Dear Readers,

As I hinted at on our Google+ page earlier this week, we’re expanding here at Misfit Gardening and no, it isn’t baby news!

We’ve taken on another plot of ground at another location to grow eight varieties of squash; seven for winter and one summer squash.

We’re growing butternut squash, hubbard squash, spaghetti squash, crookneck yellow summer squash, pink banana squash, banana squash, acorn squash and a mystery squash where the label fell off and we have no idea what it is.

This new patch of land poses some different challenges to the other gardens; firstly, it is not with the others in our yard; secondly, the area was treated with Preen/other chemical herbicides a couple of months ago and thirdly, the soil is incredibly light and sandy where as JimJim’s traditional garden is on clay.

We treated the soil as if we were to grow biodynamically; we cultivated the topsoil with a hoe then sprayed the following herbal teas on the soil to help combat the prior use of pesticides:

  • valarian
  • chamomile
  • nettle

using herbal tea in a garden Using herbal teas in a garden Squash patch

If you want to know how to prepare herbal teas to use in the garden see our previous post here.

Once the teas had been sprayed, we teamed up and planted the squashes along the area.

Banana Squash

Banana Squash

Due to the light, sandy soil we actually incorporated some water retaining granules and compost into the planting hole to help whilst we get a drip irrigation system.  If we had the space at the beginning of the growing season, we would have incorporated lots of organic matter such as rotted farmyard manure and compost to the area before planting.

We mulched around each plant with a top-dressing of compost to help retain water and feed the squashes.

Water the plants in thoroughly to give them a jolly good soaking.  Try to avoid getting the leaves wet to reduce the risk of downy mildew later on.  You can sink plastic water bottles next to the plant with the cap removed and the neck and shoulder buried in the soil pointing towards the roots and water in that to ensure that the water gets to where it is needed i.e. the roots.

I love this watering can!

I love this watering can!

And here is the newly planted squash patch prettily framed by peonies before the drop irrigation system goes in.

Squash patch