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Homs Kousa Squash

Homs Kousa Squash

Botanical Name: Cucurbita pepo

$4.95
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# of seeds per packet: 15 seeds

Description

65 days. Tender and delicious light green summer squash similar to zucchini, but with a mild sweetness. Typically eaten as small, young, light green squash but they are also very good as they get bigger (unlike zucchini). As they mature the fruit turn almost white and at this stage they are very good and store for over 4 weeks this way at room temp. We love them sliced and roasted, stir fried, stewed, grilled Mike says "they are good any which way". Plants are vining and productive but not as early as bush type plants - Homs Kousa makes up for this by giving squash all the way through to the first frost long after other summer squash plants are done! In our trial it showed good disease resistance to powdery mildew and pest resistance to cucumber beetles. This is a "landrace" which means that it has some natural variability in fruit size and shape. These seeds came to us via the Experimental Farm Network who obtained the seeds from the USDA GRIN seedbank. They identified it as one of the best Syrian heirlooms they have identified from the USDA's collection. They say "The people of war-torn Homs who developed this squash have given a great gift to the world in this plant." Homs was a bustling city until 2011 when war devastated the area. Many traditional seed varieties were lost due to the conflict. Learn more about Syrian seeds from the movie "Wild Relatives". Also known as "Lebanese Squash" and alternate spellings include "Coussa." 

Growing

Growing Instructions (for USDA Zone 5b):

This summer squash is a vining plant so space plants 4ft apart. Direct sow seeds outdoors (1/2-1” deep) around 6/1. Days to germination: 4-10. As with all cucurbits, squash plants do not like their roots disturbed during transplanting so if starting seeds indoors, use biodegradable pots. To start inside: Start seeds indoors 5/1 – ideal temperature for germination is 85°- 95° (use heating mat). Squash seedlings are sensitive to damping off fungus so keep seeds on the drier side and use a fan (set to low) to provide air circulation. Once 2 leaves appear, grow plants at 72°. Do not let plants become potbound. Transplant (biodegradable pot and all) outdoors around 5/21, spaced 4’ apart. Squash like soil with a lot of organic matter so add compost and/or decomposed manure to soil prior to planting. It is always a good idea to protect seedlings from cucumber beetles and squash bugs by covering them with row cover fabric at planting and leaving it on until plants are flowering. Protect squash plants from deer and groundhogs.

Harvest:

Pick squash when small and tender for traditional Middle-Eastern stuffed squash. You can harvest and eat these squash when they are bigger as long as the fruit is green or white (not tan/yellow). If you like small squash, be sure to harvest frequently in order to keep the squash coming! Use a knife or pruners to cut squash off of plant.

Seed Saving Instructions for gardeners:

Homs Kousa belongs to the species Cucurbita pepo and will cross (by insect) with all other Cucurbita pepo squashes & pumpkins (including zucchini, acorn, Thelma Sanders, and Delicata). Isolation distance is ½ mile (or you can save seed and see what you get!). Minimum population size: 6-25 plants (but you can save seed from fewer plants if the seeds are for your own use). Always select seeds from the best plants. Let squash mature on the plant (like a winter squash) until plants are dead or frost threatens. Scoop out seeds and rinse and dry them.

 

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Description

65 days. Tender and delicious light green summer squash similar to zucchini, but with a mild sweetness. Typically eaten as small, young, light green squash but they are also very good as they get bigger (unlike zucchini). As they mature the fruit turn almost white and at this stage they are very good and store for over 4 weeks this way at room temp. We love them sliced and roasted, stir fried, stewed, grilled Mike says "they are good any which way". Plants are vining and productive but not as early as bush type plants - Homs Kousa makes up for this by giving squash all the way through to the first frost long after other summer squash plants are done! In our trial it showed good disease resistance to powdery mildew and pest resistance to cucumber beetles. This is a "landrace" which means that it has some natural variability in fruit size and shape. These seeds came to us via the Experimental Farm Network who obtained the seeds from the USDA GRIN seedbank. They identified it as one of the best Syrian heirlooms they have identified from the USDA's collection. They say "The people of war-torn Homs who developed this squash have given a great gift to the world in this plant." Homs was a bustling city until 2011 when war devastated the area. Many traditional seed varieties were lost due to the conflict. Learn more about Syrian seeds from the movie "Wild Relatives". Also known as "Lebanese Squash" and alternate spellings include "Coussa." 

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Growing

Growing Instructions (for USDA Zone 5b):

This summer squash is a vining plant so space plants 4ft apart. Direct sow seeds outdoors (1/2-1” deep) around 6/1. Days to germination: 4-10. As with all cucurbits, squash plants do not like their roots disturbed during transplanting so if starting seeds indoors, use biodegradable pots. To start inside: Start seeds indoors 5/1 – ideal temperature for germination is 85°- 95° (use heating mat). Squash seedlings are sensitive to damping off fungus so keep seeds on the drier side and use a fan (set to low) to provide air circulation. Once 2 leaves appear, grow plants at 72°. Do not let plants become potbound. Transplant (biodegradable pot and all) outdoors around 5/21, spaced 4’ apart. Squash like soil with a lot of organic matter so add compost and/or decomposed manure to soil prior to planting. It is always a good idea to protect seedlings from cucumber beetles and squash bugs by covering them with row cover fabric at planting and leaving it on until plants are flowering. Protect squash plants from deer and groundhogs.

Harvest:

Pick squash when small and tender for traditional Middle-Eastern stuffed squash. You can harvest and eat these squash when they are bigger as long as the fruit is green or white (not tan/yellow). If you like small squash, be sure to harvest frequently in order to keep the squash coming! Use a knife or pruners to cut squash off of plant.

Seed Saving Instructions for gardeners:

Homs Kousa belongs to the species Cucurbita pepo and will cross (by insect) with all other Cucurbita pepo squashes & pumpkins (including zucchini, acorn, Thelma Sanders, and Delicata). Isolation distance is ½ mile (or you can save seed and see what you get!). Minimum population size: 6-25 plants (but you can save seed from fewer plants if the seeds are for your own use). Always select seeds from the best plants. Let squash mature on the plant (like a winter squash) until plants are dead or frost threatens. Scoop out seeds and rinse and dry them.

 

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