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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.
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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.