May 16, 2016

Reviving an Heirloom Squash


Ten years ago, a homesteading friend in western Oklahoma gave me three precious seeds from a rare heirloom squash.

Ten-year-old squash seeds

Since it was fall, I put the little bag of three seeds in my seed box... and didn't plant a garden the following spring.

I've been an on-and-off-again gardener for years. I struggle with weeds, insects, drought and heat. Those squash seeds stayed in my seed box until this spring, ten years later, when the little zipper baggie they were in fell out of the box.

Newly-sprouted squash seed

My friend had written on the plastic bag:

Tatume Squash
Rare drought-
tolerant heirloom
orig. Mexico

I planted all three seeds in peat pellets and hoped for the best. After about a week, one of the seeds seemed to be higher up, not as deep in the peat pellet. I watched it for two more days before I was sure that it really was sprouting. A ten-year-old seed, sprouting!

Tatume squash sprout

Another one sprouted as well, but evidently I planted all of the seeds upside down. This time, the roots came up into the air and the leaves went down. I carefully pulled it out of the peat pellet and replanted it right-side-up. Thankfully it continued to grow.

squash sprouts

I'm really impressed that two of those three seeds germinated, which is awfully good for ten-year-old seeds that weren't stored as carefully as they could have been.

squash seedling

Victory Seeds carries Tatume squash seeds, and says that it's "a rare variety that can be used as either a summer or winter squash." Baker Creek carries them as well, where the reviews say it is very prolific.

It was an honor to be given those three precious seeds, and I'm hopeful that these two plants will grow and produce at least one squash so I can save more seeds for the future.



This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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15 comments:

  1. I love tatuma squash, but lost mine to grasshoppers a couple years ago. I'm glad to know where to find seeds as they aren't available locally.

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    1. I'm sorry you lost yours to grasshoppers, Sally, but I'm very glad to have helped you find more seeds.

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  2. How exciting! Isn't it amazing that seeds must fulfill their destiny, no matter how we interfere! I can't wait to watch their progress! Thanks for joining us on this week's Maple Hill Hop!

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    1. I love how you put that, Daisy. It's also amazing that the upside-down plant continues to grow after I planted it upside down and then turned it right side up. :-)

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  3. How awesome that they sprouted--I would be ecstatic! And now you can, hopefully, pass seeds on to others, too.

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    1. I am really excited and thankful that two of them sprouted, Betty. Yes, I'll be passing seeds on to others, I hope!

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  4. I love this story! Thanks for sharing at My Flagstaff Home.

    Jennifer

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    1. Thank you, Jennifer, and thank you for hosting too.

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  5. Sprouts from heirloom seeds always brings a smile to my face. Love it when friend share too! Hope you have a bountiful crop. Plant some marigolds nearby to help keep those squash bugs away and if they do arrive just hand pick them off.

    Carole @ Garden Up Green

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    1. Thank you, Carole, I have marigold seeds in abundance and will do that. This will be my first attempt at growing squash so I really appreciate your tip.

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  6. Oh my goodness, Kathi, how incredible that 10 year old seeds germinated! I love that heirloom seeds are being used and saved for the future. Heirloom vegetables always taste so good! Thank you for being a part of our Hearth and Soul Hop.

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    1. It's amazing that they sprouted, April.

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  7. Wow! I didn't know seeds would still be good after ten years! Thanks for sharing at Simply Natural Saturdays!

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    1. I'm sure that storing them correctly will increase their chances; I was just lucky.

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  8. Thanks for adding to #FromTheFarm! Another great favorite!

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