≡ Menu

the case of the mystery squash

Last year I harvested a single pumpkin. One. We technically had two that made it past the size of a golf ball, but one grew on the other side of the fence and got stolen.

We harvested the pumpkin!

I harvested the seeds, dried them, and kept them for planting this spring. I planted three pumpkin plants that are growing great. Except one thing.

Two different plants grown from seeds from the exact same pumpkin (we only got one last year) are producing two totally different kinds of squash. One obvious pumpkins, the other ... yellow squash? What the heck? Cross-pollination?

Two of the plants are growing pumpkins resembling last year’s pumpkin. One plant is growing … something else.

I picked one of the mystery squashes. Because I want to see what's inside. (Which totally makes me feel like a serial killer.)(Because I'm insane.)

I picked one of the mystery squashes yesterday because I wanted to see what was inside. I cut it open and found this:

On the inside. Doesn't look very pumpkin-y.

Not very pumpkin-y. Most people told me it was spaghetti squash. A twitter friend gave me cooking instructions, and this morning I cooked it up.

mystery squash

mystery squash

It was a bit stringy, but didn’t exactly come out as spaghetti squash. It definitely does not taste like pumpkin, though. I think I’ll keep the name Mystery Squash.

Has anyone else had this happen? I’m fascinated by it.

Categories: the garden project

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Janna Christensen Monday, August 19, 2013, 10:44 am

    It’s a mystery squash because it’s a cross pollinated one. Squash can be pollinated by a different breed and grow the appropriate fruit, but if you save the seeds and grow them next year, you get a weird hybrid. Your pumpkin could have been pollinated by a spaghetti squash last year. I have heard of a lady here in town who had weird greenish pumpkins because they had been pollinated by zuccini (sp?). Kind of sucks when you want to keep your own seeds!

    • Jen Wilson Monday, August 19, 2013, 10:48 am

      That’s really strange. I’ve never grown spaghetti squash! My pumpkin plants are right beside my zucchini plants, maybe that’s what did it? Who knows. So strange!

      • Janna Christensen Monday, August 19, 2013, 1:39 pm

        Probably… did you plant yellow zucchini’s last year? I have some spaghetti squashes this year that have green in them, they are planted by my zucchini’s, so I’ve wondered if they are purebred’s or not, but I’ve seen pictures online of them being greenish before they ripen. I planted pumpkins this year too… six plants… I have 5 pumpkins and a TON of powdery mildew… I won’t be growing those again! At least we each get one for Halloween!

        • Jen Wilson Wednesday, August 21, 2013, 9:57 am

          I did plant zucchinis last year, and they’re right beside my pumpkins this year. And hey, five pumpkins is better than none!

  • Angella Tuesday, August 20, 2013, 12:55 pm

    Look at you, creating new squash! :)

    • Jen Wilson Wednesday, August 21, 2013, 9:56 am

      I’m a pro, apparently. ;)