Monday, October 27, 2014

Wild Cucurbits in the Garden

Wild and out of control! Squirrels, as any gardener will know, love to raid the compost and deposit pilfered seeds about the yard. I am used to having a few volunteer tomatoes, sunflowers, and of course Cucurbits! The trouble with the cucurbita family is that the first few leaves are almost identical. One could play a guessing game - pumpkin or cucumber? Melon or zucchini? Most of them get (sadly) plucked out in order to maintain some semblance of order.

These two lovelies, however, decided to grow around the trunk of our recently deceased tree. I gave them no encouragement, I did instruct Mr. Crafty to mow around them. So, like any good guest, in exchange for a little yard space they have provided me with some mysterious squash yummies.

You see, across the Cucurbita family, cross-pollenation is to be expected. I have heard tale of pump-alopes, cuke-inni, and other hybrids. (Such as my Pattypan Ghost!) These two seem to be different decendants from an acorn squash, each diverging in it's own fashion. We will see if they maintain the tasty flesh of their ancestors...

Do you leave volunteer veggies in your garden? Have you had any delicious surprises?

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