Acorn squash, along with many other winter squash varieties, are long-season plants. Squash seeds are planted in the spring and take at least three months to mature. Winter squash is not named for growing in winter, but for the way the fruits can be stored through the season, usually without needing any preservation. Ripe acorn squash can be baked as a side dish, cooked into soup or prepared in pies that are similar to pumpkin pie.
Dig your squash plot after the chance of any frost has passed in the spring and when the soil has warmed and drained. If you are not familiar with the frost dates in your area, check with Farmers' Almanac or your local extension service. Acorn squash seeds won't germinate if the soil is cold, so plant after your dirt has warmed up. Check your soil readiness by squeezing a handful from the garden. If you can fleck apart the dirt like chocolate cake, it's ready to plant.
Plant your acorn squash in hills. Dig soil down 12 inches and mix in a 4-inch layer of compost. Mound up the soil about 6 inches to make planting hills. Separate hills by 6 feet if you are planting more than one hill.
Plant six seeds in a circle at the top of each mound. Cover the seeds with 1 inch of soil, and pat the soil down to make firm contact with the seeds. Water the seeds until the soil is saturated.
Hang a rain gauge near the acorn squash patch or place a can in the area. Check each week to make sure that your garden gets at least 1 inch of rain. Water your garden to make up for the difference in dry weeks.
Pick weeds from around your acorn squash every week to keep them from taking important nutrients from the soil. Weeds will be less of a problem once vines are established, as the large leaves will shade out many growing weed seedlings.
Thin each hill to the best two or three seedlings once they have at least two sets of true leaves. This will allow the stronger plants to get more of the nutrients that they need and will produce a larger crop.
Things You Will Need
- Acorn squash seeds
- Rain gauge or can