Acorn Squash Plant – Growing and Caring tips

Want to grow Acorn Squash Plant? This blog will help you to grow Acorn Squash Plant, Acorn Squash Plant caring tips, and lots of FAQs related to the plant.

Acorn Squash (Cucurbita pepo var. turbinata), also called pepper squash or Des Moines squash is a winter squash with distinctive longitudinal stripes on the outside and sweet orange-orange flesh inside. Although considered a winter squash, squash belongs to the same species (Cucurbita pepo) as all summer squash (including squash). Native to North and Central America, the squash was first introduced to European settlers by Native Americans.

The most common variety is dark green on the outside, usually, with a single orange spot on the side or top, however, newer varieties have emerged, including the golden acorn, named for its bright yellow color; as well as varieties that are white.

Squash can also be variegated. As the name suggests, its shape resembles an acorn. Acorn squash typically weighs one to two kilograms and are four to six inches long. Squash is one of the most perishable in winter, lasting only a few weeks in storage. The stem gives an itchy sensation.

Squash is most frequently roasted, but can also be microwaved, sautéed, or steamed. For savoury recipes, it can be filled with rice, meat, or vegetable mixes.

Acorn Squash plant
Acorn Squash

If a sweeter dish is desired, maple syrup is often used to fill the halves before baking or in a sauce or dressing to enhance the flavour of the squash. Squash seeds can also be eaten, usually after roasting. Squash can be used to prepare squash soup.

This squash is not as rich in beta-carotene as other winter squashes, but it is a good source of dietary fiber and potassium, as well as small amounts of vitamins C and B, magnesium, and manganese.

Check out, How to Take Care of a Vegetable Garden While on Vacation?

Acorn Squash planting

Acorn squash should not be planted until 2 weeks after the last expected frost in your geographic area. They can be planted up to 12 weeks before the first expected frost.

In warmer climates, it is possible to get two squash crops a year. The seeds work best when the soil temperature reaches 65 degrees F. Some people plant squash as a second crop, after early spring plants, such as peas and lettuce, are finished. This can be a good way to maximize your garden space.

If you are planting squashs in a traditional garden, be sure to plow the soil to a depth of at least 8 inches. This will allow the roots of a lot of room to grow. A few days before we want to plant, we do light tillage and then spread 17-17-17 granules of fertilizer over the soil at the rate of 1 pound per 100 square feet.

Since our soil is a bit acidic, we also spread a little lime. Then we water the compost and lime-stone, wait a few days and even again, digging as deep as we can. This causes the fertilizer and limestone to mix with the soil.

After the soil is well plowed, create hills about 30 inches in diameter and 3-4 inches high. If you are planting the most common varieties of shrubs, space the hills 3 feet apart. This will give you plenty of space to plow between plants at the beginning of the season, aerating the soil and getting rid of weeds.

For less common grape varieties, separate the hills at a distance of 1.20 m. If you plan to grow your squash organically, you can go ahead and mix some compost or rotten manure into the soil when you build the mounds. Remember to choose a location that receives 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight a day.

Read: Spaghetti Squash Gardening Tips

How to grow Acorn Squash in Containers

How to grow Acorn Squash in Containers? Two important components to successful container gardening are the size of the pot and the type of soil. Although it may not seem like it, a squash plant will fill a 60cm pot in no time. Don’t overcrowd the squash plants.

grow Acorn Squash in Containers
grow Acorn Squash in Containers

A few things can be done to promote drainage; Drill several holes in the bottom of the container and put some fine gravel covered with a piece of wire mesh in the bottom of the container. This will prevent dirt from clogging the drain holes.

The best soil mix is ​​loose, well-drained, and laden with organic matter. Mix one part of each perlite, sphagnum, potting soil, peat, and compost to get a highly fertile, well-drained soil.

Caring for the Acorn squash in container

  • Place the acorn from the squash container in a place where it will receive at least a full seven hours a day.
  • Provide a trellis or stake for your plant to help support the weight of the fruit.
  • The squash acorn is very happy to grow vertically, and this is good for the plant.
  • Vertical growth allows light and air to circulate and often reduces pest problems.
  • Plant some marigolds and nasturtium with the squash acorn to keep pests at bay.
  • Watch the humidity. Water when the soil is dry, a few inches lower.
  • Provide an organic fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season.

