Squash – Blue Banana

The blue banana or Guatemalan blue banana squash as it is often known is an heirloom variety with roots in South America. Their large vines can reach over 6 meters and blue banana, as well as its pink cousins, were very popular up to the last century when they gradually started to be replaced by the ubiquitous but tasteless butternut.

Blue Banana Squash ©lucysaunders2021

In the kitchen

Blue banana is probably closest in shape to the butternut squash of everything I have grown so is a good substitute for any recipe you would use that in. It has a useful shape and size for stuffing although its hard outer skin, which protects the flesh and adds to its long keeping qualities is best peeled before or discarded after cooking. Flavour wise blue banana has better flavour than butternut squash but there are better squash available like uchiki kuri

Yield and Plant Health

In the UK expect up to 4 50cm Zeplin shaped squash, weighing about 2 kg. In warmer climates you can get many more.

Suppliers

This heirloom variety is very hard to get hold of, especially in the UK.

The Reel Seed Company (UK)

Mary’s Heirloom Seeds (USA)

Blue Banana Squash ©lucysaunders2021

Grow

Sow in April undercover. I like to sow in root trainers which are long thin pots which split open to release the plant for planting. They are ideal for big seeds or plants that don’t like having their roots disturbed. Fill the root trainer with compost. Push one to two seeds per root trainer about 1.5 cm deep. Water and top up with compost if needed. Keep moist but not damp. If the squash gets too big for the root trainer before you can plant in the ground you will need to plant in to a larger pot. You will probably have to pot on at least once before planting out. The addition of heat in the form of a propagator or warm room when sowing will increase success.

Plant out after all risk of frost has passed, with each plant at least 1 meter apart.  Squash are sprawling plants that like to grow in full sun, in a very fertile but well drained soil, enriched with copious amounts of well rotted manure. Water well at the base of the plant during warmer weather. A stick placed at the base of the plant on planting out can be a useful way of finding the base again once your squash plant has turned in to a monster. Just as it is hard to over water your squash, it is almost impossible to overfeed it. These are hungry plants and will relish weekly feeding.

Blue Banana Squash ©lucysaunders2021

Alternatives

Squash – Uchiki Kuri

Squash – Sweet Dumpling

Squash – Blue Hubbard

Squash – Squashkin

Squash Marina Di Chioggia

Squash – Turks Turban

Squash – Tromboncino

Squash – Burgess Buttercup

Blue Banana Squash ©lucysaunders2021

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