Winter Squash Guide

03/30/2016 | Ken Lain, mountain gardener Pumpkins, Seeds, Sprouts, Uncategorized, Vegetable Gardening

What a diverse and versatile vegetable! From tender, green, white, and yellow summer squash to even more varied colors of winter squash with thick rinds and stringy Squash Summer Lakotainteriors, there is a squash for all occasions. Summer and winter squashes are closely related, in some cases summer squash matures into winter squash. They have similar growing instructions and are afflicted by the same pests. They are, of course, different in growth and fruit. Most summer squash plants grow in a bush form rather than vining, and the fruits are harvested young when their outer skin is still soft, and seeds are immature. They also have a shorter storage life than winter squash. Winter squash, including pumpkins, are usually vining. Winter squash is harvested when seeds are mature, and the outer skin is hard; they can be stored for 2 to 6 months, depending on type.
GENERAL SOWING is recommended 2 to 4 weeks after average last frost and when soil temperatures have risen to 70°-85°F.
How many do I plant?   Since Winter Squash can be stored for several months, gardeners have more time to process and preserve the harvest by freezing or canning, making the bounty of winter squash less overwhelming. Usually, space is a bigger factor for winter squash than the amount of harvest, since winter squash can take up a fair amount of room in the garden. We offer some compact type winter squash too, so even container gardeners can enjoy the sweet storage fruit.
Blue Hubbard Heirloom, blue‐gray, teardrop‐shaped fruit with a lumpy texture, bright orange interior. Can be used as a sweet potato substitute. Long vines, 1–2 fruit per plant, 10–30 lbs. each; stores up to 5 months.
Burgess Buttercup Heirloom, dark green, blocky, round, slightly ridged exterior with stringless, golden yellow, creamy flesh. Sweet and nutty flavor. 4–5 fruit per plant, 3–5 lbs. each; stores up to 4 months.
Delicata Honey Boat Cylindrical, ridged yellow rind speckled with dark green, golden orange interior. Said to be one of the sweetest winter squash in existence. Medium length vines, about 5 fruits per plant, 3/4–1 1/2 lbs. each; stores up to 2 months. 90 Days to Maturity
Gold Nugget Rounded pumpkin‐colored exterior, tapered at the ends, ridged. All‐America Selections winner in 1966 with a sweet potato flavor. This heirloom is also called Oriental pumpkin; excellent for small space production. Long storage and early maturing for short season areas. Compact bush habit, 4–6 fruits per plant, 1–3 lbs. each; stores up to 6 months. 85 Days to Maturity
Lakota Heirloom. Lakota Sioux staple variety, almost lost. Colorful crimson and deep green exterior on teardrop‐shaped fruit, with deep orange flesh. Very long storage. Fine, sweet, nutty flavor. Long vines, 3–6 fruits per, 4–8 lbs. each; stores up to 5 months. 85–100 Days to Maturity
Pink Banana Heirloom enjoyed by the American pioneers. Very large, long, ridged salmon‐pink colored fruits have a yellow‐orange interior. Excellent baking quality. Medium‐ long vines, 4–10 fruits per plant, 10–12 lbs. each; stores up to 3 months. 100 Days to Maturity
Red Kuri Reddish‐orange teardrop‐shaped fruit with a similarly vibrant interior. Kuri is Japanese for chestnut, as this heirloom’s flavor suggests. Also called Orange Hokkaido and Baby Red Hubbard. Excellent variety for small space production. 3 fruits per plant, 3–4 lbs. each; stores up to 4 months.
Sweet Dumpling Cream, with yellow and green coloring along the ridges on blocky, small fruit. Decorative and delicious, single serving squash. Thin skinned, it is easier to cut. Medium length vines, 6–10 fruits per plant, 8–10 oz. each; stores up to 3 months. 82―100 Days to Maturity
Sweet Meat Slate gray, lumpy skin with a squat pumpkin shape. Fine‐grain, orange, sweet flesh heirloom is excellent in all applications: baked, canned, and savory. Flavor even rivals pumpkin for pie. Medium length vines, 2 fruits per plant, 10–15 lbs. each; stores up to 6 months. 80 Days to Maturity
Sweet Reba Acorn Glossy, dark green acorn‐shaped fruits with deep ridges and yellow‐orange interior. Compact plants with traditional acorn squash flavor. Acorn squash do not need to be cured for sweetness. Short vines, 4–5 fruits per plant, 1 1/2–2 lbs. each; stores up to 3 months. 90–100 Days to Maturity
Table King Acorn Glossy, dark green acorn‐shaped fruits with deep ridges and yellow‐orange interior. Compact vines and early production. Acorn squash do not need to be cured for sweetness. Short vines, 5– 8 fruit per plant, 2 lbs. each; stores up to 3 months. 80 Days to Maturity
Vegetable Speghetti Heirloom, savory squash with unique spaghetti noodle texture. Cylindrical pale yellow, with pale yellow interior. Long vines, producing 5‐7 fruits per plant, 3‐5 pounds each. 90 Days to Maturity.
Waltham Butternut 1970 All‐America Selections winner. Rich, sweet flavor similar to pumpkin, also with smooth texture. Long time garden and chef favorite. Long vines, 4‐5 fruits per plant, 3‐6 pounds each.