How many Acorn Squash per plant

You can easily get up to 5 fruits per plant. Squash acorns have thick outer skins and the fruit typically weighs 1 to 3 pounds. The fruit is about the size of a coconut and can be up to 20 centimetres long and 12 centimetres in diameter.

The squash should be harvested when the fruit reaches a deep dark green color and the skin is hard enough not to be crushed with the fingernail.

Pick all the fruits before the first frost, if possible. If there is a threat of frost before all the fruits are ripe, cover the plant with tissue or plastic. Once harvested, store the squash in a cool place until ready to eat.

How long does it take to grow Acorn Squash

How long does it take to grow Acorn Squash? Squash seed takes 6 to 12 days to sprout and 80 to 100 days to harvest. Provide your squash plant with constant moisture to make sure it grows properly. Once your plants start to grow, their broad leaves will shade many weeds, making maintenance easier.

Until they do, keep the squash patch well removed and water when the soil begins to dry out.

Protect your squash when it starts to grow. If your plants are growing in the ground, you can place a coffee can lid or something similar under each growing squash to protect it from the moist soil underneath.

Squash on a trellis does not need this, but you will definitely need to tie the squash to the supports as they grow. The plant will not be able to support the fruits when it grows upwards.

When the cold weather rolls in, you’ll want to make the most of the last few zucchini. If your vines are still producing flowers, remove them as soon as you find them.

This will make your plants use their resources to finish growing their existing squash fruits, rather than starting over, as they will never ripen in time.

Do Acorn squash plants climb
How long does it take to grow Acorn Squash

When can I transplant Acorn Squash

When can I transplant Acorn Squash? You can transplant acorn squash seedlings in 2 weeks after the last frost of the season. The soil should be warm, so if you had cold weather, you can even postpone planting for another week, if necessary.

Squash needs a lot of space, so you will have to sacrifice much of your garden for your squash at least 3 feet in all directions around each plant hill. You can still grow 2 or 3 plants per hill because the vines will only intertwine, allowing the plants to “share” space.

For the seeds to propagate on their own, plant them at the same time as transplanting (2 weeks after the frost date). Space them out the same way you would seedlings, but you can plant a few more seeds on each hill than needed and decrease the thickness after they begin to sprout.

To save space, you can grow acorn squashes upright on a trellis or fence. If you want to grow them like this, don’t plant your seeds or seedlings in the hills. Go with a line and 2 to 2 1/2 feet between each plant. Your trellis system will need to be sturdy to support the growing squash, as it will get very heavy late in the season.

Do Acorn squash plants climb

Do Acorn squash plants climb? Yes. Acorn squash plants can easily be trained to climb a fence or trellis to save space. The heirloom of acorn squash can be a creeping plant or a vine, and various hybrids are grown as types of shrubs. Acorn squash does not require any additional support for climbing.

How far apart do you plant Acorn squash

How far apart do you plant Acorn squash? Shrub habits for short vines generally require 6 ‘of row spacing, while long vine habits require 12’ of row spacing.

The spacing between lines depends on the size of the fruit and is generally: small, 18-24″; medium, 24-36″; Large, 36-48″. Sow 2 seeds 2 to 3 inches deep, spaced adequately for the length of the variety.

Thin to 1 plant per spacing interval after seedlings are established.

If you want to grow an organic squash acorn, you can go ahead and mix some very rotten compost or manure into the ground when building the hills, remember to choose a spot that gets 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight a day.

How many Acorn Squash will one plant produce

How many Acorn Squash will one plant produce? The squash plant has a high yield, with some varieties, such as “Honey Bear”, producing up to five fruits per plant. By comparison, squash produces an average of three to four fruits per plant, while most varieties of squash produce only one or two fruits per plant. 

Acorn squash typically weigh one to two kilograms and are four to six inches long. After removing the shell and seeds, our entire half-pound acorn squash now weighed just over half a pound. Squash is one of the most perishable in winter, lasting only a few weeks in storage.

