me and my wallet love squashes

Why Me and My Wallet Love Squashes

A couple of weeks ago, I read that Alys Fowler wanted a polytunnel. Trouble was, it was going to cost £350, and Alys’s hubby was not impressed. So Alys wrote a piece telling him just how she was going to save money.

Now, I’m not going to start telling someone like Alys what to do, but I reckon she should fill her allotment with squashes.

Okay, that sounded like I was telling her what to do. I’m not, honest.

I have just sown my squash seeds for 2011, in pots in the greenhouses. This seems strange because I still have 9.6kg of the things in the store.

I can’t sing the praises of squash enough. It is truly incredible veg for so many different reasons. As I’m on a money-saving project this year, I’ll start with that.

A Massive Money Saver
So far in 2011, I’ve used nearly 12kg of squash. At £1.67 a kilo, that equates to a whopping £19.68. And these attractive fruits keep for yonks. The six remaining squashes from last year’s harvest are showing no signs of deterioration. That sixteen quids worth of food will be incredibly welcome during the hungry gap, especially when one squash normally contributes to at least two meals.

That sort of cash might even buy Alys a polytunnel door or something.

Another smashing squash attribute is its versatility. I’m not sure there is anything culinary you can’t do with it. Since I’ve been growing squash, I’ve used it in lasagne, salad, curry, soup, risotto, pasta, falafels, and pizza. I’ve stuffed ‘em and even made muffins.

I’ve also found squash a super and longer-lasting alternative to the spud, making wedges and mash, as well as roasting it.

The old ones make nice little edible houses for mice, too.

They look so pretty as well. I tend to grow crown prince and simple butternut jobbies, but the flowers, the vines, and the fruits make really eye-catching features on my allotment.

Easy to Grow
The icing on the cake is the ease in which I’ve grown them. I pop a seed in a small pot of multi-purpose compost in mum’s greenhouse and plant out in May once the plant is about 15cm high.

One tip I’d recommend is to put a stick next to the plant. They sprawl all over the shop, so it is really useful to know where the roots are when watering. They need a lot of water, and I tend to put them in a little hollow so the liquid stays in around the plant, where it’s needed most.

14 thoughts on “Why Me and My Wallet Love Squashes”

  1. What, no pumpkin pie? Are you mad? LOL I’ve sown my seeds last month and my squashes are growing like mad. Soon I’ll put them in my 3 sisters bed that I’ve prepared earlier. Love squashes, couldn’t garden without them!

  2. I am really impressed Jono that anyone can write an interesting peice about squash, or is it squashes for more than one, or perhaps squish?! Well done R

  3. Thank you for writing this post! I love squash, too, and I have recently just started seeds. I grow “extra” plants each season just so I have plenty of squash blossoms to cook as well.

  4. Omg, “Yonks” I have not heard that word in such a longtime…I just got home sick! Anyway, what beautiful looking squash you have there and wow what a saving. You are making it sound like a must have for the new veg bed. Oh how I love roast pumpkin soup…yummo!

  5. Oh I heart squash too. I had some issues with winter ones last year so put a lot of effort in for little reward but I’m determined to do better this year.

    Will definitely use the “stick marks the spot” approach this year though – thanks for that idea 🙂

  6. I’ve just sown mine – 4 varieties, several of each, no idea where I am going to cram them in, but I love them. Three sisters will help, I hope, but I can’t get enough of them. Am off to check out your squash falafel recipe… I’m going to bury a squash bottle, top off upside down, next to each when I plant to make watering easier. Same with the courgettes.

  7. Thanks for the comments everyone. I probably should make pumpkin pie, given that my significant other is half American.

    Sage Butterfly – I’m lucky in that I’ve never had any problems with squash bugs. Plenty of other pests, but not squash ones.

    Alan – haha, we’ve gone full circle! You’ll have to explain to me what a cantaloupe is. Is it like a melon? If so, without a greenhouse, I haven’t a hope in hell of growing them.

    I’ve often thought about growing squash up a wall. I think it would look stunning, especially if you grew some of the more decorative varieties.

  8. I have been mixing carrot seed with sand and scatter gardening instead of rows which I am loath to thin, killing babies as I go. The sand also helps with the crusting, but so does the compost or at least peat moss cover. Now, we all need to eat up our winter squashes! Spicy squash soup anyone?

  9. Squashes look good after they’re harvested too! Some people buy ornamental gourds to decorate their houses with in the fall, but squash growers can eat their squah-y decorations after the harvest.

    1. Hi Croila,

      Hmm. That’s a good question. I’d say they’re most like a sweet potato, but not quite as sweet. I’d thoroughly recommend them!

  10. Jono,

    I agree. You should totally make pumpkin pie. It’s one of the best pies in the world, IF done right. I hope you post a write-up about it once you’ve had the time to make one. I’m telling you, it’s heavenly to the palette like the flowers of the pumpkin itself to the eyes.

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