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Has anyone ever overwintered a squash plant?

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thriftwizard
thriftwizard Posts: 4,682 Forumite
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Last year I grew some Uchiki Kuri squash as well as my usual Waltham butternuts; this wasn't hugely successful as I didn't get a single squash flower until the last day of August! (That corner of my plot has become rather shady since the blackthorn hedge the other side of the fence grew up, and I'm not allowed to cut it back as it's in the farmer's field. Plus it was a miserable summer!) We ended up with just two small butternuts & a huge Uchiki Kuri that had to be surreptitiously hauled back over the fence. But I've just been weeding down that side, and discovered a sturdy squash plant thriving away under the nettles that hang over the fence; it's a whole lot bigger than any of my squash seedlings or indeed the ones my farmer friend was selling yesterday, and his are poly-tunnel raised. It's where the Uchiki Kuri plant was. I'm sure I didn't leave any undeveloped fruits there that could have self-seeded, and if I did some wildlife would have eaten it, so it must have come back up from the root. I've looked online and it seems that that can happen, if the root's protected from frost - which the Jerusalem Artichoke stems I left there overwinter will have done. I'm down near the south coast, and have once or twice managed to overwinter the odd runner bean root, which has come back up again & produced flowers & beans; never the whole row, just one or two, but it has happened.

So - has anyone else done this? Did the surviving plant produce anything worthwhile? I'd had other plans for that space, but if there's a plant that's happy & productive where it is, I'm inclined to let it get on with things!
Angie - GC May 24 £446.11/£450 YIPPEE!: 2024 Fashion on the Ration Challenge: 15/68: (Money's just a substitute for time & talent...)

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  • twopenny
    twopenny Posts: 5,722 Forumite
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    Not squash, but like you I've had plants regrow. I too am coastal south west so milder than many.
    I guess a lot depends on what sort of winter we get.
    They never seem to make a healthy plant and fruiting is poor. But if it's not in the way leave it there and plant around it.
    Would be interesting to know.

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  • joannaber
    joannaber Posts: 56 Forumite
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    I have today found a runner bean spouting from a root I must have left in the ground! 
  • Farway
    Farway Posts: 13,348 Forumite
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    joannaber said:
    I have today found a runner bean spouting from a root I must have left in the ground! 

    Although I've never done it leaving runners in the gound seems to work, bit like dahlia tubers. I don't know if the resulting pants are bigger / stronger from having a larger root, be interesting experiment.
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  • Silvertabby
    Silvertabby Posts: 9,108 Forumite
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    In theory, chilli plants are perennials.  In practice, I find it easier to grow them fresh from seeds each year rather than keep old plants at a minimum temperature. 
  • Alnat1
    Alnat1 Posts: 3,336 Forumite
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    I tried overwintering a chilli from last year in the spare bedroom but failed, although I think I forgot to water it often enough. 

    A physalis fruit plant in a sheltered spot in the garden has come back this year, maybe because of the mild winter.
    Barnsley, South Yorkshire
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  • thriftwizard
    thriftwizard Posts: 4,682 Forumite
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    Sadly the squash has been - trampled? nipped off? by one (or more) of the wildlife that technically lives in the hedge on the other side of the chicken-wire fence; it's lying dead & wilted beside a bereft, slug-smeared bare stalk. That said, I found a big slow-worm basking on the slabs beside the shed yesterday, which will help with the slug problem. And I do have at least one, possibly more, resurgent runner beans where I left the roots in. I do also have two chillis (one of them covered in flowers) from last year. And for some reason, a squash (or pumpkin?) plant has appeared underneath our apple tree, in the garden; I'll try to keep that going & see what we get - if anything!
    Angie - GC May 24 £446.11/£450 YIPPEE!: 2024 Fashion on the Ration Challenge: 15/68: (Money's just a substitute for time & talent...)
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