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Tutti Frutti Winter Squash Planting

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About 100 acres of winter squash has just been planted here at Tutti Frutti Farms at Chris’s home ranch off of Santa Rosa Road. Varieties include butternut, sugar pie pumpkin, kabocha, spaghetti, baby blue hubbard, delicata, sweet dumpling, acorn, sunshine, and buttercup.  Winter squash differs from summer squash (zucchini, crookneck, etc.) because it is eaten after the seeds have fully matured and the skin has hardened.  Winter squash is typically harvested at the end of summer and beginning of fall, before the first frost of winter.  Below is a picture of the transplants being delivered to the farm.

Squash Transplants

Here is one of the fields that is being planted with winter squash.  The black plastic sheeting is used for these plants as well, providing protection from the elements and facilitating growth by trapping in heat and moisture.

Fields planted with squash transplants

These plants are quite susceptible in their early stages to predators like the cucumber beetle.  In situations where there is the danger of losing many crops to such a predator, diatomaceous earth is applied to the growing plants.  Diatomaceous earth (D.E.) is an organic insecticide composed of the fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of algae.  The D.E. is so tiny and sharp that when many types of bugs come in contact with it, their exoskeletons are torn apart, exposing and dehydrating their soft innards.  After a day or so the bugs will die, but their death is not a futile one, as the dead bugs often serve as a repellant for future generations of predators.  Below is a picture of a cucumber beetle eating a previous planting of squash.


This is the last and final planting of winter squash for the year.

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