Baby Vi C. Mochata

In an absolutely shitty year for winter squash, where cold, wet, rot, and squash bugs ruled the gardens, this squash, and only this squash, did well for us.


This is one I bred, and then named after Violet was born, for short seasons, bushing (short) vines, and short season.  These were planted in mid-June after torrential rains and cold rotted out my first squash plantings.  We had a 60 day summer.  Not frost to frost, but nights starting to be over 60 degrees, to when they fell back back and did frost.  The frost killed most, but not all of the squash vines (I posted a photo of frosted vines still flowering) but we had a good harvest of them.  In hindsight, I should have planted even more than 2/3 of my hills with these squash.  No extras this year.  The Ness family, who planted 30 hills, of a huge variety of squashes, got zilch, so I am splitting what I harvested up with them (least I can do for them letting me use their land) but it leaves us with enough for the winter, and we are still eating fresh (they store that well) ones from last year.


Maybe next year I will grow it in quantity enough to actually offer seeds commercially somewhere.  We will see.  As it is, we have a nice pile of squashes finishing curing in the front yard in the sun until a serious freeze threatens us here on the island.

This squash is my solution to the Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck C. Mochata squash, which is a 120 day squash and can only be grown here when spring comes early, fall frosts are late, and you have an ideal summer.  These squash may smaller, but with easy maturity in a cool summer more than a month earlier, coupled with the ability to store fresh for over a year, we are happy.

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2 Responses to Baby Vi C. Mochata

  1. Renville Tom says:

    Your Baby Vi squash look great! Mine did pretty well this year, but I learned that I need to plant multiple hills to get enough for winter storage. I had one hill, eight plants, and harvested 11 beautiful fruits that consistently averaged around 3.25 to 3.50 pounds each. Perfect size as far as I am concerned. Fruits were 100 percent crooknecks, no reverts back to the classic Butternut shape(!). Fairly short vine lengths which taught me I can plant hills closer together (assuming vines were not stunted from flooding). Another plus of shorter vines is easier fall cleanup.

    I think this variety has some decent pest resistance – SVBs hit the C. pepo hill (slightly) and C. maxima hill (badly), as well as the cuke vines (badly) but did not get into the C. moschata Baby Vi vines that were ten feet away from all. Fruits are blemish free with the exception of one that has a lot of dark blemishes/lesions along the length of the neck with several white crusty patches. No rodent or insect damage noticed. The fruit has good color, is still firm and appears to be usable, but obviously not storable. Just curious if you might have some idea as to what the issue is or if you have seen this before. I am going to peel it and inspect and if good I will dehydrate this one (not going to save seeds from it, though).

    I am very satisfied with what I got this year considering the seedlings were flooded for a couple days back in June. I thought it was all over when I saw that, it was very disheartening. I am assuming the heavy rains/flooding issues adversely affected my test grow out in some way, perhaps setting plants back or stunting the vines. Based on photos you posted earlier this summer my fruits were behind yours for a while but they caught up quickly.

    A couple of quick questions:
    What is the average weight of the squashes that you harvested this year? How did the weights compare to other years?
    What do you consider the season length to be for this variety? 100 days? Perhaps 105-110? That seems in the ballpark based on my very limited experience, but flooding this year may have forced them to need more time. Cool summer may have had an effect as well.

    -Renville Tom

    • Tom says:

      I have had them mature in well under 90 days. Even this year, hills that went in late June (replacing of rotted out Thelma Sanders C. Pepo) were matured before the frost we had 90 days later. Some do mature later, but I always save seeds from the earliest, and for me this year that was just under 80 days. I did have some that were not mature at 100, but still averaged more than one mature fruit per plant. Two years ago, when we had such a long summer, I had plants producing 4-5 fruits per plant.

      The weight of the fruits is about right. I get some a big bigger or smaller as well, but I consider that size about perfect. They do need to cure in the sun, if possible, for a week or two after harvesting. Keep them from frosting, but give them exposure to sunlight. The flesh turns a darker orange in storage, and the flavor improves as well. We are still eating a few harvested last year. Have not delved into what we harvested this year, but in perspective, I am going to abandon most other squash plantings, for the same reasons you gave. Bugs, rotting, and disease are just too much of an issue for other plants, while these are thriving.

      The shorter vines I have selected for. Most do not exceed 4 feet, regardless of number of fruits. I place hills 36″ from center, hills 18″ across, 4 plants per hill, thinned to the 2 best. Allows for really intensive planting and minimal soil amendment.