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Questions? Write me at fullcirclegardener @ cableone . net.

Plant of the Week: Spagetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash (Cucurbita pepo)
If you haven't noticed, my brain gets caught up in themes and it has happened again. ;)  I have gotten caught up in all the varieties of winter squash.  In my research, I have discovered that there are really just three predominate species of winter squash and most varieties belong to just two of those species!  The two most common species are Cucurbita maxima and Cucubita pepo.  Last week we looked at the buttercup squash variety of C. maxima and this week I am focusing on the spaghetti squash variety of the C. pepo.

Spaghetti squash produce a fruit with creamy white rind and a dense yellow flesh that becomes stringy when it is cooked.  It is often viewed with relief, and is a favorite, among those who do not like the typical soft squash texture because of its firmer, more noodle-like texture.  This texture and stringy nature combine to give it the common name spaghetti squash.  In fact, it is probably most commonly served with a tomato sauce as a meatless spaghetti though I look forward to trying it tossed with some sauteed fresh veggies, basil and oil.

Spaghetti squash are a large vining plant that take a lot of space if given the freedom to keep on growing as it pleases and to my knowledge there are no bush varieties available yet.  This does not mean that the urban gardener cannot grow spaghetti squash.  It can be grown as part of your vertical garden whether in a backyard garden or a container garden.  Once several fruit have set, you will want to clip off the growing points to force the plant to invest all of its energy into the fruit rather than into more vine.  This will give you fewer but larger fruit and will keep the vine from getting out of control.

For more information on growing and harvesting all varieties of winter squash see my post on buttercup squash, as planting requirements are the same.

It has been years since I last had spaghetti squash, but I plan on trying it again soon.  I would love to hear about your favorite spaghetti squash recipe.  Please share.

Happy Gardening! :)

1 comment:

  1. I have some spaghetti squash growing that are still green. They are huge!
    I though they were watermelon.
    When should we pick them? It's getting cold.


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