Friday, September 24, 2010

Boston Marrow Squash Update

I couldn't resist . . . this is my dog Lily standing with
my and Leanne's Boston Marrow squashes and hardy mums.

Early this spring I posted about squash seedlings growing in my basement. Shortly after I wrote that post, I moved them to my garden and attempted to grow big, beautiful, tasty Boston Marrow squash. Of my original nine seedlings, five plants made it through the gardening season. Two squash made it to maturity; of those two, one was left on the vine too long and one is a keeper.

I left this squash on the vine too long.
It looks like it started to rot from the inside.

As you may recall, I offered up some of these seeds to friends and family, and a few people actually planted some. My stepmother Leanne took some seeds. She grew a few plants herself and gave her father a few seeds for his garden. My aunt Kristy successfully grew and harvested seven squash from my seeds. My cousin Steve had some nice plants . . . until a critter came along and ate them before Steve and Heidi could. And coworker Maryellen's seeds did well with the germination and bloom until, as she recalls, her "chickens not only did their organic pest control on the potato beetles and slugs; the chickens also ate every single blossom and sign of fruits from my labors."

My aunt Kristy's harvest.
Look at the size of her Boston Marrow squash!

Photo taken on August 29

My stepmom's Boston Marrow was small, and there isn't much she can do with one little squash, so she gave it to me. I am going to try to get enough out of my one success and hers to make a pie.

The squash on the left is my stepmom's success, and
the one on the right is mine. I'm going to try to make
a "pumpkin" pie out of these beauties.

I asked Leanne how her dad's squash grew. She said he "got lots of flowers, but then . . . nothing! His friend (a master butternut squash grower) said something about having to have male and female plants."

My aunt Kristy, on the other hand, was quite successful — I'm thinking I should go visit her garden next spring and get some tips. Here is what she had to say about her experience growing these big veggies:

"All seeds germinated, and I kept four plants. Most plants grew 15 feet or more. From those plants I got seven squashes — six overly large ones and one about the size of a large acorn squash, plus handle. All large squashes were totally ripe more than a month ago, which seemed very early, but everything was early this year. Seeds were planted May 22. The plants started dying on or about August 13. I cooked one of the squashes, puréed the cooked pulp, and froze it in 2-cup packages to use instead of pumpkin. I opened the squash by smashing it on the lawn. The cooked squash is a beautiful orange color and delicious. I have saved some seeds."

Boston Marrow squash in Aunt Kristy's garden
Photos taken on August 9

Let me know if you have ever grown Boston Marrow squash and your experience with them. And I will let you know how my pie comes out (and if I have enough for pie or if I will need to supplement with pumpkin).

— Kristy L. Rustay (the learning gardener)


Kristy Rustay said...

I link the posts I write to my Facebook page. My stepmother responded there.

Leanne wrote:
"Nice photo of Lily!! I checked with my brother-in-law Steve, I gave him some plants too, but his blossoms were devoured by rabbits so he never had squash either. I still have blossoms on my plants, but no realistic hope of anything
else at this late date. It was fun to share this adventure with everyone, though — thank you Kristy for getting us all involved!! Better luck next year...

rose gold said...

I also have problems with my squash. They have many flowers but never had any produce. I just hope that it will produce before the winter dome. So I can make some squash soup for a very cold season. Congratulations for your harvested squash.

Anonymous said...

I have two plants of Boston Marrow growing. There are at least nine squashes on my plant right now(It's early July) and it looks like more are starting. I have a well contained garden with no critters to steal my harvest. I've never grown these before and wondered about them, thus finding your blog. I'll let you know how they turn out. I'm looking forward.
Ps - I live in Santa Rosa, CA, land of Luther Burbank

Anonymous said...

I'm definitely interested in how they turn out. My boston marrow plants were never as successful as my aunt's, but I keep trying. I have 3 plants growing now. Now squash yet, but they are blossoming.

Last year I grew some pumpkins, and while researching the best growing practices, it was suggested to allow only one or two squash per plant to develop and to pinch off the others. Thus allowing all the nutrients to go to the chosen one or two. The same may be true for these large squash.

I wish you successful squash — they're delicious!

Anonymous said...

ILive in Lebanon, Pa and have planted Boston Marrows for the first time and am having great success so far. I have 6 plants I started from seed and have about 15 squash growing. My husband read that fish fertilizer and horse manure are good for veggie plants so this is what we have tried.

Anonymous said...

I grew 3 plants of this and have approximately 8 fruits growing. They are decent in size. I have them on a fence with slings holding them. I figure I've got a couple of weeks before I pick them. I'm trying to find if there are any tricks to grow them any better.

Anonymous said...

Yours seem to be doing better than mine. I planted only two this year, and each plant has one small-ish squash and several male flowers. Everything in my garden is late this year, so I'm not sure if they will mature in time for harvest.

My aunt Kristy was very successful with hers. Sadly, she is no longer with us, and I cannot go to her for advice. I do know that she used the black plastic around her garden plants. Maybe keeping the soil warm was her key to success — it's worth a try!