The local grocery advertised kabocha squash, an Asian
variety. This has got to be the best squash I've ever
had. Mild & sweet. It looks like a little green pumpkin.
Add some to soups & stews to help make a good rich broth.
If you cut it in half, clean out the seeds, microwave
it for a few minutes, it makes it a lot easier to cut
off the rind. I've saved the seed for next year.
This variety would make excellent pies. Winter squash can
sit on the counter for months and still be good. Ready when
you are to cook it.
The Butternut Squash barely did good enough in the garden
to eat this year, after working over the soil, adding
compost & fertilizer. They could fit in my hand. Zucchini
didn't even try to grow. There was only a tiny acorn squash,
not even big enough to think about cooking.
The Kohlrabi waited until the end of September to germinate.
They're still small and might be killed off by cold before
they get much bigger. Okra did good as always. Beets did
good. I tried a new variety this year that turned out to
be small. Tomato's & corn died, they never do well in this
area, for me. Turnips did good. Collard greens didn't
germinate. I usually plant a lot of everything and wait to
see what grows. The neighbors horses ate all the lettuce.
My neighbors let their horses out at dark. They run over
here to eat & drink all night. They don't usually bother
anything. There's a colt that has doubled in size in the
last three months. It runs over here all happy and full of
life. When someone here is outside when it comes over, it
runs home telling the others, go back, go back, we can't
eat over there tonight, someone is outside. Horses aren't
like deer which eat anything and everything. We don't have
many deer around here. The horses mostly graze on grass, but
they do like lettuce.
Kabocha = squash in Japanese
Kabocha are excellent: dry-fleshed, sweet and almost reminiscent of
My favorite kabocha variety is a cross-species hybrid variety called
'Tetsukabuto' (translates to Iron Helmet). Very beautiful squash,
green with silver flecks and 'bloom' on the rind, sometimes washed
with orange. The C. moschata parent gives it resistance to squash
vine borers plus productivity and the C. maxima parent the superb
flavor and texture. (Available from Pinetree Garden Seeds)
Never had one immature; they are too good as a winter squash to muck
around that way.
As for productivity, two hills of Tetsukabuto will generally equal the
production of the other six hills of squash I plant, in terms of numbers,
though not quite by weight.
The only problem with the variety is that it is a hybrid, so no seed
saving, and it must be grown along side a variety of C. moschata
(for example, a butternut) or C. maxima (like a more typical kabocha
or buttercup) to ensure pollination.
I like to put away a lot of squash puree each year for soup and
waffles (yummmmy...with home-made spiced apple jelly) so
I'm always trying new varieties looking for those with good flavor
and substance as well as productivity. And the one constant for
many years now has been Tetsukabuto.
Thanks for the info. Will C. pepo pollinate Tetsukabuto?
I didn't really plant a garden this year because of the weather (just 4
tomato plants, and a couple of rows of beans that the rabbit ravished),
and I missed it. Starting to plan for next spring already. First thing
in will be lots of chicken wire... And maybe a hawk or owl...
No, it has to be one of the parent species. A good butternut or
cheese type C. moschata is probably the best bet. They tend to
have more color and cook up wetter than a kabocha, which makes
them ideal for soups (butternut squash bisque...mmmm) and also
nice for blending with a drier squash (like Testukabuto) when
making baked goods.
We had a miserable spring here (both weather and health related).
It was my absolute worst squash harvest EVER, because the plants
just did not start growing in time to set a crop.
The wet spring set up a summer of mosquitos. And of course, when
it stopped raining, it REALLY stopped raining, for about a month.
Then fall came damp and sullen--no Indian Summer--just rotten.
On the up side, I did not have to trap or slay any groundhogs this
year. And no sign of anything other than mice in the garage.
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