MY MICHIGAN GARDEN
Plant Height: "
Planting Depth: 1"
Soil Temp, Germ: °F
Days to Germ.: 3-10
Plant Spacing: 5-6'
Days to Maturity: 85-95
Winter Squash (Cucurbita pepo)
Winter squash is a warm-season vegetable that can be grown in most of the
country. It differs from summer squash in that it is harvested and eaten in
the mature fruit stage, when the seeds within have matured fully and the skin
has hardened into a tough rind. When ripened to this stage, fruits of most
varieties can be stored for use throughout the winter.
Acorn Winter Squash has
high-yielding vines producing deep-green, deeply ribbed fruits that turn
orange when stored. Moderately sweet, dry, fine-flavored squash is exquisite baked.
Do not plant until all danger of frost is past and soil is thoroughly warmed.
The vining types of squash require at least 50 to 100 square feet per hill.
Plant seeds one inch deep (four or five seeds per hill). Allow 5 to 6 feet
between hills. When the young plants are well-established, thin each hill to
the best two or three plants. Allow 7 to 12 feet between rows.
Plant semi-vining varieties one inch deep (four or five seeds per hill) and
thin to the best two plants per hill. Allow 8 feet between rows.
Squash plants should be kept free from weeds by hoeing and shallow
cultivation. Irrigate if an extended dry period occurs in early summer. Squash
requires minimal care after the vines cover the ground. Bees are necessary for
pollinating squash and pumpkins and are killed by insecticides.
If insecticides are used, they should be applied in late afternoon or early
evening after the bees stop visiting blossoms for the day.
Soil & Water:
Add a fresh layer of rich compost to the top soil, then till or spade the
bed to loosen the soil and work in the compost. Keep seed beds evenly moist.
Winter squash can be harvested whenever the fruits have turned a deep, solid
color and the rind is hard. Harvest the main part of the crop in September or
October, before heavy frosts hit your area. Cut squash from the vines carefully,
leaving two inches of stem attached if possible.
Store in a dry building where the temperature is between 50 and 55°F. For
prolonged storage, do not pile squash more than two fruits deep. It is
preferable, where space allows, to place the fruits in a single layer so that
they do not touch each other. This arrangement minimizes the potential spread of rots.
Acorn Squash June 13
Acorn Squash July 3
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