Once we are in October the chances are that a frost could descend on us at anytime and so I decided that I’d better gather in the squash fruits.
Even discounting the possibility of squash being ruined by frost, October is a dangerous time for any squash or pumpkin fruits growing on allotments. Many fall victim to those who think pumpkins growing on someone’s plot is fair game. Many will end their days as footballs or have been ‘acquired’ for Halloween, carved and hollowed out.
We grew two varieties of squash this year. We’ve grown Crown Prince for a few years and have always been pleased with our crop so that tends to be a staple. To this we added Autumn Crown which is a new variety bred especially for growing in the UK. It’s supposed to be a cross between Crown Prince and a butternut squash and is described as having a melony taste - we can’t confirm this as we haven’t tasted one yet.
This year conditions have been far drier than squash like and even our Crown Prince vines have produced smaller fruits than normal. Some vines have not produced a fruit at all and others have only managed a single squash.
The Autumn Crown fruits are much smaller than we expected - the name meant we expected something similar to Crown Prince. I’m not sure whether the smaller size is due to lack of rain or that this variety is naturally smaller.
The vines that have produced the largest fruit were either growing under our sweet pea frame where the ground didn’t dry out as quickly. I supposed it was a sort of ‘two sisters’ set-up!
I always cut the squash leaving them attached to a section of vine which not only acts as a sort of handle for carrying the fruit about but it is also supposed to make them less likely of rotting.
Anyway all our squash are now safely gathered in and being stored in our garden greenhouse where they will hopefully manage to survive Halloween - that is unless one ends up in the pot!