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September 2012

QuestionWe are a bit stumped at a plant that came up in our garden. For a long time, we thought it was a honeydew melon, but I cut one, and it had the flavor of a cucumber. Is it a squash that has grown larger than it should have? There were only two of these on the entire plant, and both fruits grew very large.


AnswerThe leaves look more like a watermelon. Did the plant grow from a seed left over from last year? If so, it could be a cross between a cucumber, squash, watermelon, etc. -- members of the cucurbit family will cross pollinate and the resulting seeds can give you some pretty interesting fruits. It should be safe to eat, and you may like the flavor, or not.

February 2006

QuestionMy wife is a native of South Dakota and her favorite squash is the butternut which grows well in the Upper Midwest. We brought some seeds back last fall from South Dakota and plan on planting them this spring in Maumelle. When and how is the best way to grow butternut squash in Arkansas


AnswerButternut squash grows very well here. Plant in May after the soil has warmed up a bit. It usually takes about 90 days before you begin harvesting, but it is prolific. Watch out for squash vine borers, stink bugs and powdery mildew. With winter squashes we usually plant them in a hill or raised area putting three to four seeds per hill. You can thin out to 2-3 after germination occurs. Give them ample room to grow, as they are wide spreading. Mulch well to keep weeds away. Fertilize at planting and side dress 6-8 weeks later.