These Tahitian Melon squash are better than Butternut Squash. I am not talking about better in taste. They are very similar in taste to Butternut Squash, with a beautiful sweet orange flesh. They are better because they are so much bigger with a very long neck. So you get a higher percentage of squash that is easily accessible without having to deal with cutting out the seeds. Today I picked my 5th squash. The last 2 were 9.5 lbs. This one weighted 12.2 lbs! It was hanging from my tomato cage. The cage is a little bent but I think it will be ok. That is one strong tomato cage!! Anyway I am having a great time watching these squash. I will cook one soon and let you know how it tastes.
Better Than Butternut Squash?
Update–October 16th. After cooking one of these squash, I can say that the taste is superb and the amount of squash that you get is phenomenal. I made several pies and still had some left over for soup. I highly recommend this squash for a backyard garden. They are delicious, they are huge, they are pest resistant and they are very productive–growing all over the place. My one piece of advice is to start them early in the season because they just keep producing more squash. Right now I have several squash that aren’t going to have enough time to mature because our first frost is fast approaching! When they are very small you can pick them and cook them like a zucchini. They are very good that way also. Here is a picture of my squash harvest. We have already eaten 7 of them so there were actually more than this! Here is a link to Tahitian Melon Squash seeds.
I am having so much fun growing winter squash even though it is taking over my yard. I will definitely be buying Tahitian Melon winter squash again providing that it tastes as good as it grows! Each time I see a large squash nestled in the undergrowth I get a thrill and each new baby squash is exciting! Even though I don’t think all these babies will get full grown at this point in the summer. But you never know–we still have 2 more months of frost-free weather. I have picked 3 squash. The first one was 5.5 lbs, the second 6.5 lbs and the third one was 9.6 lbs. Wow! Those are a lot of pumpkin pies and squash soup!
Growing Winter Squash Update
We cooked our first winter squash and it was amazingly delicious and as you can imagine, at 9.6 lbs, it supplied a lot of squash. We made three pies and had a lot left for squash soup and just to eat plain. It has a lovely orange color which attests to how healthy it is with the beta-carotene.
If you are a beginning gardener and you like butternut squash I recommend this for growing winter squash because it is a strong plant, seemingly resistant to problems and it produces beautiful. large squash-just be prepared for it to grow all over.
I talked to one of the farmers at the local farmers market wondering why it is not sold at the market. He said when he was a kid in Pennsylvania that is all they used for pumpkin pies. He called them Neck pumpkins. I got my seeds from Southern Seed Exchange.See my 2 previous posts for more info on Tahitian Melon Squash.
Winter squash growing great–right up the tomato cage! Here is a photo from earlier in the summer, when the Tahitian Melon Winter Squash started growing. You can still see the tomato cage as it is growing up onto it. The tomato cage was eventually totally covered and the squash took over the cucumber trellis which was about 3-4 feet away from this tomato cage. So far, I have seen 2 large squash growing on the same side of the tomato cage. I did anchor the tomato cage with some more stakes inside of it. So far, so good–it is still standing. I think one squash is ready to harvest so that will take off some of the weight!
The picture to the right is a squash that is growing at the bottom of the cucumber trellis. The red you see at the top of the picture to the right of the squash is part of one of the tomato ladders that I used to create my cucumber trellis. I have seen pictures of these squash with a curved neck. Maybe they grow with a straight neck when hanging from the vine instead of laying on the ground because the weight of the squash keeps it straight. It is almost touching the ground which should help hold its weight. Right now it is doing fine. Now I realize why the squash vine is so strong where it attaches to the squash–to hold the squash so it doesn’t fall off of the vine (if it happens to be hanging instead of laying on the ground.) This squash measures about 2 feet long! I wouldn’t use a tomato cage again for support. The squash were just too heavy for it. The tomato ladders worked much better.