Can Acorn squash grow on a trellis

Acorn squash trellis can be as simple as crossing a few boards and threading a string to support growing vines. Squash trellises can also be purchased at home and at garden centres, but the cheapest way is to gather some tools and old wood and make it yourself.

You will need two vertical supports, such as sturdy wooden or metal posts, as a frame. Hammer the pieces at an angle to each other in a tent fashion.

The bottom of the posts should penetrate deep enough into the soil to help support a heavy plant laden with large fruits. Space the posts 5 or 6 feet (1.5 to 2 m) apart.

You can also support these posts with a cross angle at the base and in the middle to screw or nail each piece. Trellising squash requires a sturdy base, as the fruit weighs heavily on the posts. For larger squash, use a three post system for better stability.

As the squash grows, select three to five healthy vines to grow and prune out the peripheral growth. Build a wire frame with a minimum 5-inch gap separated at the poles. Tie the vines as they grow along the threads to help support the plant. As the fruits hatch, use fruit slings to pack them and prevent the weight from pulling the developing squash off the vine.

The cheapest slings are made from old stockings, which expand as the fruit grows. Growing squash on trellises is easy, as long as you keep the vines tied up and the fruit sustained as they grow. Other growing concerns are the same as for any squash planted in a heap.

Try vertical gardening and expand your planting area to get more varieties of vegetables in your little garden.

Can I grow Squash in a 5 gallon bucket

Growing squash in a 5 gallon bucket is easy to do and a valuable gardening hobby. It’s a great way to grow squash in a container and also to keep containers out of our landfills. The 5-gallon buckets are more ideal for Acorn squash plants but still produce a good crop, even for larger plants to provide proper care.

Perhaps the biggest benefit and the number one reason someone tries to grow squash in a 5-gallon bucket is space efficiency. Just make sure the place has the right conditions for growing squash as well.

The 5 gallon buckets are very easy to move. For example, you discover that the current point does not allow the necessary amount of sunlight to reach the boat. The mobility of a cube allows you to easily choose a suitable location from an aesthetic point of view.

How to grow Acorn squash in 5 gallon buckets

  • Buy or buy a 5-gallon bucket.
  • Drill holes in the bottom for drainage.
  • Paint the bucket (if desired) for a nicer look.
  • Put some gravel in the bottom of the bucket.
  • Fill the remainder of the bucket with a uniform mixture of peat, planting soil, and compost.
  • Place your squash plant.

Does Acorn squash need full sun

The weeds Acorn need full sun to produce. Make sure to plant your seeds or start in an area with at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. More is better, but if the weather gets too hot for too long, your acorn squash plants can wilt from stress.

If this happens, it is a sign that your plant is trying to conserve its resources. Most will perk up again when the heat subsides at night, but if it doesn’t, consider adding a shade cloth or other temporary heat protection. The size of squash plants makes them heavy.

Make sure your soil is rich and that you feed it regularly with a good all-purpose fertilizer. Pulp, like slightly acidic soil, between 6.0 and 6.8 pH is best, and 70-90 days before the first fall frost and you have everything you need to grow squash.

How big do Acorn squash plants get

An acorn squash weighs between 1 to 3 pounds, and each vine will give you 4 or 5 of them. Unlike other squash (like zucchini), you shouldn’t try to harvest zucchini while they are small and young. They need to mature so that the meat inside is edible.

It also means that you won’t be harvesting the entire season, but rather a large handful of ripe squash at the same time. It’s a good idea to plan ahead so you don’t waste them. So leave your squash on the vine until it’s ripe, even if that means it isn’t harvested before the first frost. But, after the first frost, you will have to go out to harvest.

For immediate use, acorn squash can be stored well in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks. All winter squash are suitable for longer storage due to their thick film. To keep squash for a few months, let it dry well in the sun before storing and store in a dark, cool, dry place.

Growing Squash in containers vertically

The squash upright in a container not only looks amazing but also saves a lot of space. Any type of climbing squash can be grown vertically. But it’s important to note that the larger varieties of climbing squash (such as huge squashes and gourds) are very long and heavy.

