I would curb my secret desire to grow an Atlantic Giant pumpkin once again, although it would always remain on my bucket list. I mean, seriously, those plants would rule a whole season when you'd take all four of your 3’ by 10’ beds and let the squash just take over. You wouldn't be able to grow another thing, except perhaps some Tom Thumb lettuce, and maybe a few baby carrots.
Even Dearly Beloved, with all his cheerleader outlook, would probably balk at the idea of having such a monster in the backyard.
Maybe a Mistake?
None of the fruit obtained from either plant could actually be described as “small,” but they were all impressive!
The biggest plant turned into a standard sized Blue Hubbard, a huge, peanut shaped squash. At this point there was no going back. I resorted to actually pruning off some vigorous side shoots that threatened to overtake everything else in the raised bed. I cut off the growing tip when there was no room to wind it anywhere on the trellis. By this time there were three nice big fat squash.
Somehow the trellis bore this huge weight of plant and squash. But wooden platforms had to be inserted to support the large fruit. The largest one of all inconveniently decided it would hang over the trellis. It was obvious things were getting completely out of hand.
I was reduced to cutting up old pantyhose to provide a sling for this huge fruit. It stretched and stretched. By this time, late August, the other squash had been harvested.
Kitchen shears make a good tool for cutting the sling. And even the tough, thick stem that attaches the squash to the plant. But they do nothing to prepare you for the sudden drop of a massive squash. It fell right through my outstretched arms, and briefly buried its pointy end in the soft soil.
I picked it up, and carried it into the sunroom, where it would stay for a good four weeks to condition it. This is an important step. It assures you of good taste much later on. At that stage it weighed exactly 15 lbs.
Then it was moved to the cold garage, to stay there all winter. Slowly all the other delicious squash were eaten. Yesterday I decided it was time to open up the monster.
It had been six months since picking day. Bluey had lost some weight, now coming in at 13.8 lbs.
The hard outer rind was a formidable challenge, but I worked through it. Then, quite suddenly, there was the daffodil yellow of the interior!
Growing a winter squash is a fun experience, but it does require some dedication. Of course it's nice when someone hasn't mixed up the seeds in your package too. This year I've ordered my seeds for some small squash.
However, I'm so grateful for the Blue Hubbard. I don't know any other variety that will keep perfectly for 6 months, and reward you with fine meals as you move into Spring.
Now all that remains is for Spring to actually arrive, then summer, and time to try another squash project.