Why Not Winter Squash and Pumpkins?
Winter Squash and Pumpkins are, in my opinion, some of the most undervalued of garden vegetables.
I don’t know.
Maybe people are afraid of the size – what would they do with them?
Or the amount of space they would potentially take up in the garden.
Maybe they think they are only good for pumpkin pie . . . and they buy that in a can!
They are missing out!
Reasons to grow your own winter squash and pumpkins
Winter squash are beautiful, they come in all shapes, sizes, and colors! They look gorgeous in the garden from leaves and blossoms to the fruit itself. In storage, or on a table in the house, they look scrumptious. They are perfect for fall decorating -and so much less expensive than you can purchase anywhere.
Pick any variety. There are SO MANY varieties!
Anything that suits your needs. If you lack space, the smaller varieties can be trellised. There are also bush varieties available.
The variety of color, size, and shape are amazing, there is something (or a lot of things) for anyone here.
3. Easy to Grow
They are so easy to grow! Plant the seed and mulch. That’s about it! Such a simple process for a huge return.
If you make sure there is enough mulch in the beginning, the only work you will have to do is harvesting.
Squash bugs and vine borer beetles can sometimes be a problem. However, if your soil is rich (copious amounts of mulch help) they should be able to withstand squash bugs. Pick off the ones you find. And if you put foil around the main base it should keep out vine borers.
4. Huge harvests
The space they use in the garden is well worth it for the return. One or two plants will keep your family in squash for the whole winter. . . unless you can’t resist all of the beautiful varieties and you go squash/pumpkin crazy!
In that case, I hope you have a lot of friends who love squash that you can share with!
Or maybe you can get a spot at your local farmers market?
Whatever the case, they give you a lot of produce for the space they take! One year, planting in a brand new deep-mulch bed, we harvested 10 – thirty-pound squash from one plant!
5. Culinary Value
They are absolutely delicious! This is the real reason to plant them.
Have you noticed the pumpkin spice craze that hits everywhere in the fall? You can do the same things with your own pumpkin at home for just a little work. An amazing trade-off for the work.
~You can enjoy your pumpkin spice latte whenever you want, as often as you like. In your pajamas, with no makeup, if you like!
~Your pumpkin spice donuts can be a healthy version, packed with tons of real pumpkin flavor!
~Heavenly pumpkin spice smoothies will only cost you pennies!
~Your pumpkin spice pancakes and muffins can be frozen, to enjoy anytime you need a fast fix!
6. Health Benefits
Pumpkins and Winter Squash have an impressive nutrient profile. They are high in vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin A and Manganese. These fruits are full of compounds that promote healthy skin including carotenoids, vitamin C, Lutein, Vitamin E, and many more. The whole squash family is notorious for their high antioxidants which do so much to keep us healthy and young! (source)
The seeds are full of nutrients and antioxidants. They are also linked to a decreased risk of certain types of cancers. Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium and are believed to help lower blood sugar, which can be of great benefit to people with Type 2 Diabetes… although more research needs to be done. (source)
I think that’s a pretty sweet deal . . . 🙂