I’ve dabbled with starts and seeds and honestly- both work great. In starts from the garden center, you get a plant ready to go- and sometimes when a seed is hard to start, or impossible to get, or the plant in question is sterile and propagated by division, you can’t just buy a packet.
But if you want full control over what kinds of squash you grow, and extras for errors, you can’t go wrong with starting your own seeds. There is more chance for error with seeds, but more potential plants for your money. Depends on the seed of course, as rarer and more pricy seeds will often have only a few per packet, so you get the pressure of starting everything perfectly.
I forgot that this is not a problem for squash. So when I started a bunch- I got a bunch. Oops.
It was a no brainer to save the best real estate for my costata romanesco zucchinis. They are reliable and tasty, not to mention easy to trellis up vertically to save space since all 4 plants thrived and I didn’t have the heart to thin them.
I love those beauties. The best squash in my mind for sure.
My sunstripes were less lucky, as only 3 plants thrived, and my hope is that they’ll be happiest in the sunnier part of the garden around a tripod stake system. I really want these guys to succeed so I set up a wine bottle watering system for a little extra help. Sunstripes are yellow long squashes, and are a favorite of my moms.
But I’m trying a more delicate and traditional trellising system with my dirani squashes- just some old netting I had and a few stakes. Dirani is a grey type that my dad likes, and I thought I’d grow some for him this year.
So in the end there’s a squash variety for the whole family. (And all our neighbors and friends and coworkers who better get to liking zucchini bread, zucchini fritters, ratatouille…)
What’s interesting this time is that there was a real difference in the vigor of the squash seedlings. They were all started by seed in seed starting mix or coir, then moved on to pots with a more nutritious potting mix. In all cases they were in my greenhouse until they were ready for planting out. The costata romanesco is the winner. It developed thick healthy leaves very early, and became far too big for it’s small pot the quickest. The dirani was just average in growth, about what I’d expect and what I’m used to, but the sunstripe was anemic and sluggish to grow, and it’s the one that lost a dying peer to the worm bin.
So I guess the lesson is that if you want a monster squash that’s super vigorous, plant some costata romanesco, checkmate I win.
Bonus squash time!
This potted beauty is a Gill’s Golden Pippin squash, an heirloom dwarf acorn variety that supposedly grows delicately up a trellis with tiny little fruits that look like miniature pumpkins.
Do I particularly like acorn squash?
Not really, it’s a good vegetable but honestly not one of my favorites.
Do I particularly feel like I will eat these little pumpkins?
I mean I abhor food waste so I’ll try to see how I can eat them, and worst comes to worst my worms in my worm bin will eat like little annelid kings.
Well then why are you growing them?
Because I fucking love Halloween.