Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash

To plant our acrorn squash we created a small mound about 12 inches high and 12 inches across and we flattened the top of the mound. You could also create a little valley in the mound to help capture water, but the base of the soil under that part of our garden was basically rock, so hence, the mountainous mount.   The acorn squash vine needs plenty of room to spread, (Seriously) so allow for at least five-six feet around the mound for your mature plant.

Planting Acorn Squash
Place 3 seeds at a depth of one inch in the mound. Cover with soil, sprinkle with water and in a few days the seedlings will sprout. There’s really no need to start the plant in six packs or indoors.  In California we have roly-polies or sowbugs that love to eat the tender shoots of squash, beans or cucumbers.  Once the seedlings are established, you dont have to worry.  But, until they are up, you need to be on patrol.

I learned that they hate ashes from the fire place.  So if you have  wood fireplace, save the ashes to place around your tender shoots in the garden.  They wont cross the line.

You can begin harvesting mature acorn squash around 80-90 days after planting the seeds.

Watering
  I recommend watering in early morning. If you water at night you risk getting mildew on the leaves of the plants. Try not to let your acorn squash plants get too dry and wilt. Sometimes they can recover from a significant dry spell, sometimes they can’t.

Dont water the leaves of the plants in heat of the day or you may burn the leaves

Harvesting Acorn Squash
 Approximately 80-90 days after you plant the seeds, you should be able to harvest mature acorn squash. I recommend cutting the squash from the vine instead of trying to rip it off and risk injuring the plant. Acorn squash at maturity are about 13-15 inches in circumference and 6 inches in height. You can also tell if an acorn squash is mature if your fingernail doesn’t penetrate the skin of the fruit. One plant can produce as many as 10-20 squash.

Storing Acorn Squash
  Providing you aren’t worried about pests, its okay to leave a ripened acorn squash on the vine for several days to two weeks after it is ready. Place the ripened squash in a cool, dry place such as the basement, pantry or kitchen counter. They will keep for several months after harvesting.

I must apologize to the author of a lot of this material.  I meant to cite my sources,  but then lost the link to the original material as I was editing to add my own advice, information and experiences.   The photos are mine.  If you are reading this and you see that these are your subheadings, send me an email and I will surely give you credit for some of the good tips found above.

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