Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Surprise Acorns

No I am not talking about this surprise acorn. Although we do find these little surprises dotting our landscape. The squirrels are generally very generous with their acorns. The squirrels must think this is their version of the easter bunny as they bury their acrons all over the garden. We find them when they are about this size and pull them. If not we would have a forest of Oak trees. I am not sure what kind of oak this is but I am letting one grow where one of the pine trees used to stand. Thank you Mr Squirrel but enough is enough.
The acorn I am surprised and most delighted to find is the one that sends up these beautiful yellow blooms. I first saw this bloom a couple of weeks ago...in the compost pile. I was quite excited as I knew it was some kind of squash. I just didn't know what kind it would be. I like Spaghetti and Acorn squashes.
A few days later I got a hint of what was to come. It has been fun anticipating the fruit of this vine.
Whoo hooooo it is gonna be an acorn squash.
Now this is my kind of veggie gardening. No preparing of the bed, no planting of the seeds, no fertilizing or bug picking. Yep I feel very blessed with this small crop of acorns. The only problem with this screnario is that I don't know when to pick them. Can anyone give me a clue? Do the vines dry up? I am thinking it won't be long. Can I leave them on too long? I am just beside myself because I don't know when to pick. I don't want to pick too early or late and not get to enjoy these little squashes.
I would probably have more of these little beauties but Vinny kept running over the vine as it is in his path to go bark at the neighbors dog. Sigh~~ I would really appreciate any tips you could tell me about harvesting these squashes.

17 comments:

Teri C said...

What fun Lisa! That is my kind of gardening also and reminds me of my mystery plant that still is not giving up any mysteries.

Being inthe compst pile should certainly give you the best squash with all that natural fertilizer.

Roses and Lilacs said...

I have a couple oak seedlings this year too. Didn't think my oak was old enough to produce acorns yet.

An oak forest is probably what the squirrels have in mind for your yard. After all, it would be perfect for them:) They are probably sitting in a tree complaining, "Look what she did. She pulled up our oak trees we planted so carefully."
Marnie

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I have to pull oak trees & walnuts. The stupid squirrels dug up 1 of my new double Sanguinaria yesterday to do their stupid planting. Grrl. I thought Acorn Squash was bluish green when ripe, but then I've only bought them, never grown them.

Cheryl said...

Hi Lisa.....I have only ever grown pumpkins....so cant help you with the squash.....I would think, and this is only guessing, once they are the correct size and colour, then you should be okay......perhaps Yolanda at Bliss would know???

What a wonderful treat though without any of the work....don't you just love this sort of find.....

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I hope they are good Teri.

Hi Marnie, I am sure the squirrels plan an oak forest. They also complain about me all the time messing up their area.

MrMcD, Yes, I have had the dark green acorns but there are some yellow ones too. I will wait awhile and see what happens.

You are right Cheryl, I love this kind of gardening. No work. ha..

Jayne said...

I'd have a "pine forest" here as I pull up hundreds of little saplings each year! No clue about the acorn squash, but they are yummy indeed!

Mary said...

Wow. I don't have a clue. They look like little pumpkins to me...but it's been a long day :o) I feel so inferior...

beckie said...

Lisa, what fun! I'd wait a while. They are like a pumpkin and will sat on the vine for quite a while. The skin should be very hardwhen you do pick them, and yeas the vines will start to die. Our squirrels don't bury so much here as they dig up-tulips etc. But I have maple seedlings everywhere thanks to those helicopter type seedlings. Oh-acorn are one of my favorite fall squash.(hint, hint) :)

Rose said...

Last year I had muskmelon growing in the compost pile, this year it's tomatoes and a flower I'm waiting to see bloom. I'm with you, Lisa, that's my idea of vegetable gardening!
One day I got tired of waiting for Hubby to trim around the big oak tree, so I decided to do it myself. He told me later I had also cut down an oak seedling he had been babying there for a couple years. That's what happens when I try to be helpful! Of course, he's been known to pull out flowers he thought were weeds:)

Gail said...

You don't get to see if anything pops up in the compost when it's in a bin!
I might have to make a pile to reap these goodies!

I only know how to tell if oaks are red or white...red oaks have pointed leaf lobes and the white rounded leaf lobes!

Gail

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Lisa, I haven't grown acorn squash in awhile, but I think you wait until the vine begins to dry up just like for pumpkins and other winter squash.

My squirrels are very generous too, bless 'em.~~Dee

Sherry at the Zoo said...

We have those little oak trees growing all over our front yard. It's kind of fun seeing what surprises Mother Nature has in store for us here, there and everywhere, isn't it!

Theresa in Mèrida said...

Those look so cute! I found a mango growing in my compost pile! So I potted it up, but I doubt that I will be getting any mangoes anytime soon. When I lived in Arizona we had potatoes in our compost pile, absolutely amazing what come up.
regards,
Theresa

Nan said...

What a great surprise, Lisa! I can't offer advice, but I sure do think it's neat.

Marvin said...

It looks as if you are going to have a better squash crop than us. The heat, squash bugs and wilt spread by squash bugs took out all our squash plants.

It takes acorn squash a long time to mature -- 70 or so days, depending upon the variety. When mature the squash will have a hard skin and will be fairly dark green. The spot touching the ground will be yellowish orange. The vine will usually have begun to harden by this point. Obviously, they've got to be harvested before the first hard frost.

Kerri said...

I'd like one of your little oak seedlings :) We planted a small oak tree (about 2 ft tall) given to us by a friend last year and to our surprise, it lived through the winter.
Harvest winter squash when you can no longer mark (dent) the skin with your thumbnail. That'll be in the fall. It takes quite a while to mature.
I know just how you felt without your computer. It's not a fun feeling, is it? :)
You're always such an early visitor! Thanks for stopping by :)
We did have a nice weekend. Glad you did too.

cyndy said...

We have a word for those kind of plants in our garden...
"Volunteers"!!

They offer themselves up!

Fun!