Tahitian Squash, The Mammoth of Squashes

This is a mammoth plant you must save a lot of room for. You must also plant it early because it takes about 110 days to reach maturity. But the fruit is well worth the trouble. It is more nutritious than perhaps most varieties of winter squashes, and when it finally yields, it REALLY yields.

Mature fruits weigh around 8 to 30 pounds! A few plants have reached world record sizes.

The fruits look like enormous butternut squashes. The fruits have more beta carotene and are in general more nutrient dense than most other winter squashes. It also has the most natural sugars, which caramelizes nice when you cook it. Delicious.

Start seedlings early inside and when threat of frost is over, plant out in well-prepared holes: add lots of manure and other good stuff and mulch the base well. The more preparation you put into the planting of Tahitian squash the better the plants will do, especially in Tucson where the summer gets quite abusive on photosynthetic things. You really only need a few plants. These things get huge.

Make sure you have plenty of room: best to have something for them to climb on like an arbor, trellis, fence, etc. or grow with corn. Corn and squash are good, old friends.

If you cannot use an entire fruit (which is huge), just cut off what you want. Where you cut the fruit, it will heal over if you leave it on the counter for another time.

This really is the best of the winter squashes. But if you start it too late, you won’t get the fruits in time because of the really long season.

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