Monday, July 26, 2010

Trusting the process

Blue hubbard squash patch

For the first time ever I tried to grow blue hubbard squash.   We love winter squash and usually grow butternuts but this year I wanted to grow those huge 20 - 40  pounders too.  In early May I made a big mound that had been enriched with lots of compost, rich with aged goat and chicken  manure.   I watered dutifully and waited for the seedlings to pop their little heads from the soil.  After the seeds germinated  they grew like weeds with these huge beautiful leaves.   And they continued to grew until they over an took area, far larger than I hd anticipated.   But that was ok....I wanted those huge squash and it evidently takes a huge area to produce them.    

In the meantime, I had to wait on the butternuts to go in because we had a tree coming down that needed to be felled right where they were going.   The tree man wasn't able to get here for a month so the butternuts were way behind the hubbards going in.     The butternut came up and they too and did very well as they always do.    Lots and lots of flowers on both.  Then I got the little baby fruits on the hubbard.    They would get no bigger than a ping pong ball and turn yellow and shrivel up.   I wondered if there were enough bee's around and if they were getting pollinated.    I still watered, nurtured and waited.    Then  the butternuts started getting little baby squashes too.   But those were being pollinated because they were going on to be squashes.  Hummm....Still I watered and watched. 


Butternut squash

We walked through daily and squashed all the squash bugs we could find. We turned leaves over for eggs and smooshed them too.   Still, I thought maybe there are no squashes because it's a bigger plant and  it was going to take longer.    I went and looked in the Johnny seed catalog to see what it said about growing blue hubbard.   I only had the current catalog and the seeds had been from the year before but had not been planted until this year.   Johnny's catalog said  "Sorry, no seed available this year".    Ok...they must have had a crop failure and that would have been the same seed I'm not getting to fruit and I'm not going to get any squashes from these plants either this year. 

 I was disappointed.   I considered pulling the whole thing out because I could use that area for pea's instead of wasting it on this massive vine that wasn't going to do anything.   But I didn't.    And then we saw a fruit that didn't turn yellow.   Yay...we were going to get at least one.   But there were even more.  It's got at least a half dozen squashes!

Blue Hubbard squash

So why do I do this to myself every time I grow something new?   It starts out so optimistic but somewhere along the line I forget to trust the process.  I think I and my influence is more important than it is and that I hold the key to life and death for this plant.   I forget that nature isn't quite that fragile and that if I am doing things even half way right nature will take care of the rest.    I just need to remember to relax and trust the process.   Oh, if I could just remember this next time.


  1. Gardening is a growing process, but not just for the plants. :) I love your lesson learned..."relax and trust the process". Thanks for sharing!

  2. It can be difficult to trust the process, especially when valuable garden area is being taken up by a plant whose performance is in question. Aren't you glad you waited though? Your squash is looking great (as is your butternut too). Can't wait to see it all full grown!

  3. Your so's hard to trust the process when your short on space but I am really glad I didn't pull it up.

  4. Hello Elizabeth. I found your blog through blotanical. A comprehensive write up on the squashes. 20-40 pounders! I had no idea there was such a thing as a squash beetle.
    V nice blog.

  5. Thanks Catherine. I understand they can be even larger. I thought one or two of those would be like growing a bunch of smaller ones and rather fun for a change. Mashed and frozen, we'ld have winter squash for quite some time.

  6. I find myself doing the same thing every year. This year, we too have a pumpkin vine that has taken over the garden, yet I have not seen but one fruit. I finally decided to stop looking. What happens,happens. Perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised. Perhaps not. I did the same with the tomatoes. Kept saying to hubby that they were not producing many flowers like I thought they should. Suppose I will not be saying that when it is time to process them all!

    We may get much fruit, one fruit or no fruit. But it is all a learning experience.

    I am so glad you will have at least that one fruit. And may you be pleasantly surprised with much more.

  7. Ahh, the lesson that is so hard for all of us to learn - "to relax and trust the process." Gardening teaches us so many life lessons and this might be one of the most valuable.

  8. Lori, I will wish for you many pumpkins! When I get to that place your at...I'm not looking anymore... I am much more content and yes, it's all a learning experience. Not one we always want but evidently one we needed. LOL.

  9. Ginny, Oh so true and very well said.


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