Posted in Gardening, Horticulture, Mapleberry Gardens

Growing “White Acorn” winter squash (2017)

I love squash. I especially love regular green acorn squash with the orange flesh. But I thought I’d try this white variety this year and I’m glad that I did. These fruit are beautiful and taste just as you’d expect an acorn squash should.

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July 25: Fruit in various stages of development

I started my two “white acorn” winter squash plants from seed on May 13th, two weeks before the last frost date in my area. I reserved a space measuring approximately 32×72” in my 12” raised cedar bed for two mature plants. On May 27, I transplanted the best few seedlings and then thinned to two plants a few weeks later. The growth habit is compact but it uses every square inch of space I gave it in the raised bed. I occasionally hand-pollinated the female flowers but the plants were constantly buzzing with bees and other pollinators so I mostly left it up to them.

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July 27: These two “white acorn” squash plants look lush and healthy in a raised bed. 

I harvested the first squash on July 21st, the second on July 26th, and now there are several more growing. The plants are producing tons of flowers and lots of leaves but some of the foliage has suffered a tiny bit of a powdery mildew-like residue so I removed the affected leaves. I’ve been treating plants with milk and/or neem oil on a weekly basis but I can’t be sure what affect it’s having. By late July, a few of the young fruits have died but there are so many more developing well.  I harvested the squash a week or two after I noticed it stopped growing and the skin turned from snow white to a creamy off-white. The flesh inside is also creamy white and firm.

I peeled the skin, scooped out the seeds, and cubed the flesh. It was great roasted with oil, salt, and pepper like I would with an average green acorn squash or butternut squash. The seeds are tasty, crunchy snack when they’re oiled, salted, and roasted until toasty brown.

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Preparing some acorn squash for dinner. That’s the squash plant in the background.
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August 2: These three squash will be ready to harvest soon.

Author:

Environmental biologist and wannabe homesteader.

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