Author Topic: Vining Yellow Crookneck Squash  (Read 866 times)

Ryan M Miller

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Vining Yellow Crookneck Squash
« on: 2019-09-25, 04:41:04 PM »
Since almost all yellow Cucurbita pepo Summer squash has a compact bush growth habit, I have been trying to breed a vining cultivar of Yellow Crookneck squash. Although yellow crookneck squash has been bred with a compact growth pattern to save growing space, I have found ironically that this growth pattern actually uses up more space than a climing, vining growth pattern since I trellis my squash whenever I grow it. Additionally, the compact growth of yellow crookneck squash leaves the plants vulnerable to attacks from squash vine borers and makes the plants less suitable for companion planting in the three sisters method.

If anyone wants to se my progress so far this year with this breeding project, I have already started a thread documenting my efforts on permies.com
https://permies.com/t/118745/Vining-Yellow-Crookneck-squash

For the first part of this breeding project, I crossed a yellow crookneck squash with a vining non-bitter ornamental gourd. After a few false starts, I was finally able to make the cross pollination with the yellow crookneck as the male parent and the ornamental gourd as the female parent. Not long after the cross pollination, the yellow crookneck plant finally died from squash vine borer damage by the middle of August. Thankfully, I was still able to successfully recover over 200 viable F1 seeds from the cross pollinated fruit from the ornamental gourd by the end of the month.

The next part of this breeding project will be finding willing participants to pollinate a few F1 plants with other F1 plants and growing out as many of the F2 plants as possible to begin the selection for vining phenotype and large, yellow fruits. In my original research, I deternined that the gene controling compact growth habit in squash is determined by only one dominant gene so it should at least require two generations to restore vining growth habit into the phenotype of the plant.

For more information about the status of this project, you can visit the link to the original thread on the permies page.

Andrew Barney

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Re: Vining Yellow Crookneck Squash
« Reply #1 on: 2019-09-25, 05:45:08 PM »
Cool project! Sounds like a worthy goal. I have a project idea with crookedneck squash that I'd like to do, but its been on the back burner for awhile. One I'd like to breed a really warty white colored crooked neck squash. Just because. I find all the yellow ones unexciting. I've been planning on using a white acorn squash as the other parent line.

Another cool one would be to grab that trait from ornamental gourds that has half yellow-green. But I don't know much about that and/or if that is in a bitter gourd background or not. I think they might have yellow-green zucchini. EDIT: Zephyr.

Or other cool patterns like delicatta but in crookedneck.
« Last Edit: 2019-09-25, 06:06:26 PM by Andrew Barney »

Ryan M Miller

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Re: Vining Yellow Crookneck Squash
« Reply #2 on: 2019-09-25, 07:42:24 PM »
Another cool one would be to grab that trait from ornamental gourds that has half yellow-green. But I don't know much about that and/or if that is in a bitter gourd background or not. I think they might have yellow-green zucchini. EDIT: Zephyr.



In case you didn't get the chance to see my original post on the Permies forum, the female parent for the F1 seeds has bicolor skin. This may make it possible to breed a bicolored vining crookneck squash if I desired. This was not the original goal of my breeding project because there seem to be multiple genes affecting fruit shape as opposed to vine length, but any participant in the project is allowed to use the F1 cross to breed a bicolored squash if he pleases as long as he agrees not to patent the resulting variety.

esoteric_agriculture

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Re: Vining Yellow Crookneck Squash
« Reply #3 on: 2019-12-12, 10:15:23 AM »
Iíve been breeding aggressively vining summer squash for several years now. At this point the vast majority of what I get is yellow, super aggressive spiny vines, great disease and insect resistance, great storage potential, great taste and texture. I donít think Iíve ever gotten any crookneck fruits, but I am sure I have warted deep yellow straight necks that would be incredibly helpful to you in your project. Any interest?
Very deep mildly acidic clay loam with abundant sandstone and quartzite gravel and stones. Very high water table, Border of Koppen climate Oceanic and Humid Subtropical, USDA Zone 6b, very windy frost pocket valley at the foot of a lonely mountain, historic dairy and orchard county.

Ryan M Miller

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Re: Vining Yellow Crookneck Squash
« Reply #4 on: 2019-12-12, 02:03:14 PM »
If you already have some vining yellow squash, I'd definitely love to incorporate this strain into the final variety. This also means that the variety can be ready for sharing sooner than I originally expected.

As of Fall 2019, I currently only have seeds from a hand-pollinated F1 cross between a Yellow Crookneck and a non-bitter ornamental gourd. If you are interested in swapping some of your vining yellow squash seeds for my F1 ornamental gourd/yellow crookneck seeds I could do a trade.

The genetics and phenotype of the F1 generation of plants should be consistent and predictable (all bush with pear-shaped fruits) so you need not plant more than the bare minimum number of F1 plants, but when growing out the F2 generation from self-pollinated F2 seed, it is best to grow out as many plants as possible to find the most promising candidate plants for further breeding. About 25% of the F2 plants from my F1 seed should have vining growth since bush factor seems to be controlled by a single, dominant gene. If you are familiar with the hand-pollination process for squash, this may be your best option to controll the pollination of any squash plants from the seed I would give you.

