Winter Squash - Black Sweet Potato
Cucurbita argyrosperma -- 110 days -- Cushaw type. Has a sweet buttery taste comparable to a butternut. We made a few savory pies out of it and it was super tasty. Has a thin wall of pale orange flesh, about 1" making it a nice, speedy roaster. Large pear shaped fruit with smooth skin that is dark green with orange-ish yellow markings. Fruits measure 12-16.5" long, 8.5-12.5" in diameter at the widest part, and weigh up to 20 lbs. Approx. seeds per packet = 15, packet weight - 4g
|Average Seed / oz||Seed / 100' Row||Average Yield / 100' Row||Days to Harvest|
|200||1 oz||150-200 lbs||112|
|Planting Season||Ideal Soil Temp||Sun||Frost Tolerance|
|After Last Frost||65-85°F||Full Sun||Frost Sensitive|
|Sowing Method||Seed Depth||Direct Seed Spacing||Seeds Per Packet|
|Transplant or Direct Seed||1"||6"||15|
|Mature Spacing||Days to Sprout||Production Cycle||Seed Viability|
Winter squash is a frost sensitive annual that prefers full sun and fertile soil that is consistently moist, but well-drained. Choose an area with plenty of space for the sprawling vines.
Direct-seed outdoors once the danger of frost has passed and soil temperatures have warmed to at least 65˚ F for 2 weeks. Optimal soil temperatures for germination are 65-85˚F. Covering the area with black plastic can warm the soil and speed up the growing process. Plant seeds in hills (which warm quicker, drain better) or rows. Space hills 4-8' apart and plant 4-5 seeds ½-1" deep. Seeds will sprout in 5-10 days. When seedlings are 3-4" tall, thin by snipping to 2-3 plants per hill. In rows, plant seeds 6-8" apart with rows 4-5' apart. Thin seedlings in rows so mature plants are 18-36" apart. Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and reduce weeds.
If in an area with a short growing season, seeds can be started indoors 3-4 weeks before the last frost date. Sow seeds in 2-3" pots. Transplant outdoors as you would direct seeding.
Winter squash is typically ready for harvest in 90-115 days. Harvest winter squash in fall before frost, when the rind is a consistent deep color and very firm. If in doubt, open one before harvesting others. For some varieties, flavor will improve with storage.