Vegetable garden

Siam squash: a watermelon-like cucurbit


Siam squash in a nutshell :

Latin name : Cucurbita ficifolia
Common name : Siam squash
Family : Cucurbits
Type : Fruit vegetable

Cut : 10 to 15 m
Planting distance : 1.50 to 2 m
Exposure : Sunny
Ground : Humid and furniture

Planting : April
Harvest : October

Contrary to what its name might suggest, the siam squash is not from Thailand, but from Mexico. Very cultivated in Asia, it appeared in Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. This annual plant creeping gives fruits that can evoke watermelon with their ovoid shape and green skin, marbled with white. Very easy to grow, it is also very prolific and its fruits can be stored for up to 2 years! The Siam squash therefore deserves all your attention to enhance your vegetable garden.

Siam squash plantation

As with many so-called "exotic" plants, the Siamese squash needs some attention if you want it to be productive.

Ground preparation:

Before you think about planting, you need to make sure you have a sunny place where to put your Siam squash plant. When you have found it, analyze the soil in your vegetable garden to verify its richness in organic matter. If the latter is not sufficient, then you will have to carry out a manure. To do this, the fall before planting, work the soil as follows:

  1. Spread well-rotted manure or compost on the surface.
  2. If you have one, you can add wood ash which will allow to lighten the floor.
  3. Turn the earth using a fork-spade. Do not use a spade to minimize harm to earthworms and underground wildlife.
  4. The following spring, just before transplanting your plants, work the soil again to soften it.

Sowing and planting:

In mid-April, sow your Siam squash seeds in buckets filled with a mixture of potting soil and sand. Then install them in the light and especially out of the cold. When the last frosts have passed (i.e. around the end of May), you can transplant the most vigorous plants. Then, two options are available to you:

  • either you let the stems run on the ground as for the majority of squash;
  • or you install a solid support (trellis or stake) so that the plant can climb it.

You just have to make a watering abundant to finalize planting and facilitate recovery.

Growing and caring for Siam squash

The cultivation of Siam squash is very simple and within the reach of all gardeners. The only requirement of this exotic plant is to receive sufficient water (especially in drought). You should therefore be careful to watering of your feet.

Diseases and pests:

Siam squash being particularly resistant, it is not the target of pests and parasites and is not very susceptible to the disease. It can nevertheless suffer from some attacks of powdery mildew:

  • If they intervene at spring, you will need to carry out treatment so as not to compromise the development of the fruits.
  • If the attack takes place at the end of summer or at the start of autumn, it will not be necessary to intervene, as the fruits will not be affected.

Harvest and conservation

The harvest takes place at the end of the month of October, before the first frosts appear. If some fruit is not ripe, don't worry! You can consume them anyway.

The conservation of Siam squash is exceptional. Indeed, if the fruits are not damaged and very ripe, they can be stored until 2 years ! For this, you must store in a ventilated, bright and not too cool place.

Siam squash in the kitchen

The white flesh of the Siamese squash can be cooked multiple ways :

  • For the ripe fruit, you can use it to make sauerkraut or gratin. It is even possible to make a jam called "angel hair jam", in reference to the tender and fleshy filaments that make up the flesh.
  • The harvested fruits that will not be not mature can be eaten by preparing them in the same way as courgettes.

To inspire you:

  • Zucchini recipes
  • Prepare a seafood sauerkraut
  • Gratin recipes

Video: Crushing Watermelons Betwixt Our Mighty Thighs (October 2020).