Growing Squash in containers vertically
Growing Squash in containers vertically

In fact, some of these giant vines grow so large that farmers have found squashes growing in the treetops. So make sure you know the height of the plants before you start planning your vertical squash garden.

  • Growing squash vertically in a container saves space. Plants can easily be trained to stay in the tomato cage as they grow. The cage provides support and keeps the plant upright, preventing it from falling out of bed onto walking trails.
  • Growing the squash in an upright position encourages air movement. Good air circulation around the plant helps keep foliage dry and prevents mold and other fungal diseases.
  • Vertical growth keeps the squash out of the ground. The fruit is less likely to rot due to excess moisture since the squash does not touch the ground.
  • It is easier to see the squash to harvest. Growing upright allows the squash to be more visible, reducing the possibility of overgrowth. Enough of the giant squash!
  • More light reaches the plant when it grows vertically. Squash grows in the sun. As the foliage spreads further when it grows upright, there is less shade, allowing the plant to absorb more sunlight. Also, most pollinators prefer to feed in the sun.

How small can a container be to grow Squash

The container must be at least 25 inches in diameter at the top and the depth must be 24 inches. Choosing the right container is very important for growing squash in containers. Squash plants grow to a diameter of 34 to 50 inches, depending on the variety.

Clay containers, polypropylene container, plastic container, wooden boxes, recycled bins, etc. they are used to grow squash.  The container should have at least 2 to 3 drainage holes.

The squash plant needs a good drainage system. Clean the jars with mild soap and dry them well. Cover the bottom of the pots with a layer of small pebbles or gravel to prevent water and soil from dripping from the container.

How often does Squash need to be watered

How often does Squash need to be watered? Squash needs one inch of water a week. To put this in perspective, you will need to water the mature squash plants once a week so that the soil is moist 20 to 30 centimetres below the surface. If your soil is very sandy or the weather is very hot, you will need to water more often.

Proper watering helps plants produce good healthy leaves and fruit while avoiding environmental stress that leads to plant spoilage or death.

Squash thrives with deep watering, where moisture penetrates about 1.2 m into the soil. The assembly of the rows creates a groove 4 to 6 inches deep between each row, which helps with watering. Fill the slot with 2.5 to 5 cm of water.

Water penetrates the soil slowly over a period of two to three hours, ensuring that moisture penetrates deeply. Deep watering encourages the squash to form a deep, healthy root system.

The frequency of irrigation depends on temperatures, recent rainfall, and the quality of soil drainage. Squash generally grows well if watered deeply once a week.

During rainy weather, you can extend the period from 10 to 14 days. If it’s warm and dry, you may need to water your squash twice a week.

Feel the soil and use it as a guide in deciding how often to water. Generally, if the soil begins to dry out at a depth of 10-15 cm, your squash needs to be watered. Water more often if the leaves are wilting or falling.

Acorn Squash plant dying

Let us see why Acorn Squash plant dying?

Acorn Squash plant dying

The squash plant is usually killed by pests, diseases, or environmental conditions. The vine borer is a common pest in the garden and can cause serious damage. They will pierce the main stems at the base of your squash plants, suck out the juices, and eat the plants.

Once inside the stems, they will continue to eat your plants from the inside out. This damage is often not noticed until significant and irreversible damage has already been done. Squash growth will suddenly slow down and the plant will wither, wilt, and die.

Some diseases that affect acorn squash plants are wilt disease, powdery mildew, powdery mildew, and scab. They are usually identified by a powder-like substance on the leaves or stems. There may also be visible black spots or spots on the leaves themselves.

Most squash diseases can be prevented by choosing disease-resistant varieties. They can also be controlled with soap or fungicide sprays that are generally available at most garden centres.

Sometimes squash plant problems can be attributed to the environment. If the soil pH is low, plants may have trouble absorbing nutrients.

Extremely hot or cold weather can affect plants to the point that they show signs of stress yellow leaves, wilting, and ultimately leading to plant death. This can be especially true if there are large fluctuations in temperature during the night.

Also, many new gardeners make the mistake of watering too much. If you think your plants need water, take a minute to dig about 4 inches into the ground. If soil is soggy, let it dry for a few days and check again. If it is completely dry, it is necessary to water.

