Unexpected

I didn't plant squash this year. My small veggie garden just doesn't have the room for it. I did plant butternut squash one year and it essentially covered the entire fenced area of my veggie beds. I got great squash but couldn't grow anything else. So I haven't planted it again since then.


It turns out that I was growing squash this year though. A volunteer butternut squash plant grew outside the fence this year and added a fair amount of beauty to this part of the garden. I let it grow because of this and to test if the deer and other herbivores took advantage of it. They didn't as far as I can tell -- maybe a couple of nibbles but nothing significant.

***


Since this plant seemed to grow very slowly during the hottest part of summer and didn't really take off until late summer,  I didn't expect it to set any fruit -- that wasn't my goal with it.


It turns out that there were a few squash growing under all of that foliage!

Since we've had a few strong frosts by now, the leaves have all disappeared:


This let me clearly see the squash:




If you're familiar with butternut squash, you can probably see that these are not yet ripe:


It looks like they got some freeze damage too:


So I doubt that they'll be edible. I'll keep them in the garage for a week or two and see what they look like.


I may slice into them anyway, just to give them a try.

If I don't find a way to eat these (or if they're inedible) that's fine. This plant has showed me that it is possible to grow butternut squash again in my deer-visited garden, and if all goes to plan I'll have plenty of these delicious fruits to eat next winter.

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Looking to land  – (November 19, 2012 at 9:20 AM)  

Don't you love these volunteer plants! I had 3 or 4 winter melon volunteers this year, which I thought to be fuzzy melons until I found them keeping growing bigger and bigger. Unfortunately none matured after the stifling heat and raging cuke beetles.

Christine @ The Gardening Blog  – (November 20, 2012 at 12:40 PM)  

I love the look of the plant, I'd grow it for the foliage alone :)

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