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What a difference a month makes

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  • What a difference a month makes

    Plus 10 days of heat and sunshine!

    On the bonkers scale -squash plot- I wasn't very early sowing or planting and it has gone

    from this

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    to this

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    in just under a month. I'm sure everyone else's have too, I just couldn't get over the difference in the time.


    Even just 10 days ago the flowers were frustratingly all-female, now they have kicked into gear and there looks to be lots of lovely baby squash forming.
    Happy dance

    My crown peas on the other hand were in full bloom and sadly the heat has certainly put a sudden stop to that.

    Winners and losers I guess.
    How about you?

  • #2
    What is the distance between the plants? Haven't they just filled the space, wonderful sight. I am afraid, again this year mine start in a bed and then spread onto grass. Hope not too much of that black rot I had last year.

    The Buttercups have set 6 fruits, Todo and Sibley have finally produced their first female flowers, which hopefully will be ready to handpollinate for pure seed tomorrow. I nearly lost my Temprano d'Argelia courgette as I had no freezer backup and the seeds were getting old, but one plant could be coaxed into germination and that is also finally starting on its first female flower. Thelma Sanders has a couple of set fruit too. But still waiting on a female flower on the Tromboncino, being moschata they are always a bit trickier. Glad you are seeing squash forming, the heat will definitely help them.

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    • #3
      The large type maxima varieties and colourful types are 4' each way, with the smaller maxima and pepo squash 3' each way.

      Same sort of story here, they are starting to spill out on the grass plus invade spaces they are not meant to be. Does 'black rot' come from growing on grass or from the earth too?

      Your Buttercups are way ahead of mine, I have 3 Bush Buttercups separate from the squash plot so I wouldn't lose them until the autumn. The first flowers are just opening.
      Snap hoping for an open Sibley female flower tomorrow too, I thought it would have been today but apparently not, I've only one Sibley plant so very much hoping for selfed fruit. They and Bush Buttercup are I think the last of the Maxima to flower, a bit hard to tell now it's all a bit wild. I have a little patch of Thelma's too, (gosh we are a few of the same) Still waiting for female flowers on these too. Quite the opposite for my one Tromboncino, still an all-female affair.

      Thank you, it's exciting seeing little glimpses of hopefully set fruit as I walk past, plus for many of the plants I've no idea what is planted, I've already seen a couple I've no idea what they might be.

      Glad you have a Temprano d'Argelia courgette growing

      Comment


      • Jang
        Jang commented
        Editing a comment
        I suppose this raises the question of how reliable a source your seed came from. I bought Buttercup seed this year from an eBay seller. Often a risky ploy. In my case nil germination and refund, so still waiting to grow Buttercup.

        I’m not at all thinking your seed would have been from the same source. Just have some fellow-feeling over Buttercup muddles and disappointments. ☹️

      • jayb
        jayb commented
        Editing a comment
        Mine were bought from a large seed company a few years ago, but it is one I've had contaminated seed from before.
        I can't rule out it might be my mix-up. This year I sowed most squash seeds in mixed bulk sowings as they were older seeds and I wanted a seed clear out plus I was unsure of germination rates. I roughly divided them up by type, large maxima, small maxima and colourful maxima and were sown in seed trays and I just planted out a random selection. Bush Buttercups I thought I had sowed separately along with a couple of others Sibley, Bylinka and Gold Nugget, but hey perhaps I didn't.

      • jayb
        jayb commented
        Editing a comment
        It is frustrating when seeds don't germinate, glad you got a refund.
        Depending on how the one turns out, I may have seeds later on, but I think it is unlikely it will be a bush plant of 3-4' like wot it says on the packet!. I can't currently see any seed for bush buttercup for sale but if I do I'll grab a packet which I'd be happy to share with you.

    • #4
      That’s an amazing squash patch. So many plants!

      My plants are forming a similar jungle, except for the moschata bed which is a bit slower and a bit more spread out.

      I have some slight concern about the patch where I interplanted with Magic Manna corn. I think the corn is going to hold its own but it looks a close run thing. A classic combination of course, but perhaps plants are usually less densely planted than I went for.

      I’ve failed so far to find any male and female flowers on the same plant for hand pollinating, but in the jungle it’s actually quite difficult to track which plant is which. And a couple of days ago I attempted some spot watering but finding the root zone of each plant also took some doing. So there are disadvantages of profuse growth. But there’s a good amount of fruit has set. One or two photos to follow.

      I gather from the Tromboncino thread that the female flowers have substantial potential fruit behind them before pollination so waiting to see how many actually prove to be pollinated fruit. Only the polytunnel plant is at the possible fruit forming stage.

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      • jayb
        jayb commented
        Editing a comment
        I know it's daft! It started off by wanting to use up old seed rather than throw it away.......
        I'd agree jungle is the word for squash. I've noticed some of my squash making a move into the Zola Rose corn patch, some runners must be at least 6' into the bed. I'm glad your Magic Manna is holding it's own, fingers crossed. At least their roots will have been kept nice and cool

      • jayb
        jayb commented
        Editing a comment
        It is really difficult once they get going to trace who's who. I believe a male flower can be picked and kept cool to preserve the pollen, though for how long I don't know. I must admit it seems to me that squash plants sometimes just don't want to play by the rules and just like to do their own thing no matter what you do. I popped my 3 bush buttercups in a different spot to make self-pollinating them easier. But one plant is growing with much longer runners so I'll only self this one with itself. This leaves me with 2 plants who between them and similar to yours, have refused to have male and female flowers at the same time. I've pulled off a couple of females in the hope the plants catch up with themselves, but I also have in mind a couple of crosses I'd like to try and I may go down this route. I'm thinking a Buttercup-Sibley, Buttercup-Pottimarron or even a Buttercup-colourful type will give years of interest and hopefully some good eating outcomes.

      • Jang
        Jang commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks Galina. Mostly I’ve got only one plant of each variety except for Waltham Butternut where I’ve indulged in two. It’s my Maxima bed which is simply a happy mass though. Lovely to see such vigour and all will become clear in the harvesting, but in the meantime a certain confusion reigns.

        It was a good plan, Jayb to have a separate group of Buttercups to enable you to play with some crossing. At least a degree of clear certainty there!
        Last edited by Jang; 26-07-2021, 06:27.

    • #5
      My most noticeable fruit set is from spaghetti squash which has exceeded its performance last year when I first grew it. It has set five fruits in very quick succession and laid them out in a pleasingly neat formation!



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      • jayb
        jayb commented
        Editing a comment
        Looks great, what a super crop you have coming
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