The Vegetable Garden

Squash, Winter

    Winter squash is a warm-season vegetable that can be grown in most of the country. It differs from summer squash in that it is harvested and eaten in the mature fruit stage, when the seeds within have matured fully and the skin has hardened into a tough rind. When ripened to this stage, fruits of most varieties can be stored for use throughout the winter.


    The following varieties of squash are adapted to a wide variety of conditions. They are vining types unless otherwise indicated. Vining squash plants require considerable growing space and are best suited for large gardens. The

    bush and semi-vining types can be grown in smaller gardens. Occasionally, some of these varieties may be listed as pumpkins by certain seed companies. The distinction between squash and pumpkins is mainly in what you choose to call them. Here, open-pollinated varieties are identified as OP.

    Acorn (C. Pepo)—80 to 100 days to harvest.

    • Cream of the Crop (hybrid - All America Selection winner; uniform white acorn type; creamy smooth, tasty flesh)
    • Ebony (early; glossy dark green; flaky flesh texture)
    • Swan White (OP-creamy white skin; pale yellow flesh; smooth, delicate, sweet flesh)
    • Table Ace (hybrid-semi-bush; uniform, near black fruit; excellent, low-fiber flesh)
    • Table Gold (OP-compact bush habit, attractive bright golden yellow, may also be harvested as summer squash when light yellow)
    • Table King (OP-compact bush; dark green, color holds well)
    • Table Queen (OP-standard dark green acorn type)
    • Tay-Belle (OP-semi-bush, dark green)

    Delicata (C. Pepo)

    • Delicata (also known as sweet potato squash; long cylindrical shape; cream color with dark green stripes)
    • Honey Boat (shaped like Delicata, tan background with dark green stripes, very sweet flesh)
    • Sugar Loaf (tan background, dark green stripes, elongated oval, very sweet)
    • Sweet Dumpling (flattened round, fluted; light cream to white background, with dark green stripes)