By the way, are you able to post any images of your vining yellow squash?

esoteric_agriculture

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Re: Vining Yellow Crookneck Squash
« Reply #5 on: 2019-12-12, 02:41:31 PM »
Hereís a couple pics. Eventually Iíll edit a YouTube video on the summer squash project.
Very deep mildly acidic clay loam with abundant sandstone and quartzite gravel and stones. Very high water table, Border of Koppen climate Oceanic and Humid Subtropical, USDA Zone 6b, very windy frost pocket valley at the foot of a lonely mountain, historic dairy and orchard county.

Ryan M Miller

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Re: Vining Yellow Crookneck Squash
« Reply #6 on: 2019-12-14, 12:43:15 AM »
Hereís a couple pics. Eventually Iíll edit a YouTube video on the summer squash project.
I'd definitely love to see the YouTube video when it's ready. What is the name of your channel?

By the way, I shared your pictures over on the permies forum just now. It's the same thread that I posted a link to in my first post on this thread.

esoteric_agriculture

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Re: Vining Yellow Crookneck Squash
« Reply #7 on: 2019-12-14, 04:34:02 AM »
My channel name is Esoteric Agriculture. Iím terribly slow these days about getting videos edited and uploaded but Iíll get there eventually.  :)
Very deep mildly acidic clay loam with abundant sandstone and quartzite gravel and stones. Very high water table, Border of Koppen climate Oceanic and Humid Subtropical, USDA Zone 6b, very windy frost pocket valley at the foot of a lonely mountain, historic dairy and orchard county.

esoteric_agriculture

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Re: Vining Yellow Crookneck Squash
« Reply #8 on: 2019-12-14, 04:04:39 PM »
I managed to get a Summer Squash video edited and uploaded today.
Very deep mildly acidic clay loam with abundant sandstone and quartzite gravel and stones. Very high water table, Border of Koppen climate Oceanic and Humid Subtropical, USDA Zone 6b, very windy frost pocket valley at the foot of a lonely mountain, historic dairy and orchard county.

Diane Whitehead

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Re: Vining Yellow Crookneck Squash
« Reply #9 on: 2019-12-14, 07:50:35 PM »
What is most important to you?  The crooked neck?  Must it be a pepo?  How about Canada Crookneck which is a moschata?
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
cool mediterranean climate  warm dry summers, mild wet winters,  70 cm rain,   sandy soil

Ryan M Miller

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Re: Vining Yellow Crookneck Squash
« Reply #10 on: 2019-12-15, 12:28:25 AM »
What is most important to you?  The crooked neck?  Must it be a pepo?  How about Canada Crookneck which is a moschata?
Yellow Crookneck squash is often advertized as one of the oldest surviving cultivars of squash domesticated independently in North America, but its compact growth habit is not found in its wild relatives that grow in Missouri and Texas. Wild Cucurbita pepo in North Amerca has climbing vines with fully functional tendrils. My goal is to restore the primitive vining growth habit to yellow crookneck squash so that it is better adapted to growing on a trellis or for use as a ground cover in a three sisters garden.

For this project, it is necessary that the squash be Cucurbita pepo and not C. moschata.

esoteric_agriculture

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Re: Vining Yellow Crookneck Squash
« Reply #11 on: 2019-12-15, 02:56:29 AM »
The yellow Crookneck squash was my favorite as A kid, but it was the only squash of any kind anyone I ever knew ever grew. Most of my family still considers the word squash to refer only to yellow Crookneck. I quit growing it years ago because I didnít want bush squash any longer. Iíve been really pleased to see that phenotype showing up gradually in my project with no attempt on my part to push things in that direction.
Very deep mildly acidic clay loam with abundant sandstone and quartzite gravel and stones. Very high water table, Border of Koppen climate Oceanic and Humid Subtropical, USDA Zone 6b, very windy frost pocket valley at the foot of a lonely mountain, historic dairy and orchard county.

Diane Whitehead

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Re: Vining Yellow Crookneck Squash
« Reply #12 on: 2020-02-06, 06:29:04 PM »
Native Seeds Search sells seeds of a yellow crookneck which looks quite different from the one I have always grown.

Smooth skin, not much of a crook, a paler yellow.  No mention of whether it is bush or vining.

https://www.nativeseeds.org/collections/squash-pumpkins-zucchini/products/ts333
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
cool mediterranean climate  warm dry summers, mild wet winters,  70 cm rain,   sandy soil

William S.

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Re: Vining Yellow Crookneck Squash
« Reply #13 on: 2020-02-07, 12:18:14 PM »
Native Seeds Search sells seeds of a yellow crookneck which looks quite different from the one I have always grown.

Smooth skin, not much of a crook, a paler yellow.  No mention of whether it is bush or vining.

https://www.nativeseeds.org/collections/squash-pumpkins-zucchini/products/ts333

A few years back NSS stopped selling exclusively indigenous SW crops and introduced some garden fare that grows well in the SW but is modern. This would be that. Too me the photo just looks like they harvested young. All summer squash have smooth skin when real young.
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Ryan M Miller

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Re: Vining Yellow Crookneck Squash
« Reply #14 on: 2020-02-10, 07:16:01 PM »
This particular strain of Yellow Crookneck squash carried by native seeds grows as a compact bush. The thick bush-vines do not have funtional tendrils and the plants are vulnerable to squash vine borer dammage if they are not protected. This is the strain I crossed with my non-bitter ornamental gourd last year. I had to use the ornamental gourd as the female parent since the crookneck squash is so vulnerable to SVB damage.