2017 wins

To say I love squash would be a little strong. I am sure there is a more elegant way to say this, but the truth is that I really like squash. I am lucky that I do not face a ton of insect foes in my garden, but the biggest and most consistent has been squash bugs.

I have tried to grow squash for years, but every year the crop is absolutely decimated. Going in to the 2017 garden season, I had one main goal: grow more than one squash. I researched how to combat squash bugs and settled on the tobacco ash technique. I had some cigars from a 2012 trip to Jamaica and Mexico that had been languishing in a drawer, so I lit them on fire and waited for them to turn to ash. I planted the squash seeds with the cigar ash and had the most successful squash harvest ever.

In total, I harvested 8 squash. One was on accident and too early – I was lovingly tending to it when I snapped its stem. The other was a tiny butternut squash and is still sitting in my house and will probably be given to the chickens one day.

The top row is Sibley and the bottom row is Hopi Pale Grey and I hate to say it, but I didn’t like either of them. We cooked a few of them and then admitted defeat and decided to let the chickens have the rest. Squash will not be included in the garden for at least a couple of seasons.

2018 will be about establishing the perennial fruit and transitioning to a mixed no till/raised bed garden system with a heavy focus on soil health and companion planting.

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