2015 Grow-Along Challenge: Squash Wars

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

As we gear up for another gardening season, picking out our seeds and configuring our garden plots, we thought it would be fun to issue a challenge to our fellow vegetable growers.

Here's the scoop: we'd like you to pick out one (or as many as five) varieties of squash (pumpkins, acorn, butternuts, summer, zukes) that are new to you. Preferably something that is off the beaten path and hasn't gotten a write-up in PlantFiles yet. At last count there are over 1000 squash varieties that don't have a picture - here they are sorted alphabetically: http://goo.gl/TmzdDH

If you're looking for a reputable seed supplier, we have hundreds of fine companies reviewed in the Garden Watchdog and many of them participate in PlantScout: http://goo.gl/t88DXf

As the spring and summer progresses, we'll all report on our varieties by posting pictures of seedlings, plants in bloom, and fruit. You'll need to submit at least three pictures and a comment for each of your varieties within PlantFiles. That will secure you a spot in the end-of-season random drawing for some fun prizes (TBA). Each variety you grow will give you a chance to win a prize.

Who wants to play "Squash Wars" with us? It's easy:

1. Toss your ring in the hat by posting in this thread that you'd like to participate. It doesn't matter if this is your first time to grow squash, or you're a veteran squash grower.

2. By February 28, have your variety (or varieties) picked out and we'll start a new thread where you can post your selections.

We'll keep the ground rules simple. Here are the basics:

We'll allow up to three gardeners to stake their claim on the same variety, so have some alternates in mind in case your first choice is already taken.

You can start your grow-out according to your last frost date and you'll have all summer to post your pictures and comment in PlantFiles. The drawing will be held October 1. Along the way we'll have threads for chatting about our progress, (and share ideas on how to use up all that squash!)

Melody and I will be participating by growing our own selections, but we will leave all the prizes to be awarded to the other participants :-)

If this sounds like fun, post a note to say you're in and we'll get started!

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

I'm thinking about trying 'Poquito' and 'Cocozelle' this year if I can get the seeds on time. If so, I'm in.

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

Only have one trial variety scheduled for this year. Hopefully more folks will take advantage and post pictures. I know many Dgers have grown quite a few of these varieties but never posted a photo. The parthenocarpic zucchinis Cavili, Sure Thing etc etc come to mind.

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

I think this will be a fun little challenge and gardeners of all skill levels can participate.

Here are a just few 'orphans' that do not have images in PlantFiles...and I've checked to see that they are available commercially in case you need a little inspiration and they are a good mix of summer and winter squash. I'm giving you the Plantfiles link, but to be fair to the vendors, you'll need to search the sources, but rest assured, they are all available from well-respected vendors.

You can choose from this list if you like, it is simply for inspiration, there are thousands of squash and pumpkin varieties and you should be able to find one (or more) that suit your needs and climate. If you have a favorite that isn't in Plantfiles, let us help you add the entry. Then when your images start rolling in, they can go right on your page.

Gelber Englischer Custard http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/194592/
Tatume http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/92913/
Lungo Bianco di Sicilia http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/92535/
Kikuza http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/91865/
Moranga de Mesa http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/119501/
Omaha http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/91700/
Pacheco http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/187680/
Pipian From Tuxpan http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/187681/
Strawberry Crown http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/207020/
Patissons Panache Blanc et Vert http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/91977/
French Tours http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/187678/
Yellow Fin http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/212131/
Y-star http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/193972/
Blue Ballet http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/92795/
Jester http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/199912/
Summer Ball http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/179667/
Sunbeam http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/204230/
Safari http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/199911/
Noche http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/65497/
Dunja http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/199909/

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

I'm in! I'm not sure what I will grow yet (probably a winter squash or pumpkin and at least one summer squash or zucchini).

(Linda Kay) Del Rio, TX(Zone 9a)

Sounds like fun for a new squash grower. I w ill look around and see what I can find.

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

Yaay! Welcome!

I think this is going to be fun!

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

I'm going with 'Poquito' and 'Sunstripe'. I don't think there are any photos of either of those in PF.

Mount Sterling, KY(Zone 6b)

I am watching this one. Thinking of trying it. I will be growing squash anyway, so this sounds like fun. Going back top to read the rules again.

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

You should do it, Annette. I am an enabler. :-) What type of squash do you grow?


Sounds like fun! :)

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

Are you going for it, badcat?

(Linda Kay) Del Rio, TX(Zone 9a)

I am going with Hopi Orange Squash, and the straight neck squash.


Yes Ma'am! Need to find a Pumpkin thats not listed. Wanted to grow some for the boys this year :)

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

Sounds good, badcat. I'm still undecided (as usual) about what varieties I'll grow. I keep changing my mind. So who knows. I have plenty of room for a pumpkin or two as well.


Is it just varieties w/o Pics?

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

No, you can grow any variety you want. They had just posted the varieties in PF that don't have any photos yet.

