I enjoy growing winter squash and intend to keep growing lots of it, even as we scale down overall.
We grow butternut, acorn, spaghetti and delicata–all delicious, easy to store and popular at the market.
Unfortunately deer enjoy winter squash too and unless we’re careful to keep the garden protected from them they’ll take bites out of the butternut, spaghetti and delicata squashes. Rather than just eat the entire squash, they take a bite out of one, then move down the row, ruining each squash with just one bite. Maddening.
Luckily they don’t eat acorn squash (so far), probably because the skin is too tough for them. So next year I plan to dedicate a separate garden to acorn squash and eggplant (the only other thing we grow that deer don’t eat). The other winter squashes will be in our more secure “summer veggies” garden.
As an experiment I plan to add Hubbard squash this year. From the looks of it I’m guessing it won’t be attractive to deer, so the tentative plan is to grow some in the acorn squash garden. If any readers have experience with deer and Hubbard squashes I’d appreciate hearing about it.
This year I had to be careful when harvesting our butternuts. It’s not unusual to find a black widow spider underneath a watermelon, and I’m always careful to look carefully before putting my hand under one. But this year we had lots of black widows under the butternuts too.
A friend of mine was bitten by one of these nasty boogers while picking watermelons a couple of years ago and it was a painful experience.
If only they could be convinced to bite deer noses…