volunteer squash, winter or summer

mrswynnJuly 17, 2008

I'm new to the site and to gardening, so please bear with me! I decided to let a volunteer squash grow out of my compost and now I can not tell when I am supposed to harvest it. It is yellow with a green circle around the bottom and turns a bit orange when left on the vine. It starts out small and kind of regular summer squash shape but then grows large and round like acorn squash. I picked a larger one (football size maybe) last night that had been on the vine for a few weeks. When we cut it open it looked a lot like acorn squash (except yellow orange) with pumpkin like seeds. The shell is relatively soft. The meat was thick and cooked up almost like potato. Very starchy. Is this a summer squash that I left on the vine too long? Or a winter squash that I should have left on the vine longer? Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Thanks for any help.

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1. Summer squashes have been selected from the same species of Cucurbita as many of our winter squash -- C. pepo. The horticultural distinction between the two is that summer squash are "bush-type" and most winter squash are vining (a few, newer cultivars are "bush").

2. Summer squash, when allowed to mature fully, develop an orange hard rind, pumpkin-like seeds, and dense-starchy interior.

3. Winter squash can be picked early, without a hard rind or orangey (or other) color and lighter interior texture.

4. Volunteers in the garden are often hybrids of any of a number of Cucurbitas, including between summer squash and winter squash and exhibit intermediate characteristics.


    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 7:14PM
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