I planted plenty of squash seeds at the right time, but alas, my crops have failed. I tried two zucchini transplants in late January, a bit early in the season. I wasn’t surprised when they died without having made a squash.
I planted three heirloom patty pan squash on March 8 from a mix of white, yellow, and green patty pans. One of them produced four white patty pan squash and quit. The plant isn’t quite dead yet, so I’m holding out hope for another patty pan or two. The other two plants died without offspring.
I planted two each Gold Rush, Clarinette Lebanese and Early Prolific Straightneck from seed on April 17. They sprouted, made a couple of leaves, and then most of them died. One surviving Early Straightneck is now the size of my palm. I’ve never seen a tinier squash plant in my life. It is just now thinking about producing its first male flowers. Ditto the one surviving Clarinette. Pathetic. I’m too embarassed to even post a photo.
I didn’t get around to planting any winter squash until June 2. I planted three seeds from a mix of mini red Kuri, mini green Kuri and mini blue Hubbard in a Smart Pot in the driveway. All three seeds sprouted and are doing well. Hurray.
With the first female flower now getting ready to open, there is hope of getting at least one winter Kuri or mini-Hubbard. But I didn’t plant any pumpkins when I should have. I kept hoping that the Huntington Beach community garden would be up and running sometime this summer. Ha! We don’t have a lease yet from Southern California Edison, and can’t set foot on the property yet. And we still need to raise the money to pay for installation of irrigation, etc.
I finally gave up on the community garden for this year’s summer crops and planted three seeds of Amish pie pumpkins in a big Smart Pot in the driveway on July 20, really late in the season. I thought that these were going to be like New England pie pumpkins, cute little things that are just big enough to make one pie. Then I read the seed packet. Ack, they’re supposed to grow to 90 lbs each. Ohmygod, I just have to hope that they really won’t do that. Our driveway isn’t big enough. I suppose starting them this late will preclude getting a pumpkin crop anyway.
Not having any summer squash to speak of, I’m trying once more to grow some this season. I planted seeds for Clarinette Lebanese and Gold Rush zucchini in plastic nursery pots in the driveway. Our driveway gets more sun than any other part of our yard, so I have hope of possibly getting some summer squash yet this year.
It’s really late in the season to be starting summer squash from seeds. And I didn’t get those pumpkins planted in time for them to set fruit either, given normal weather. But nothing ventured, nothing gained.
In these times of global weirding climate change, it seems that we can’t predict the weather. My strategy for homegrown food security is to grow as wide a variety of crops as possible, starting them at different times. I push the seasons at both ends, hoping for the best.
We’re living in a climate that humans have never lived through before, with carbon dioxide levels higher than any in the past 400,000 years. Part of this “global weirding” climate change is increased intensity and frequency of storms, overall hotter temperatures (just not here this summer) and unpredictable weather. We live in interesting times.