Pshaw, Cushaw!

| September 25, 2015 | 8 Replies

Pshaw, Cushaw! I mean, it’s not the cushaw’s fault I’m a little impatient. Powdery mildew is laying claim to the cushaw vines (also known as green-striped squash) and even though I’ve sprayed each week, spots cover every leaf and stem. GRRRR. Update: see Growing Winter Squash Part 2, Kabocha & Cushaw.

Pshaw, Cushaw! - powdery mildew

Powdery mildew on cushaw squash leaf

As you saw in an earlier episode of Late Bloomer, I was given four cushaw seeds and told they were a rare Southern heirloom. That’s all I needed to hear, and got them seeded, and planted out mid-summer. It rained while I was gone last week and the mildew, which was kind of under control, spread like mad. It’s pointless now to spray. This cushaw that grew off the main vine is the most developed. I’m guessing it’s about twenty pounds right now.

Pshaw, Cushaw! - large cushaw

Large cushaw squash

As I said in August Update, “all I hope for is one beautiful cushaw squash,” and in fact, I have three. One large, one medium, and one small. This is the medium and spends more time in shade than the largest one, about 15 pounds.

Pshaw, Cushaw! - medium cushaw

Medium cushaw squash

The small cushaw’s connecting stem is split open and therefore compromised, so I don’t expect it to get big. Check out the links to the episodes to see how the summer garden started out. I will have a September update coming in a few weeks.

Pshaw, Cushaw! - split stem

Split stem on cushaw squash

I’ll be sure to post when I harvest, and let you know how I manage to cook it. I could also just lay it on my porch as decoration for fall, but isn’t the point of growing your own food to eat it? The biggest frustration is the leaves, weakened by mildew, wilt in the middle of the day. They have done that from the beginning. Sort of makes me want to get the summer garden over with and pull it all out and start with a clean slate. 🙂

Pshaw, Cushaw! - leaves wilting

Cushaw squash leaves wilting in afternoon sun

Have you grown cushaw? Please share your recipe! This is my first time. Thanks for reading and please share with a friend! – Kaye

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Category: Curbside Gardening, Grow Veggies, Plant Diseases, Urban Gardening, Vegetables, Warm Season

Comments (8)

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  1. I have never grown a Cushaw I must admit, but love winter squashes that keep for a year or more. Let me know how it compares. We once during our vegetarian experiment had a hubbard squash for Thanksgiving instead of a turkey . We stuffed it with a brown rice, nut- veggie mix and put decorations out of colored paper on it to make it look like a turkey .
    Powdery mildew is part of the landscape here now .. it’s all over the Jeruselum artichoke stalks . I break them off and feed the tops to the horses . Allong with it comes a nice flush of Shitake mushrooms on the logs we innoculated last year. I do not spray for mildew at all or for ants .I think they have a role to play in the soil biology maybe bringing up missing minerals from the subsoil. .
    I’m busy gathering seed and planting cover crops…. moving more to a machine free garden. It looks like I got a couple of bushels of Seminole squash from the squash vines. I like their smaller size,,, better for a single person.

    • Save me some seeds from the Seminole! I will let you know. They are still out there. I pressed my fingernail into the stem today and saw moisture, so I think I need to wait another week at least. I admire that you don’t spray anything. I wonder if I would have any tomatoes at all if I didn’t spray. IDK.

      • I got a couple of bushel from about 3 plants. Wait till they are golden yellow and be sure to keep the stem on the squash for best storage . My attitude is… what would I do if there were no stores nor sprays and I needed to feed myself or family. I would rather not have to rely on buying anything. It really does create a different sort of energy .I have been overseeding my entire farm with cover crop seed without any use of fossil fuels using the natural farming techniques .A lot is about tuning in to timing . I will let you know how it works …. no tillers or tractors or even rakes .So far all the kales and such have come up ! I am also moving plants into the passive greenhouse for feeding me fresh greens in the dead of winter and drying sweet potatoes in there as well as herb seed . I hope I find a farm partner(S?)
        to share the fun. Getting ready for my 68th birthday bash… one thing is true … everywhere you garden is different and it tskes time to tune in and figure it out.

    • I just stuck my fingernail into the stem of one (as I smashed a roly poly eating on it so I knew it was still tender) and I guess I need to wait at least a week to harvest. I’d like to free up the raised bed and put in some cover crop seed. Maybe I’ll just sprinkle it all around it. Be thinking about when would be the NEXT best month for me to visit and witness some of these no-till processes you describe.

      • Actually Kaye I think what I said all my life is manifesting . “When My kids are grown ,I will quit gardening and get back into fiber arts “. Well I will never quit gardening as I can’t stand the lifeless foods on the market and I have planted so many perrenials that I don’t need to actually plant much . This year a lot self sowed . I am overseeding grasses over the whole farm and will use free mulch to cover the established beds and trellis for next year. I do want to eliminate a lot of the labor . IF I found a farm partner, they could plant a market garden and go to a farmers market but it is not something I would want to do.I would love a small CSA where everyone worked but I can’t even get people out here to buy …much less work. I think the prettiest time to see the gardens is in late fall and in the spring around May. After that it gets like a jungle , buggy and is so hot and humid . I just manange to keep things mowed and picked . I harvest and put up foods and seeds from April-NOv . Most people also order from me in the spring which makes that time crazy busy as that Is when I am planting too.

  2. Darlene says:

    Hey Kaye, I just got some Tetsu Kabuto in mail, can’t find much info on it but I read somewhere it’s a hybrid and you can use the root stock to keep watermelon, squash , pumpkin and cucumber from mildew. Might check that out.

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