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Winter Squash at a Glance

The wide, wonderful world of winter squash includes hundreds of heirloom varieties. If you’re not sure where to start, try the varieties in the right column below, which were rated best by our Gardening Advisory Group. Days to maturity are for fully ripe squash.

 

Species

 

Description

 

Varieties

 
Cucurbita moschata
(butternut squash, cheese pumpkins)
These squash are highly resistant to squash vine borers and aren’t preferred by squash bugs. Fruits have dense flesh with excellent flavor and will store for six months or longer. ‘Burpee’s Butterbush’ (75 days)
‘Long Island Cheese’ (105 days)
‘Waltham Butternut’ (105 days)
C. maxima
(buttercup, hubbard and kabocha squash)
Large, vigorous plants need room to run. These squash attract squash vine borers. Plants tend to develop supplemental roots where stems touch the ground. Quality of taste varies with variety and is usually best with buttercups. Fruits will store for four to six months. ‘Baby Blue Hubbard’ (105 days)
‘Burgess Buttercup’ (95 days)
‘Sweet Meat’ (95 days)
C. pepo
(acorn, delicata, dumpling and spaghetti squash)
Plants mature quickly but still need protection from insects. Delicata squash are prized for their excellent flavor. Fruits will store for three to six months. ‘Delicata’ (100 days)
‘Spaghetti’ (88 days)
‘Table Queen’ (100 days)
C. mixta
(cushaw squash)
These huge fruits (up to 40 pounds) usually have hard rinds. Cooked flesh is firm and sweet. If grown in warm climates, plants’ sheer vigor can offset pest problems. Fruits will store for four months or longer. ‘Green Striped Cushaw’ (115 days)
‘Orange Cushaw’ (115 days)
‘White Cushaw’ (115 days)


For more information on growing winter squash, including harvesting, cooking and storage advice, see Growing Winter Squash.





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