes it look achievable.
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Re: Winter squash

Post  Lavender Debs on 4/23/2011, 10:16 am

April in the PNW

Boffers pictures are on page 1 down toward the bottom of this post.
He did not include squash in that garden, I'm just saying it could help.
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Re: Winter squash

Post  sceleste54 on 4/23/2011, 9:34 pm

I'm so excited !! I had plants sprout up out of my compost after I spread it out in the beds, and I found today what appears to be a very small butternut squash forming at the end of a bloom !! I was very hopeful that was what that plant was...Smile

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Re: Winter squash

Post  shannon1 on 4/24/2011, 12:18 am

butternut squash is on of my favorite vegies but have never grown it I might try this year.
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planting squash

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/24/2011, 10:16 am

Pacific NW here--long, cool, wet springs--I always start my squashes either in the sunroom or greenhouse. Consider using peat pots so you don't disturb the roots when you set them out: I start out with 3" pots, then 6", and, if all goes well, fetch up a couple of weeks before setting them out in non-peat gallon pots. squash seeds appear to be more resistent to rotting in the compost, or raked into the north garden, so we always have volunteers. As soon as I see the volunteers, I set out the potted squashes, using most of them in the "three sisters" scheme with corn and, later, beans. This year in pots even as we speak are:

Australian Butter (winter)
Galeux d'Eysines (one of the super sweet warty winter varieties)
Musquee de Provence (winter)
Potimarron (winter)
Tromboncino (Italian summer/winter, harvested when small, much bettern than zucchini)

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Re: Winter squash

Post  bullfrogbabe on 4/25/2011, 9:58 pm

I am in Canada too, growing zone 4a. I have the same problem here, as most winter squash, melons, and peppers need 90-110 days of warm frost free growing to produce more than 1 or 2 squash/melons/peppers. The frost-free season is just barely that long and it is definately not warm the whole time. Starting them inside is necessary here, along with strategic placement in a warm spot.

Yes you can start winter squash indoors to extend their growing season. Just start them from seed in large jiffy peat pots (3 inch ones work fine) so you can plant them 'pot and all' into the garden without disturbing their roots. I start cucumbers, summer squash, winter squash, melons, and peppers this way. I start squashes and cucumbers 2-4 weeks before planting time. They grow and start to vine very quickly, so make sure you have room for them to creep. Be careful not to disturb their roots as this will cause them to stop growing after planting long enough to spoil your chances at a crop.
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Re: Winter squash

Post  altagarden on 4/27/2011, 11:12 pm

Sounds like starting indoors is the only way to go! I put the seeds in seed starting plastic pots yesterday. Didn't have peat pots. We will see how it goes. Thanks for all the advice!
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Re: Winter squash

Post  Miss M on 4/28/2011, 12:46 am

Shocked Wow! Your winters must be like our (Gulf coast) summers! Brutal and seemingly never-ending.

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Re: Winter squash

Post  Goosegirl on 4/28/2011, 1:26 pm

@Miss M wrote:Shocked Wow! Your winters must be like our (Gulf coast) summers! Brutal and seemingly never-ending.

That sums it up for me!

TC
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Re: Winter squash

Post  Goosegirl on 4/28/2011, 1:30 pm

@altagarden wrote:Sounds like starting indoors is the only way to go! I put the seeds in seed starting plastic pots yesterday. Didn't have peat pots. We will see how it goes. Thanks for all the advice!

The Table Queens I started on 4-21-11 are now 2 inches tall! If I had known they would do THAT well I would have waited a few more weeks. I am going to run out of indoor room for my seedlings as they need bigger pots!

TC
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