The Q&A Archives: Don't Know What It Is

Question: Found a vine in the garden end of summer thought it was watermelon, it is green an elongated stripes are now turning sort of yellow and they break off easily at the stem. about5-6 invhes long. cut one open, and looks more like squash. don't have any idea how they got there or what they are. or if they are edible. i thought maybe a gourd. very strange.

Answer: Winter squash will have a hard shell and summer squash will have a softer skin or rind as you find on zucchini; winter squash have good keeping or storage qualities, too. Gourds are in the squash family and edible as well. In general I think the difference between gourd and squash is one of "meatiness" -- squash grown expressly to eat tend to have more of the edible flesh than gourds.

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