Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Volunteer Squash

      Most gardening literature suggests that one should not save seed from the cole family or the squash family, as the seed will probably produce some kind of undesirable cross.  I have grown volunteer squash in the past that have produced scary gourd like monster squash.  I have even suggested to fellow gardeners that they not waste the time or space on squash volunteers in their gardens.  So why did I let three plants grow on in my garden?

Volunteer squash,  July 18th, 2012
      Two of the plants came up in the area where I grew white Casper pumpkins last year.  This space is a bed between my garden and my neighbor's yard, kind of a no man's land.  I figured I could let the plants grow as a ground cover.  Should be better than weeds.  This morning I had a big harvest:

      Six beautiful patty pan squash!  I had patty pan last year in another part of the garden, so apparently one seed made it through the winter.  And came up true.  There is a second plant behind this first monster that I also allowed to grow, again hoping for pumpkins.  Turns out that plant looks like a true mesa acorn squash.  There is a third plant that I moved from the area of last year's acorn squash, hoping it too will be an acorn.  The plant suffered from the move in the 90 degree plus heat, but has survived.  Watch that one turn out to be a pumpkin!  The patty pan were too many to carry, so I put them into one of my handy do everything containers.  Looked kind of eerie.

      Will I let volunteer squash plants grow up next year?  Guess it depends on where they choose to sprout.


  1. I had a humongous volunteer vine growing from my compost flowered, and started growing some strange looking little pumpkin/squash-like things. I'm afraid it might be a monster plant! It will be interesting to see!

  2. George, I have had a couple come up and only one turned out to be a squash that I had not seen before. It looked a lot like a white butternut but had a nice soft skin like the scallop squash so we let it grow. Turned out to be one of the best tasting summer squash I have had. The other plant was a true scallop squash and is still producing. I did on the other hand have one squash that was growing under one of our orange trees and I thought it might be a pumpkin. It grew and grew but never produced any flowers so I pulled it out a couple of weeks ago. It is fun though to see what you might get.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!