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June 18, 2018  |  Login
Winter Squash
By Charlie Nardozzi & The National Gardening Association

Winter squash are mostly vining-type plants whose fruits are harvested when they’re fully mature. They mature after three months or more of growing and are best harvested after the cool, fall weather sets in. You can store them for months in a cool basement. They’re also good for baking. You can easily get lost in the maze of winter squash types, so here’s a quick list of the most popular types:

  • Acorn (Cucurbita pepo): Black, dark green, or white skin and an acorn-shaped, ribbed fruit. Pale yellow flesh.
  • Buttercup (Cucurbita maxima): Green or orange, turban-shaped type has a “button” on the end of its fruits. Dry, orange flesh.
  • Delicata (Cucurbita pepo): Small, green- and yellow-striped, zucchini-shaped squash has sweet, pale yellow flesh.
  • Hubbard (Cucurbita maxima): Large, blue or green, oval-shaped squash has a long neck and dry yellow or orange flesh.
  • Spaghetti (Cucurbita pepo): Oblong, tan-colored squash has yellow flesh with a stringy texture.

Good winter squash varieties include:

  • ‘Burgess Buttercup’: Produces sweet, fiberless (not stringy), orange flesh on 3- to 5-pound fruit that matures in 95 days.
  • ‘Cream of the Crop’: Hybrid acorn squash features 3-pound fruits with white skin and golden flesh on a bush-type plant. Matures in 85 days.
  • ‘Spaghetti’: Ivory-skinned, yellow-fleshed, 4- to 5-pound winter squash has stringy, spaghetti-like flesh. Matures in 88 days.
  • ‘Waltham Butternut’: Produces light tan, 5-pound fruits that have smooth-textured orange flesh. Matures in 105 days.
Click here for a great organic winter squash soup recipe.


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