Johnny's April Newsletter : Learn More About Fall Cucurbits

April 2013
In This Issue...

How to Choose Fall Cucurbits

How to Choose Fall Cucurbits

Winter Squashes, Gourds, and Pumpkins

If you've grown or thought about growing pumpkins, winter squashes, and gourds, you have likely noticed the large number of varieties that are available. Johnny's offers a diverse selection of cucurbits, some strictly ornamental, some strictly edible, and many that serve both purposes -- in all, more than 60 varieties. With so many to select from, you may be wondering how best to make your choice.

We can help you narrow the field to varieties that will work best for your operation. The main factors to weigh are where you will sell them, grow them, and store them. In this article, we’ll review 3 key considerations that guide experienced growers when selecting pumpkins, squashes, and gourds for fall harvest.

Grow Great-Tasting Squash and Pumpkins

Eating Quality in Squashes & Pumpkins

A winter squash or edible pumpkin, after cooking, should have a delicious, sweet flavor and smooth, dry texture.

The fact that all of our winter squashes have been bred or selected for the best taste is what makes Johnny's varieties really stand out. All too often, a supermarket squash does not achieve that potential, but instead tastes flat, watery, and -- to put it frankly -- boring.

Dr. Brent Loy, a cucurbit breeder at the University of New Hampshire, describes the problem as "a grower's paradox."

If growing great-tasting squash and pumpkins is your goal, you will want to read Dr. Loy's recommendations for harvest and postharvest handling to improve eating quality. Here are the basics.

Offer Winter Squash at Peak Flavor

Winter Squash Eating Guide

Different winter squashes achieve their best flavor at different times. Whether you grow winter squash for your own consumption or to sell at markets, CSAs, or the farmstand, the general rule of thumb for best flavor and storage is to consume the smallest squashes first.

Johnny's research team has compiled a chart defining average curing lengths for 10 winter squash types. Follow Johnny's recommendations to gauge your winter squash storage times, and to make certain your squashes are enjoyed at their peak eating quality.

JSS 40th Anniversary
Farm Visits & Grower Profiles

Mark's Melon Patch, Dawson, GA &
Louie's Pumpkin Patch, Skövde, Sweden
Louie's Pumpkin Patch

This month we feature two widely geographically divergent growers of pumpkins and other cucurbits.

Learn more about how Louie Lehmann and Mark Daniel have grown the success of their squash and pumpkin "patches," in this month's farm visits and grower profiles.

Also This Month

Video: Pumpkin Seed
Processing at Johnny's Research Farm

Watch Pumpkin Seed Processing at Johnny's Farm
Watch Video »

Grower Resources:
Pumpkin Comparison Charts

Johnny's Pumpkin Comparison Charts
See More »

News and Events

Johnny's Selected Seeds Celebrates 40th Anniversary
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Grower's Library

Grower's Library
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Johnny's Selected Seeds | 955 Benton Avenue, Winslow, Maine 04901 | 1-877-564-6697