My winter squash are still alive, which is exciting! But since I’ve never made it this far with winter squash before, I’m starting to have a few questions. Here’s the plant that’s making me turn to the internet for answers, and a few notes on what I’ve learned so far.
This is a ‘White Cushaw’ squash, also sometimes called a ‘Jonathan Pumpkin.’ Just a little over a week ago it looked like this:
And then, a week later, we had this:
Notice that the squash is on the ground now. The trellis supporting it collapsed. (Who knew it would grow so fast?)
And that made me start wondering: How do you know when the squash is ripe? It’s already huge. Is it possibly ready now? Because after all, with summer squash, you can pick them at any point, and preferably you harvest them before they get too big.
I turned to the internet, and the collective wisdom of various gardening sites all said: “NOT YET.” Apparently, you wait for any of a number of signals: the color develops, the rind is hard, and/or the vines die back. So, not there yet.
But while I was on the subject, I also started looking for answers to another question: How many squash can I hope to get from each plant? So far, I have two plants, with one squash each. Is that normal?
I read a little about the squash in general, but for specifics on yield, I went to the customer reviews posted on rareseeds.com, where I bought the seeds. What I took away is that one squash per plant is not uncommon, although some people do get a lot more than that. And the final size? While some people are harvesting 20 pound fruits, others report getting up to 40 lb squash!
That’s all great, but I would settle for one ripe winter squash of any size. Knocking on wood and hoping the squash plants continue to thrive!