Should I remove dead leaves from Squash plant

Should I remove dead leaves from Squash plant? Squashes do not normally require pruning, except for picking flowers or removing dead or diseased flowers and leaves. But you may want to trim them for space reasons, because they spread out. Generally does not harm the plant.

You can remove any dead or brown leaves that may be present. Do not cut off any stems, as this opens the vascular system of the plant to bacteria and viruses. The open wound where you cut the squash leaf is like an open door to destructive viruses and bacteria.

The injury will only open up more possibilities for these organisms to invade the plant, as this will increase the risk of disease.

Squash is very susceptible to sunburn. Sunscald is like a sun burn to a plant. The large umbrella-shaped leaves on the squash plant help shade the fruit and protect it from sun damage.

In addition, the large leaves of the squash help prevent weed growth around the plant. Since the leaves act like huge solar panels on the plant, the sun’s rays don’t go past the leaves and the weeds don’t get enough sun to grow around the plant.

This is why some experts do not recommend removing dead leaves.

Should I remove yellow leaves from my Squash plants

Should I remove yellow leaves from my Squash plants? It depends. If you have some yellow leaves that look unsightly and irritating, you can cut them off. But this is not necessary. If you have a lot of yellow leaves, it’s best to find the problem and correct it, such as overwatering, lack of sunlight, iron deficiency, bacterial wilt, or less water.

Is Epsom Salt Good For Squash Plants

Is Epsom Salt Good For Squash Plants? Epsom salt is basically a compound of two minerals (magnesium and sulfate), these two minerals are essential nutrients that regulate enzymes and these minerals found naturally in most living things.

Magnesium sulfate is actually a key ingredient for vegetation and occurs naturally in soils, although it can eventually be depleted and leached over time. Using Epsom salts in a variety of ways can help give your plants and flowers a very economical boost all year long, whether they are grown indoors or outdoors.

Essentially, they are a building block for new growth and support the overall health of the plant; They can be used in a variety of ways to increase seed germination, flower production, new growth, and can aid in the creation of chlorophyll, which is necessary for photosynthesis in all green plants.

Squash likes both magnesium and sulfur, which helps prevent blooming. The roots go deep, the foliage darkens and the fruit becomes sweeter when they both plant the squash in the spring with a soil mix and then follow up every two weeks with a watering solution.

You can also apply a foliar spray, but be sure to do it when you know it can dry to avoid wetting the foliage too much or too often.

Magnesium can also be absorbed by the leaves of a plant and can be used as a foliar spray throughout the life of the plant as a general maintenance measure. Although Epsom salts feed all vegetation, it has been hailed as a good herbicide when mixed with other ingredients.

One gallon of white vinegar, two cups of Epsom salt, and one cup of Dawn blue dish soap, when mixed and sprayed on a plant, will cause the plant’s vegetation to wilt quite effectively. For a longer-lasting effect, if you heat the solution in advance to a boiling point and then pour it over the weeds, this should also ensure that the roots are burned after redemption.

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I hope this blog gives you an idea on how to plant grow and care Acorn Squash Plant in your garden. Also explains FAQs on Acorn Squash Plant.

  • Acorn Squash planting
  • How to grow Acorn Squash in Containers
  • Caring for the Acorn squash in a container
  • How many Acorn Squash per plant
  • How long does it take to grow Acorn Squash?
  • When can I transplant Acorn Squash?
  • Do Acorn squash plants climb
  • How far apart do you plant Acorn squash?
  • How many Acorn Squash will one plant produce
  • Can Acorn squash grow on a trellis?
  • Can I grow Squash in a 5 gallon bucket?
  • How to grow Acorn squash in 5-gallon buckets
  • Does Acorn squash need full sun?
  • How big do Acorn squash plants get
  • Growing Squash in containers vertically
  • How small can a container be to grow Squash?
  • How often does Squash need to be watered?
  • Acorn Squash plant dying
  • Should I remove dead leaves from Squash plant?
  • Should I remove yellow leaves from my Squash plants?
  • Is Epsom Salt Good For Squash Plants