Can squash just split open on their own? I came home last night and
checked the plants, noticed there was a small (1") slug "chewing" away
at the bottom of the biggest squash growing off of the vine. I got
rid of the thing, and I think maybe I left the squash with the
downside up. Came home for lunch, checked, and the squash had a very
large split (half way around) in it. Don't know if something came
along and did it or if it did it on it's own.
Also, how do you know when squash are ripe? I've never grown anything
before, so I don't know. The types I planted were Vera Cruz Pepita,
Mayo Blusher, and Calabaza del Norte. I haven't found out what they
look like when they're ready. The squash that split open was about
seven inches in diameter, and was dark green. It kind of looked like
it'd quit growing. I was wondering if maybe it was mature and my
moving it caused it to split or something.
May have been the change in exposure to the sun. (Only a guess.)
VeraCruz Pepita is grown for the seeds, so it will need to be very mature
before harvest. This is a cushaw type squash and it won't be ripe until the
rind is hard and the stem dries as hard (even harder**) than wood.
The other two are C. maxima type squashes. These are ripe when the
stem becomes dry and corky and the rind will be too hard to pierce with
a fingernail. 'Mayo Blusher' is supposed to blush with pink when fully
All of these squashes would be long-season types, 100+ days from planting
to ripening. Around here, the squash vines would be dying off exposing
the ripe fruit to the diminishing sun (with threat of frost looming) when the
**The stems of cushaws, pumpkins, and butternut squashes usually take a
couple of years to break down in my compost pile. Similarly sized chunks
of branches rot enough to pulverize far sooner.
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)
Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
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