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Winter squashes are a welcome late summer and fall addition to seasonal meals. Stuff them, roast them, bake them, or turn them into hearty soups and stews. And grow plenty, because they store beautifully for months at room temperature. Winter squashes come in an amazing array of shapes and colors. All need rich, fertile soil and adequate heat and water to produce their best. In cool-summer areas lay black plastic mulch over the planting beds to warm the soil and sow seeds or set transplants through holes in the plastic. Provide 1 to 2 inches of water per week through the growing season. Give the plants an extra dose of fertilizer once the vines begin to run.
how to grow Winter squash
Harvest winter squash when the skin turns appropriate color for the variety and the rind feels hard when pressed with your thumbnail. Cut stems 2 inches above the fruit to remove them from the vine without bruising them. Place harvested fruits in a humid room at 80° to 85°F for two weeks to cure. Then store them in the dark at 50° to 55 degrees Fahrenheit for two to six months.
more varieties for Winter squash
'Banana Pink Jumbo' squash
bears cylindrical pinkish-orange fruits that weigh up to 50 pounds each. The yellow-orange flesh is sweet and dry.
'Blue Ballet' hubbard squash
bears blue-green fruits with sweet orange flesh. Each weighs 4 to 6 pounds.
'Burgess Buttercup' squash
has dark green blocky fruits with gray stripes and a gray button on the bottom. The deep orange flesh is nearly fiberless.
'Cornell's Bush Delicata' squash
offers oblong fruits that are ivory with dark green stripes. Each weighs 1 to 2 pounds. The plant has a semi-bush growth habit and is powdery-mildew resistant.
'Green Striped Cushaw' squash
offers bulb-shaped fruits that grow 10 to 12 pounds and have fibrous yellow flesh. This heirloom variety is good for the Southeast. Plants are resistant to squash vine borer.
'Red Kuri' hubbard squash
produces scarlet-orange, teardrop-shape fruits that weigh 4 to 7 pounds each. The smooth red flesh is good for pies.
flesh separates into spaghetti-like strings after baking. Use it as a pasta substitute. The 4-pound ivory-skinned fruits mature to yellow.
'Sweet Dumpling' squash
bears teacup-shape fruits that are ivory with dark green stripes. The 4-inch-diameter fruits have sweet orange flesh and are good for stuffing.
'Table Queen' acorn squash
is an heirloom acorn type squash with dark green ribbed fruits and golden flesh. Each fruit weighs 2 to 3 pounds.
'Turk's Turban' squash
is a highly ornamental buttercup-type squash with orange, green, and ivory stripes. The turban-shape fruits weigh 3 to 5 pounds.
'Waltham' butternut squash
bears tan fruits that are cylindrical with a bulbous base. Fruits have a thin skin and meaty orange flesh. Plants are resistant to squash vine borer.