A few year’s ago I had spoken with other frugal gardeners ‘ about easy vegetables to plant that make are easy to use in the winter. This was the first year that I added squash to my frugal gardening checklist. Squash does not require a lot of maintenance.
As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I grow zucchini and tomatoes because they are easy to freeze to eat in the winter. Squash was a new vegetable for me to try. When I dip my toe into the pool, I do it so slowly that my body will get used to the water in time. I do the same thing with anything new. Trying out something very slowly to not waste time and money.
After researching squash I bought a package of seeds and gave it a try.
Frugal Gardening with Squash Seeds
Many of the materials that I read mentioned to plant squash in a cluster. I did not follow that advice and do regret it. I may have ended up with more squash. From one of our homeschool projects we tried planting squash from a story that we read. Squash work well if they are also planted with a bean, and corn seed. The idea is the corn will grow tall, the bean will grow up the corn and the squash will keep out the weeds. We planted a few this way as an experiment for our school.
Squash do very well in heat and sun. When looking for the best spot in the garden make sure there is plenty of room, lots of sun and a warm spot. Frugal gardeners will reap a ton of squash if grown in the correct spot.
Squash does take up a lot of room, like other vines plants so planting them in clusters makes sense. Make each cluster close to 2 feet apart. Instead of following this advice, on half of my row I planted them in a row. The cluster method worked better, but I also learn best from trial and error.
Finally, plant squash in late spring. After the last frost date is best.
Save Money at the Grocery Store
Squash are expensive in the grocery store. The cheapest I have been able to find them is around .80 cents per pound. For a larger family of all boys with an insatiable appetite this makes me walk past to the potatoes. Most varieties of the squash are per pound. When I did catch a sale this weekend on squash I stocked up on it.
From the garden though, one vine yielded at least 3 squash. Planting more squash seeds would give a larger harvest. Squash is a dream for frugal gardeners because if stored correctly they last for awhile.
Storing Squash for Winter
Squash is a great vegetable like pumpkin to save for winter. We grew Butternut squash this year. My harvest was not that much. Three to be exact. Those will be eaten in the coming weeks.
Squash, pumpkins, carrots, potatoes and sweet potatoes store great through the winter in barrels. This will be my first year trying this method of storage.
Squash can also be frozen, cooked into meals and frozen, or used in a delicious soup. With a little creativity most vegetables can be used or stored in a multitude of ways.
Since my crop was smaller the first time, next year the goal will be to plant 10-12 squash. My hope is that I will have at least one a week to last until close to the end of winter. Have you grown squash before? What was your biggest success with your harvest?
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