How to Grow Winter Squash
Winter squash is harvested much later in the season than summer squash. There are a wide variety of winter squash species you can choose to grow in your garden. Each variety has its own distinct taste. Varieties include acorn, spaghetti, buttercup, butternut and even different varieties of pumpkins are considered winter squash. The blossoms can also be harvested before they develop into squash and are considered a delicacy when they are battered and fried. If done properly, your winter squash harvest can be stored and enjoyed throughout the winter months.
What You Need
Winter squash seed
Select a sunny location for growing your winter squash after the danger of frost has passed. Makes sure the soil has warmed to at least 62 degrees F before your begin planting.
Loosen the soil to a depth of 6 inches. Add 10-10-10 fertilizer to the soil at a rate of 2 pounds per 100 square feet of garden area. Mix the fertilizer into the soil.
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Rake your soil into mounds that are spaced 6 feet apart in rows that are at least 7 inches apart.
Plant 3 winter squash seeds into each hill. Make sure to leave even space between each planting. Plant each seed at a depth of 1 inch.
Water your winter squash garden to a depth of 6 inches. Continue to water your garden soil to a depth of 6 inches each morning. Make sure you do not water the leaves or any fruit that is developing.
Thin your seedling to 1 or 2 plants per hill once they have at least 4 sets of leaves. Mulch around each plant with wheat straw to reduce weeds and conserve water.
Add a side-dressing of calcium nitrate around each plant when squash blooms begin to appear. Apply the calcium nitrate at a rate of 2 pounds per 100 feet of row. Make sure to keep the fertilizer at least 6 inches from each plant. Water your winter squash plants immediately after applying fertilizer.
Harvest your winter squash when the rinds are hard and the fruit has turned a deep solid color in the late fall months. Cut the stems from the vines about 2 inches from the fruit.
Store your winter squash in a location where they will remain between 55 and 60 degrees F.