Single Packet of 45 Seeds
Grow a garden filled with Delicata Squash plants, from freshly harvested Cucurbita pepo seeds. Delicata is an heirloom variety of Winter Squash, which produces 7 to 9 inch long fruits. The outer skin is a creamy yellow to ivory color, accented with dark green stripes within it's ribs. These fruits closely resemble the Sweet Dumpling Squash, yet they are just longer. The inner flesh is golden yellow / orange and sweet, making it perfect for baking. The plants themselves will reach a mature height of roughly 12 to 24 inches tall and can vine outwards to a length of 6 feet long. You can harvest your Delicata Winter Squash in approximately 80 to 100 days.
Squash plants, like pumpkins, are grown as annual plants. Annuals will grow quickly, producing vines, leaves and fruits through the warm months of summer. After harvesting the Squash from it's vines, the plants will wilt soon after, with the first killing frost. Squash plants can be regrown the following season if you manage to save some of the seeds within the Squash itself.
Delicata is one of the many varieties of Squash that we have to offer. Check out our Squash category for a wide variety of other options available. You might also be interested in our Pumpkins and Gourds as well.
What is the difference between Winter and Summer Squash?
First and foremost, Squash in general, both develop and produce fruits in the summer months, up until early Autumn. The main difference is based upon harvesting, consumption, as well as the use for your Summer or Winter Squash. Summer Squash is best enjoyed when harvested early, while it's fruits have a tender skin. While Winter Squash will take up to 50 to 60 percent longer to develop and can be harvest later in the season. Winter Squash fruits, such as Table Queen, Burgess Buttercup, Sweet Meat and Waltham Butternut, will have a thicker outer skin and a sweeter inner flesh, making them perfect for baking and stuffing. Summer Squash, such as Prolific Straightneck, Crookneck, Early white Scallop and Zucchini, are best consumed raw, steamed or cooked.
Sowing The Seed
Squash seeds aren't too fond of being transplanted and are best sown directly in the garden, after all danger of frost has passed. Begin by clearing your sowing area of all unwanted plant life and other obnoxious weeds that you find. Sow the seeds at a depth of 1" under topsoil, in hills which can be raised 8 inches tall. Check "Germination and Growth" for additional information on spacing.
Squash plants will enjoy the heat of summer and thrive in temperatures that are above 65F. Since Squash is a heavy feeder, the soil should be rich in organic matter, but will also need to be well drained. To improve drainage, it is recommended to add a light compost to any hard, compacted soil in the sowing area. This will prevent the roots from rotting. Water the seeds daily with a mild setting so that the seeds and seedlings are kept moist until germination occurs. Avoid overwatering.
Germination & Growth
Squash seeds will begin to sprout open in roughly 7 to 14 days after sowing. The plants will grow to a mature height of 1 to 2 feet tall and can take up 6 feet of garden space. These plants will need a large area to grow outwards and can be spaced by hills or mounds of dirt, rather than rows. As explained above mounds should be 18 to 24 inches wide and at least 8 inches tall. Space each mound at least 6 feet apart from one another. When sprouts become visible, direct the vines outwards towards areas that do not contain other plant life.
Harvesting Delicata Squash
When your vines start to establish Squash, be sure to place straw under the fruits to prevent them from touching the bare ground beneath, as this can prevent rotting. Your Blue Hubbard Squash will be ready for harvesting in roughly 110 days after the skin becomes hard, with a bluish gray tint. Cut the stems at least 2 to 3 inches from the actual fruits, otherwise the fruits will rot.
Winter Squash, such as Blue Hubbard can be stored for weeks on in, if they are kept in a cool location. Handle the fruits with care to avoid denting or bruising, as this can cause the fruits to rot prematurely.