(Linda Kay) Del Rio, TX(Zone 9a)

Amanda, it says,... pick out one to five, new to you. Preferably something that is off the beaten path and hasn't gotten a write-up in PlantFiles yet.

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

Oh, sorry, I stand corrected. But still, I think it's okay to grow what you want to grow. Better something you will use is the way I look at it.

(Cindy) Auburn, CA(Zone 10a)

I'm in!! But I need help...I don't know how to use the plant files to look up what I want to grow. I have 6 kinds that I've never heard of before :) Or can I post here the ones I choose?

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

I'm excited to see more people joining in - yay!

It is absolutely, perfectly fine to grow whatever you want, even if it is the most popular/common zucchini in the world :-)

We are just encouraging people to try something new (to you), and for those who have a lot of experience growing squash, to grow something that hasn't been documented yet. Whatever you grow, your notes and photos in PlantFiles might just encourage future gardeners to branch out and grow something new, too.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Cindy, you can create and edit a list in this thread, or just keep a mental note. At the end of February, we'll start another thread to launch the challenge and that's where you can officially commit to the variety (or varieties) you're going to grow.

(Cindy) Auburn, CA(Zone 10a)

I just googled the ones I want to grow and out of the 6, only 1 is in the DG Plant files. I will be back with my list along with pictures!

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

I'm in!! I will grow at least one here at home and I will see if my grandma is up for the challenge too. Her garden is much bigger than mine. lol

(Karen) Traverse Cit, MI(Zone 5a)

It's very difficult to grow much of anything here. I want to try the Gelber Englisher Custard, a patty pan type squash. I've just ordered the catalog to obtain the seeds.

Kind of excited about this, we love squash of all kinds. Tried to grow some last year with no luck.

Madison, IL(Zone 6b)

I would love to do this, but squash bugs are horrible in this area and I can only get trombone squash to survive. I grow it on a trellis. I'm thinking maybe because we're not too far from a pumpkin farm where pesticides are probably used?

I'm still eating trombone squash from last summer just lying on the kitchen counter. I gave quite a few away to family and friends.

I'll be a spectator and am interested in the outcome.

Thumbnail by greenbrain
(Cindy) Auburn, CA(Zone 10a)

I am going to grow these, but not sure which I will enter into contest.

'Cube of Butter' in contest for sure
'One Ball'

Thumbnail by purpbutfly Thumbnail by purpbutfly Thumbnail by purpbutfly Thumbnail by purpbutfly
Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

Wow! So much interest. Very cool. :)

I think it's really a competition rather than a contest, Cindy.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Please count me in. Not sure what I will be growing, but I'll be looking for several varieties.

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

If your choice isn't listed in Plantfiles yet, no worries...just let us know and we'll get a page created!


Melody...Why do you have to be so awesome!?!? lol I can think of one thats not listed ;)

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Okay, so I'm thinking of trying "Butta" (a yellow zuke), Tatume (a summer/winter squash) and Vermicelli. But my choices may change before I actually place my order :-)

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Here goes!

1) Calabash Gourd; Hybrid. 'India Globe'.
2) Calabash Gourd; Hybrid. 'India Long'.
3) Calabash Gourd; Hybrid. 'Lattoo'.
4) Calabash gourd; Hybrid. 'Green Bell'.

Will these be okay? Thanks.

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

Here's my choices. :~)

1) Rugosa Friulana Squash
2) Black Futsu Squash
3) Hilo Laotian Squash
4) Ambar Squash

Ocean Springs, MS

I'm in. Be back to post my choices!

Cucurbita maxima 'Blue Ballet'
Strawberry Crown

Cucurbita pepo 'Tatume'
Cucurbita pepo 'Yellow Finn'

This message was edited Feb 7, 2015 5:09 PM

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

I was eyeing Strawberry Crown myself. I can't remember why I didn't choose it. lol

Mount Sterling, KY(Zone 6b)

I am still trying to decide which ones I am going to grow. So many choices!

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

I'm still trying to decide...there's so many that tempt me.

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

Decisions, decisions. :-)

Gettysburg, PA(Zone 6b)

I'd like to claim:

Cucurbita maxima
Cultivar: Candy Roaster
(aka North Carolina Candy Roaster, Candy Roaster Melon Squash)

Cucurbita pepo
Cultivar: Early White Bush Scallop
(aka Farr's Benning White Bush)

Cucurbita moschata
Cultivar: "Amish Neck Pumpkin" aka PA Dutch Neck Pumpkin, aka Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck
(This is the classic pie pumpkin in the dutchlands. I was flabbergasted as a kid that there were 2 totally different kinds of pumpkins that looked nothing like each other. Like telling me a pepper and a cucumber were both apples.)

Cucurbita mixta
Cultivar: 'White Cushaw' aka Jonathon.

(Can you tell I'm saving squash seeds this year?)

This message was edited Feb 9, 2015 8:02 PM

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