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Wouldn’t it be great if you’ve learned how to grow acorn squash? Think about it, next winter you could be enjoying an acorn squash grown at home, smothered with maple syrup. Cucurbita Pepo (acorn squash) is simple to grow and rich in nutrients. It can be stored in cool temperatures.
It is simple and rewarding for the home gardener to learn how to grow an acorn squash.
How to Grow Acorn Squash
For your acorn squash, choose a spot in your garden that receives sun at least 6 to 7 hours per day. This area should be prepared for planting. This will ensure that the soil has enough drainage and allows for roots to grow.
Acorn squash is a heavy feeder. You can make sure to add compost and fertilize before you plant them. Avoid planting them in the same area as the acorn squash from the previous year. These areas have not received the nutrients from last year’s harvest.
Squash is known for its tendency to occupy space in the garden due to its creeping vines and long stems. Many varieties of the acorn squash can be grown as shrubs, however.
They can be planted in a smaller area of your garden, but they will produce a greater amount of fruit. If you don’t have much space, the vines can be trained on a trellis or even placed in containers in your yard.
Two weeks must pass before you plant your acorn squash. Below 65 degrees will prevent seeds from germinating. They can be started indoors and transplanted outdoors, but they will not thrive if the soil is too acidic.
Acorn squash roots are delicate and can’t be transplanted well. If you want to start seeds indoors you should use biodegradable containers that you can place directly in the ground. Place the seeds in a potting mix on both sides, with the narrow end facing upwards. Keep the room at 60 degrees Fahrenheit for seedlings. They are sensitive to cold.
It is more usual to sow squash seeds in the garden. Planting on hills requires you to sow around 5-6 seeds per hill. The acorn squash seeds should be planted about 1 inch into the soil. After they emerge, trim the weaker plants and leave the strongest. If the vine is climbing on a trellis, place the seeds in such a way that each plant has two square feet of space.
Start them in a peat container that they can plant directly into the ground to help them make the transition.
Start Acorn Squash from a Seedling
If you are going to transplant seedlings from indoors, make sure that the hole is large enough for the whole pot. Then, bury the bottom of the seedling stem in the ground (make sure that the stem is at the ground level).
Ensure that the soil is kept moist throughout the growing process. To provide nutrients for the entire growing season, it is a good idea to mix rotted compost into the soil before you plant. Mulch is also an excellent idea. It keeps the soil warm and gives the fruit a place to rest to prevent it from rotting.
Once your acorn squash germinated, expect an adult squash within 75-100 days. They need approximately 1 inch of rainfall per week as they grow. Wait to water the plant if the soil is still moist below the surface.
Water the plant slowly and keep it close to the ground when watering.
Your acorn squash plants should be well-pollinated to ensure a good harvest. You will see large yellow flowers with humps or pistons. They are located just below the flower, where the fruit will eventually grow.
Check for buzzing bees after both types of flowers have begun to appear. To pollinate your flowers by hand, drag a flower to flower brush.
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Pests and Diseases
Acorn squash can be hardy, but it is not unusual for some insects to settle in the acorn squash. Pay attention to:
- Cucumber beetles are a pest that will attack young acorn squash plants. They can also survive in the ground through winter. If you have seen them before, it is worth treating the area early in the season with an insecticide.
- Squash bugs: The leaves of the acorn squash plant will be eaten. Make sure the soil is free from dead leaves and other debris that could be used as hiding places for these pests. As soon as you spot them, treat with an insecticide. These errors can spread quickly and make it very difficult to eradicate.
- Squash Vine Borers – Lay the eggs close to the stems of acorn squash plants. The larvae hatch from the plants’ vines and are then buried, leaving behind a pile of sawdust. To get rid of Squash vine borers, treat soil around the plant’s base.
The Acorn Squash can also be susceptible to fungal diseases and infections such as:
- Powdery mildew is a condition that causes silvery, white and dusty-looking spots to appear on your plant’s leaves. As soon as you notice it, spray a fungicide.
- Mildew – The leaves will develop brown and yellow spots. Use a fungicide to treat it.
- Blossom end rot: If very young fruits start to rot and develop dark spots, it could indicate that there is a calcium problem in the soil.
Acorn Squash Growing Tips
There are many types of acorn squash and each one has its own benefits. Consider your growing season and space requirements when choosing an acorn squash.
It takes an average of 70 to 100 days for an acorn squash to mature from seed to harvest. You may choose a shorter growing season, or if you want to plant acorn squash immediately after a previous spring harvest. Table Ace takes 70-85 days to mature.
The Acorn squashis a space-saving and excellent performer. Acorn squash can produce at least three to five fruits per plant. This will give you an idea of the importance of this – acorn squash can be enjoyed all winter by your family in a smaller space than your living room entertainment center.
Tips for harvesting Acorn Squash
Winter squashes such as butternut squash, squash, and acorns develop thick, hard skins that protect them from the elements during winter storage.
Winter squash cannot continue to ripen once they are harvested. Therefore, it is important that you allow them to ripen in the vine for as long as possible.
Acorn squash can be harvested before the first hard freeze. When the weather starts to cool down, you can check the maturity of your Acorn Squash by pressing a nail on its skin.
You can remove the skin if you are able to do so. Otherwise, the squasg should be left in the vineyard. The fruit can be harvested if the skin is intact. If possible, leave it for a week or so after harvesting.
Harvesting is best done when the vines are dry.
The day before harvest, don’t turn the acorn squash or pull it from the vine. You can cut the stem with a knife, leaving about 1 inch of the acorn squash.
For up to seven days, you can leave the squash out in the sun to cure. If this is impossible, find a warm place in the house to heal them. Some evidence suggests that the acorn squash can be boiled in hot water. It can also be extended for up to 15 seconds by dipping the acorn squash in hot water (not boiling!)
For long-term storage, keep your acorn squash safe and dry in a dark, cool place. Cutlery, cupboards, and basements are all good options. They will last for about 2 to 3 months if they are kept dry.
Acorn squash is a wonderful addition to any home garden. They can be hardy and grow quickly, so it is fun to see them explode over the course of a season.
Now that you know all you need to know about growing and harvesting a great harvest, it’s time to decide whether you want to make sweet or savory dishes with your homemade acorn squash!