Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day

Separate Beds for Squash and Pumpkins

juillet 24If you want to harvest your squash or pumpkin seeds for sowing the following year, avoid growing more than one cultivar in the same garden, otherwise it is certain that they will cross. Therefore, when you sow the seeds harvested from a zucchini that grew next to a spaghetti squash, they won’t produce a zucchini new year, but something in between. Always separate the different kinds of squash at least 115 feet (35 m). In other words, in a different garden entirely

At least, that’s the simple explanation. There are exceptions. It turns out some squashes belong to other species, such as the “giant pumpkin” (which is not a true pumpkin at all, but a giant squash, Cucurbita maxima) and the butternut squash (C. moschata) and they cannot interbreed with the typical squashes (C. pepo). In that case, proximity isn’t a problem. However, the vast majority of both summer and winter squashes, including true pumpkins (field pumpkins), zucchinis, spaghetti squashes, crooknecks, acorn squashes, delicata squashes, and vegetable marrows, although they differ greatly in size, shape and color, belong to the species C. pepo and will therefore easily cross if planted close together.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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