Mystery plant solved. I think.
Saturday July 30th 2016, 9:30 pm
Filed under: Food,Garden,Wildlife

I had to know. I had to know what to do with them, leave them growing or harvest them small, so I finally cut a little one off and opened it up.

My squash seedlings got eaten as they came up a few months ago so I set out some much-anticipated Sharlyn melon plants in the same spot. Three times.  And the squirrels devoured them all–except that last one.

Clearly it was a new squash plant coming up late from the earlier seeds, because this is no melon.

Butternuts grow like this and turn washed-out-yellow later, right? Or is this yet another squirrelled volunteer? Because I know my neighbor on the other side of that fence grew gourds at least one year and I have no desire to commit my water to growing those.

It tasted sort-of zucchini-ish but was already a bit hard in the handle end. Any experienced gardeners reading this who’ve grown butternut?

5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Yup it’s an unripe butternut. You need to let them grow until the plant dies back and they turn a yellowish orange. Then leave it out until the skin hardens and barely dents when you poke a fingernail into it. They will keep for months in a cool dark place. YUM I love butternut! I cut down the length, place cut side up in a 350* oven with a pat of butter in the cleaned out bell part until a fork will easily pierce the meat in the neck. Allow to cool to handle, scoop the meat away from the skin and season with a little real maple syrup. I could make a meal out of that.


Comment by sue o 07.31.16 @ 5:28 am

Our butternut squash were yellow or tan even when they were small. You might have a hybrid of some sort. (I don’t know how far pollinators can carry the pollen.) We’ve got a variety we call “Beach Ball squash” because they tend to have bright green and orange stripes, and grow to the size of a basketball. They taste pretty good, so we don’t mind.

Comment by LauraN 07.31.16 @ 6:47 pm

I do not thinkit is a butternut. Butternut pumpkin is orange even when tiny, does not have the liquid look your photo shows and while it is vaguely butternut shape, it is not quite right. I have lots of experience with butternuts as they are the only pumpkin I eat. Arthritis in my hands can still allow me to prepare butternut but not other varieties. It looks like a gourd of some sort.

Comment by Jan 07.31.16 @ 8:45 pm

Another thought. Butternut skin is not striped like that and as I said, is orange. I am sure it is a gourd of some sort.

Comment by Jan 07.31.16 @ 8:48 pm

Not a butternut from my experience – and I’ve grown a lot of them – they are my favourite. Shape is close, so perhaps an odd hybrid? Mine are always tan/yellow.

Zucchini stays soft, winter squash go hard, that’s why they keep so long. So if it’s already going hard you’ve got some kind of squash, but I don’t know what.

You might try checking the website of a seed supplier to if there’s anything that matches up.

If they are squash, I love them best roasted – peeled and chopped. A little olive oil, a little sea salt and some sage. Awesome! For even more awesome, add some other veggies, maybe some rosemary or thyme (fresh is best) then serve with maybe a little roasted chicken. OK, now I’m drooling and it’s midnight. I guess that’s what we’re having for dinner tomorrow.

Chris S in Canada

Comment by Chris S 07.31.16 @ 9:09 pm

Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>