Winter Squash


Crop Name: Winter Squash

Scientific Name: Cucurbita maxima, C. pepo, C. moschata

Family Name: Cucurbitaceae

Cultivar Groups: Acorn, Hubbard, Buttercup, Butternut, Delicata, Spaghetti, Turban, Kobocha

Warm season or cool season:  Warm Season


Space between plants/between rows: 2–6 feet between plants. 8-12 ft between rows based on your optimal growth size. 

Fertility Requirements: Well drained fertile, loose soil high organic matter, pH 5.8-6.8, sandy loam

Watering Needs: At least 1 inch of water/week in growing season on most soils. Water once a week is sufficient

Number of days from seed to transplant and/or seed to harvest: Life cycle= Annual, 5—16 day germination, 60-110 day to harvest

Planting Instructions:

  • Plant squash in full sun
  • Grow squash in loose, well-drained soil rich in organic matter
  • Prepare planting beds in advance working in plenty of aged compost


Potential Pests: Squash bugs, squash borers, cucumbers beatles, for borers slit stem remove peset, cover with soil to encourage root development

Insect Pests Controls: for borers slit stem remove peset, cover with soil to encourage root development, spray pesticide, IPM- integrated pest managment

Plant Pathogens:Bacterial wilt (from pest), powdery mildew, mosaic virus, blossom end rot


When Ready to Harvest: Harvest when rinds are full of color/ firm enough to not be dented

How to Harvest: Twist or cut stem

Optimal Time of Day to Harvest: early morning

Best Method to Cool Crop: refrigerate, if even

Optimal Storage Temperature and Relative Humidity:  a relatively high level of RH (70 to 75%), 55 to 50 F

Possible Storage Life: leave 2-3 in of stem to increase storage time

Common Post-Harvest Losses/Problems:  to high of a RH in storage, physical damage, harvesting to late or early

Average Yields: 12 tons per/acre is common, but if done well 20-25 tons is possible

Farm to YouNH Crop Data:

Not Available

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