Saturday, April 17, 2010

"Upper Ground Sweet Potato Squash"

Today I sowed seeds of this southern heirloom squash in a very large, restricted-drainage tree pot that I have recorded the creation of and filling of with growth medium.....I'd planned on posting pics of this by now, but my camera batteries died and my haunted new battery chargers (both) are again giving me grief about actually CHARGING batteries. This concept of "restricted drainage" pots was, in hindsight, an early prototype opf my "Water Wise Container Gardens" that to this day I still employ as a way of making very productive use of discarded (free!) black plastic commercial tree pots. I will post those pics as soon as I can power up my camera.

I am hopeful about this squash because it is a member of Cucurbita moschata, a squash species that is tropical in origin and that generally thrives in Deep South and Florida summers when C. maxima, C. mixta and C. pepo often struggle and fail. (All the "calabaza" pumpkins are derived from C. moschata and hence are known for their RAMPANT healthy productive vines in good rich moist soil). The leaves of any strain of C. moschata are unmistakable as they have very attractive, nearly-metallic, silvery-grey patterns on their leaves vs. the plain green leaves of the other species (see attached pics). I bought these seeds from my favorite seed folks, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I just got a great order from them a couple of days ago and will share those crops as I sow them either directly or in starter pots.
The young newly opened leaves and vine tips, and the male blooms, of all the cultivated squashes are edible and nutritious, so you get food long before the squash forms.

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