WINTER STORAGE SQUASH - for fresh market & processing
Seed size varies according to type, see below.
CULTURE: Sow all types of winter squash, outdoors June 1st. when the soil temp. has reached 60-65°F/16-18°C temps. during the day. Earlier sowings in cooler ground, should be treated to prevent seed rot. Seed size varies: Large seeded types like hubbards require 3-4 lbs/1.5-2 kg per acre. Small seeded varieties like butternut require 1.5-2 lbs/0.8 kg per acre.
SPACING: Large vine types, should be planted in rows 9 - 10 ft/2.7 - 3 m apart. Small and bush types require rows 6 - 8 ft./2 - 2.4 m apart. Space plants 4 ft/122 cm apart in the rows for both types. Sow @ 4 - 5 seeds per ft./31 cm or in hills or groups of seed @ 6 seeds per hill, 4 ft/122 cm apart. Sow seed 1/2 in./ 13 mm deep, cover and firm.
CULTIVATE: Keep plants well cultivated, fairly shallow as long as possible without injuring the vines.
FERTILIZE: Disc into the top soil @ 600 lbs/272 kg of 6-24-24 per acre before seeding in early May.
HARVEST: Winter squash should be allowed to ripen thoroughly in the field. Winter squash must be picked before your first frost and cured for 10 days or 2 weeks before storing. Curing hardens the outer skin, reduces high water content and improves eating quality.
CURING: Pile fruit in the field for 2 weeks during dry weather, before frosts - or keep fruit inside at room temp. of 80°F/27°C and 80% relative humidity for 4 weeks.
STORAGE: Squash require a warm dry condition for storage. Handle fruit carefully to prevent bruising, leave a small space between fruit in single layers. Maintain a temp. of 60°F/16°C degrees and relative humidity of 70%
FREEZING: Cut into chunks, peel, cook until soft in a little water. Mash, cool, pack and quick freeze.