Growing Squash

Winter squash is a great vegetable for the home gardener and chef. There are a number of excellent varieties of winter squash available, each with unique flavors and uses. A wonderful feature of winter squash is that once they are harvested in the fall, they can be stored for several months for use throughout the winter.

Winter squash, gourds, and pumpkins are members of the genus Cucurbita. Winter squash can be found as vining, semi-vining, and bush varieties. Summer squash are similar in form to winter squash, but winter squash generally have harder rinds and seeds, and are harvested when they reach full maturity.

The domestication of winter squash began with the native populations of the Americas.

Research into the history of the use of squash reveals that their cultivation began in South America and the seeds eventually made their way to native populations in North America. With the arrival of Europeans to the Americas, squash seeds were quickly utilized by these newcomers in their own gardens. Through the distribution and sharing of seeds by these early settlers, winter squash was soon growing in gardens throughout the world. Winter squash, gourds, and pumpkins are members of the genus Cucurbita. Winter squash can be found as vining, semi-vining, and bush varieties. Summer squash are similar in form to winter squash, but winter squash generally have harder rinds and seeds, and are harvested when they reach full maturity.

For more information on food crops that originally came from the Americas, see Aztec Gardens. If you are looking for a good source of organic fertilizers, organic pest control products, and excellent gardening tools, we recommend Clean Air Gardening.

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