Saturday, October 9, 2010

Volunteer squash

I know what you're thinking -- provided that you are aware that squash cross-pollinate -- How can you have volunteers of something that cross-pollinates? Well, the fun part is that you never know exactly what you're going to get. It's like Christmas. We had one volunteer that looked a lot like a spaghetti squash. It was a little sweeter than spaghetti squash, and it wasn't quite as stringy, but it was delicious, and we enjoyed every bite. This is the first year that I decided to eat the volunteer squash that grew next to a compost pile. It seems silly that we never did it before. This one looks like a cross between an acorn squash and something. Aren't they beautiful!



If you're new to gardening and wondering what I'm talking about -- well, you can't save squash seeds and expect to get the same squash again if you grew more than one variety. You'll get some odd cross between the two. Not everything in the garden will cross pollinate, but squash is one that will. So, if you want to save seeds from your squash, you can only grow one variety, or you can put them in isolation tents and hand pollinate, which I'm not going to do.

Thanks to Katherine for the photos!

7 comments:

Sally said...

When I was growing up, we ended up with a volunteer white peach tree growing out of the compost pile! The squash certainly look delicious.

LindaG said...

I wouldn't hand pollinate either, haha.
Look like funny pumpkins to me.

But I did not know that, so thanks for the information. :)

Chef E said...

How cool- I just had my first cross pollinated squash, it was wonderful!

Amy Manning said...

I should post photos of that volunteer squash I told you about. The vines are at least 20 feet long and loaded with fruit. It's also resisted powdery mildew longer than my other squash plants. Hurray for plant evolution!

Deborah @ Antiquity Oaks said...

Awesome, Amy!

We just ate the green and orange squash last night, and it was delicious! I think it was crossed with a spaghetti squash, because the inside was yellow, but it was not stringy like a spaghetti squash.

Susan Ryan said...

Our compost pile always creates new squash adventures and we have one that looks like yours and is about the same size.
Can't wait to eat it now. I would have gone sweet with the recipe, but now I wondering if savory isn't the way to go.
I was pleased that a pattypan squash popped up from last year, because I didn't have a good squash year in the garden because of the borer problme. Compost squash was great though.

Amy said...

Here's the volunteer squash plant I raved about: http://www.mysuburbanhomestead.com/vegetable-garden-notes-check-volunteer-squash-plant/

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