Hubbard Squash

Hubbard squash can get large, up to 50 pounds, have a delightful taste and an extremely tough outer skin making them ideal for winter storage.

Hubbard squash will require a full growing season of 100 days. They will also require room to grow and spread out and will gladly climb a trellis or any obstacle in their way.

Hubbard squash come in two main varieties – green and blue. I have grown the warted Green variety here in Nipigon and will be planting blue Hubbards this spring. They should be started indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost of spring. Start in larger pots giving them room to grow with minimal disturbances before transplanting outside. They are transplanted outside after the risk of frost has passed.

To grow well, they will require warmth and a lot of water. Springtime is cool in these parts, which will slow the growth, so I recommend some form of soil warming. Cold boxes, plant covers and garden boxes are some of the various ways to help out plants in the spring. I will get more into those in a later article.

Watering should occur regularly, and if the leaves start to wilt, they need water. Most squashes are very good at telling you they need water. The faster the plant gets to the fruiting stage, the better as the fruit will take time to grow to full size.

A fair-sized transplant that grows quickly, the Hubbard squash will shade out weeds and other plants rapidly so weeding will not be a significant issue. The main problems are the large leaves and runner vines that will cover a large area. They should be kept in check by moving them and redirecting them out of harm’s way when possible.

When one or two fruit are growing on a vine, you can terminate the end of the vine and deadhead any further flowers so that all that vines energy goes into growing the fruit. Cutting the end of the vine will stop the spreading of the plant. This is done later in the season when any new fruit does not have the time to reach maturity anyway.

The very tough skin of the Hubbard squash allows them to be stored for the entire winter in a cool, dry space. This will give you an ample supply of squash in the coldest months when store-bought fresh vegetables are at a premium.

To prepare cut the squash into quarters or eighths and bake in the oven or microwave. Once cooked, it can be pureed, and the leftovers can be frozen for up to a year.

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Hodge Podge Garden
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The plants listed here are available at the physical shop located with the Nipigon River Bait Shop at 21 Second Street in Nipigon Ontario. Limited quantities are available, and all seeds are fresh and have been tested to grow here in NW Ontario.


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