Typically I'd wait for a winter squash vine to die before harvesting. And typically, my winter squash vine would've been long dead by now.

But this is no typical situation. The giant patch of relentless squash refuses to die. I  mean, it's November and it doesn't even have powdery mildew. I've even found plenty of new flowers!

I decided I could wait no longer. I saw rats having a field day between the vines. Oh no, that's not how I do it in the test garden. Squirrels are one thing, but rats? Rats are just gross.

I decided to call it a day get the squash (and the vines) out of there. I hope they're mature.

They sure look good on the outside. What beauties! The lighter grey are 'Jarrahdale Blue,' and the darker, wrinkly ones are 'Marina De Chioggia.' Both are heirloom varieties. In fact, we wrote about 'Chioggia' in our October issue.

Creating a rats' nest definitely makes a good case for growing squash up a trellis, as I did last year.

And just like that, we've got a giant space in the test garden.

I've got some ideas of what I'd like to build as a replacement, but I want to ask you: What small-scale garden design should we construct as the next test garden project? I'd love to hear your input. I always get the best ideas from all of you.

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