Also called the ‘Sweet Potato Squash”, the Delicata squash is a smaller cylindrical winter squash. The oblong shaped squash are 12-31 cm (5-12”) long and weigh between 0.5-1kg (1-2lbs) each. The cream-colored skin has green striations, and as the squash matures, the skin becomes a deeper yellow with orange - green striations. It has dense orange flesh and tastes like sweet potato. A good winter keeper.
Squash is a warm-season vegetable that requires full sun and well-drained soil. Plant squash seeds after the last frost date in your area, when the soil temperature is at least 18°C (65°F). Sow squash seeds 2.5-5cm (1-2”) deep, and space them 90-120cm (36-48”) apart in rows spaced 180-240cm (72-96”) apart. Keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged, to promote germination, which usually takes 7-14 days. Thin seedlings to 30-60cm (12-24”) apart when they are 7-10cm (3-4”) tall. Squash prefers soil that is rich in organic matter, with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5. Fertilize the soil with compost or aged manure before planting, and side-dress the plants with a balanced fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season. Squash plants produce both male and female flowers, and they rely on bees and other pollinators to transfer pollen between flowers for fruit production. To attract pollinators, plant squash near other flowering plants and avoid using pesticides that may harm beneficial insects.
Harvest squash when they are mature, usually 50-70 days after planting, depending on the variety. Squash can be harvested when they are small and tender, or when they are fully mature and have a hard rind. Cut the squash from the vine using a sharp knife or pruning shears, leaving a short stem attached to the fruit. Soil Conditions: Well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. Soil pH: 6.0-7.5. Planting Depth: Sow seeds 2.5-5cm (1-2”) deep. Germination: 7-14 days. Height at Maturity: Varies by variety, but can range from 30-60cm (12-24”) tall for bush varieties, to 1-2m (3-6ft) for vine varieties. Days to Maturity: 50-70 days. Watering: Keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged. Sun/Shade: Full sun. Spacing after Thinning: Thin seedlings to 30-60cm (12-24”) apart.