Tuesday, May 12, 2020

regarding seeds

All the Candy Roaster Squash seeds have been posted to the people who requested them, and I hope they arrived intact. Squash seeds are rather large and thick, and I tried several methods of cushioning them against the jaws of postal equipment. If your seeds were damaged in transit, let me know and I'll send replacements this week.

Ordinarily I would have designed little seed packets with an original watercolor and so on, but these are not ordinary times and the library where I would have printed up the packets is of course closed. So it was a matter of cobbling together pieces of padded mailers and taping things to old - but with Snow Leopards! - postcards and so on. No two packages were alike.

And perhaps more to the point, I couldn't print instructions. So here's all the planting info I can think of, for anyone who will find it helpful.

re: germination
I gave everyone seed from 2 or 3 different squash, to increase the odds of germination. Even if you only have room for a couple of plants, I strongly suggest planting all 8 seeds. Just be emotionally prepared to thin them if necessary.

If sowing directly into your garden, wait til after your last frost date.
Plant 1" deep in hills or rows, and space them knowing that you will eventually have to thin young plants to 2 or 3 feet.
If starting in pots, transplant 3 feet apart.
Need full sun and a lot of room.

trellis vs. trailing:

A strong trellis is great and keeps the squash clean, but the plants will also grow along the ground without any support. I've had vines grow 10 feet along the ground, massive leaves all along the way, and then grow up and over a 6 foot fence. Last year a vine grew up my trellis arch and then into a nearby tree. They are always seeking support and are quick to utilize it. One year I moved my wheelbarrow in the nick of time.


My original seed packet from Sow True Seed said 100 days to harvest, but the point is, these are winter squash and should be left on the vine as long as possible in Autumn. I let the squash stay on the vine even when the plants are dying back and the squash color deepens, until there's a warning of frost. Then I cut the stems at the vine end and bring all the squash inside. Candy Roasters keep wonderfully well. Mine stay on windowsills, stems attached, til they are needed.

Good luck, gardeners! I hope you get good germination and enjoy your plants!