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One to Grow On | Words with Sox

Pruning is an interesting idea.  For some plants like trees it’s essential.  For things like flowers it’s helpful.  In a vegetable gardens… it’s rare.  I have always thought that it would be a good idea to prune vegetable plants.  I’ve even suggested it to others.  Never done it myself though, until this year.

I am a big squash grower.  My success varies.  Winter squashes like pumpkins and butternut squash do the best.  Acorn squash are usually least productive.  Summer squashes like zucchini do great and yellow, not so much.

Last year I grew 35+ butternuts.  Maybe 5 pumpkins.  Needless to say, between the two of them, it was a bit much, even for all my recipes.   I processed them like usual (steamed and frozen) and still have a few extra ziplocks a year later.  So this year I took my own advice.  Instead of letting the pumpkins and butternuts go wild, I pruned them.  The butternut squashes did alright.  Gave me about a half dozen or so.  The pumpkins, about the same.  I thought that it would be a great way to make things more manageable.  I was half right.

Pumpkin count – 6, Acorn Squash – 5

Tan Cheese PumpkinsSeems like I was successful but take a look at this.  Looks like a reasonable number of pumpkins right?  To start, the pumpkin in the front right is a super star from last year.  Yes, it lasted a whole year.  But the others… well… the others are huge.  Back left weighs in at 17ish lbs.  The two bigger ones on the left are around 14 or so.  The rest are smaller, ranging from 10 to 2 lbs, some more ripe than others.

So yeah, roughly 60 lbs of new pumpkiny goodness.  Even more impressive is that these were all from a single plant.  One relatively well pruned vine.  I didn’t pay attention to the part that had the two smaller ones.  The butternuts were rather normal sized.  At least that worked ok.

Safe to say that the general urge to make veggies sprawl around and grow however they want might make more fruit, but well pruned ones sure do the job to get some pretty productive produce.

 

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