Winter squash is organized by species and common groupings.
1660-1679 Miscellaneous maxima
Cucurbita moschata:<br>1680-1689 ButternutsAll open-pollinated except where noted.
1690-1699 Miscellaneous moschata
Plant 4–5 seeds per hill. Allow 4–6 feet between hills. Tender, not frost hardy. Heavy nitrogen feeders. Excessive heat and/or drought can prevent blossom set, reduce yields. Winter squash can take one or two light frosts on the vine. To improve flavor and storage, field cure for at least 10 days after harvest, covering if hard frost threatens. Store under proper conditions, 50° and 60–70% relative humidity. Storing at temperatures under 50° reduces shelf life. Be sure to use damaged, stemless or small fruit first. Acorns have the shortest storage time before getting stringy, followed by delicatas, buttercup/kabochas. Days to maturity are from direct seeding.
Have hard 5-sided ribbed stems, and fruits are usually ribbed. One of the oldest domesticated species. Pepo derives from the Greek pepon, meaning “ripened by the sun.” They also include summer squashes and small gourds, as well as miniature pumpkins 1702-1705, pie pumpkins 1711, 1718-1723, intermediate pumpkins 1708 and 1729, jack-o’-lanterns 1710, 1748-1752.
Approximate seed count: 190 seeds/oz. 1/8 oz packet sows 5 hills.
Saving Squash Seed
The genus Cucurbita has six different species, of which three are in our catalog. (We do not offer C. argyrosperma, C. ficifolia or C. foetidissima and they are seldom grown in our climate.)
Different varieties within the same species will cross readily, but crossing does not occur between the different species. Seeds from a crop that has been exposed to other cucurbits of the same species won’t grow true to type. If you are saving seed, you need to isolate your crop from other cucurbits of the same species by at least 1500', or protect it from insects that would bring unwanted pollen, and hand-pollinate it yourself.
Disease: Powdery Mildew
Controls: Use small plots to slow spread, plant indeterminate (viney) varieties, control weed competition.
Materials: sulfur (8865-8) and whole milk, mineral or other oils in combination with potassium bicarbonate, Actinovate (8851).
Disease: Bacterial Wilt
Cultural control: Striped Cucumber Beetle is vector—control it; choose resistant varieties.
Pest: Striped Cucumber Beetle
Cultural controls: use tolerant or resistant varieties, rotate crops, till under crop debris soon after harvest, use floating row covers (9101) or insect netting (9080-2) until flowers appear, perimeter trap cropping (1411 Black Zucchini and 1655 Blue Hubbard make particularly good trap crops), use yellow sticky strip (8830), hand-pick early morning when beetles are very sluggish.
Materials: Surround (8870), Pyrethrum (PyGanic 8925), Bugitol (8890).
Pest: Squash Bug
Cultural controls: rotation, till in cucurbit debris before winter and plant a cover crop, boards on soil surface near squash will attract bugs overnight which can be killed, destroy egg clusters on undersides of leaves, avoid mulching.
Materials: Pyrethrum on young nymphs, Neem.
Pest: Squash Vine Borer
Cultural controls: butternut squash is resistant, maximas & pepos susceptible; rotation, plow in squash vine debris soon after harvest, use floating row covers (9101), watch for wilting plant parts and destroy borer within.