Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Those Wacky Cucurbits

There are few things better in the heat of the summer than sinking your teeth into a vine warmed muskmelon or the first creamy, smooth, bite of fresh cucumber salad. Mmmmm, it makes my mouth water just thinking about it. 

I have a problem though, I have never liked the taste, texture,or smell of squash or zucchini. Over my lifetime I've had lots of people try and change my  mind. Your grandma’s zucchini bread, your roommates frittered squash blossoms, your Aunt Edna’s award winning…

It Just. Doesn’t. Matter. 

I don’t like any of it. 

But I really really want to. Does that make any kind of sense at all? I know that they’re really easy to grow, they grow profusely, and they are really healthy. What’s not to like??

I’ve decided something. I’ve decided that this is gonna be my year. I have decided to devote a little space for one squash plant and one zucchini plant and I WILL figure out what to do with them. Even if the thought makes me gag just a little bit!

Having said that, here’s what’s in the plan for this year’s garden:

*Unless otherwise noted, all varieties are Heirlooms

Sweet Burpless Hybrid-Organic Cucumber 


An exceptional burpless slicing cucumber with sweet flavor. Medium green 10-12" long, cylindrical, smooth fruits on vigorous plants.

Marketmore 76 Cucumber

Marketmore 76

Dark green, 8”-9” fruit; great slicer! Good yields!
Excellent flavor. A real standard for superb eating cukes.

Fordhook Zucchini

Classic, cylindrical, dark-green straight to slightly curved zucchinis. Tender, creamy-white flesh freezes well. Vigorous and productive bush plants.

Straight Neck Yellow Squash

AAS Winner from 1938; uniform lemon-yellow, club-shaped fruit; firm flesh is of excellent quality, tasty.

White Scallop Summer Squash

A very ancient native American heirloom squash, grown by the northern Indians for hundreds of years. This type was depicted by Europeans back to 1591, and one of the best tasting and yielding varieties still around today! Great fried and baked. Flat fruit with scalloped edges-beautiful!

American Honey Rock Melon

An early heirloom melon, 3-4 lbs. with thick sweet firm deep-salmon flesh; good yields of quality fruit. An AAS winner for 1933. Good size for an early melon. 

Eden’s Gem Melon

An old heirloom variety from 1881. This old-timer is still a popular green flesh muskmelon with a heavily netted rind and smooth, sweet-flavored flesh. Fruits weigh 2-3 lbs. A good keeper with firm flesh. From Colorado.

Ambrosia Hybrid Cantaloupe


Burpee's Ambrosia has been our top-selling cantaloupe for over 20 years because of its luscious, extra-sweet taste, juiciness and nectarous aroma. The tick, firm, flesh is delicious right down to the rind. The 6" melons average 5 lb. each. Vines yield bumper crops and are mildew-resistant.

So there you have it. I have a few other melon plants that I may or may not wind up using. Last year I only grew the Ambrosia and it was fabulous. This year I’m trying really hard to branch out and try some new ones. I was gifted a seed order and wound up with some new varieties that I hadn’t heard of before. 

Regardless, I have lots of vertical space so it will depend on what my mood is at the time.


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