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A picture of a Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash

Cucurbita pepo var. turbinata

Also known as

Pepper Squash, Des Moines Squash, Baked Potatoes Squash

Cucurbita pepo Acorn squash - Squash V by Christopher Sessums (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Half-hardy

10a

USDA zone

-1°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

50cm

Max

4m

30cm

Min

1m

Fruiting

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

Most squash cultivars will be ready to harvest about 8 -12 weeks after sowing. Remove the squashes with a 20 - 40 mm stem using a sharp pair of secateurs. Young 'baby' squash can be eaten with skin and pips!

More images of Acorn Squash

A pile of green Cucurbita pepo var. turbinata Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash Overview

Acorn Squash, Cucurbita pepo var. turbinata is a variety of Winter Squash from the family. Also known by the names Pepper Squash or Des Moines Squash. Acorn Squashes are small and rounded, with a ridged surface, coloured dark green, with yellow-orange flesh inside.

Common problems with Acorn Squash

Be on the lookout for pests like Red Spider Mite, Thrips, Whiteflies, Slugs and Snails.

Acorn Squash Companion Plants

Some vegetables inter-planted with your Summer Squash can repel these pests. Radishes, repel Squash Vine Borers and Cucumber Beetles, while Garlic repels Aphids. Planting your squash at the base of maize plants can "disorients" the squash vine borer. Radishes attract flea beetles to their foliage and away from your summer squash. Summer Squash benefit from being planted with any type of bean or pea, as these fix nitrogen into the soil, which is taken up by the squash roots. Squash is often planted with beans and maize as part of a traditional "three sisters" garden. Maize provides a support for climbing beans, squash, with its prickly leaves, keeps mammal predators away from developing maize, and beans provide nitrogen to both plants. Maize also has the benefit of producing a lot of pollen, which attracts more bees to pollinate your squash blossoms. Borage, an annual herb, attracts bees for pollination, and its leaves can be mulched around the squash plant to help put calcium back into the soil to prevent the calcium deficiency that causes blossom-end rot. Sink a pot of mint near your squash plants to draw away aphids. Seed orange and yellow Nasturtiums around Squash and throughout your garden as they draw away aphids, cucumber beetles and whiteflies, among many other pests. As a bonus, the blossoms are edible, with a sharp radish-like taste. Dill is also a good companion to squash as the herb is said to repel squash bugs as well as aphids and whiteflies.

How to propagate Acorn Squash

Seed

Sow seeds in situ in spring after the last frost date. Plant about 2 cm deep and 60 - 90 cm apart, angle the pips to allow water to drain. It takes 7 to10 days to germinate.

Special features of Acorn Squash

Crop rotation

Summer squash are heavy feeders, follow with legumes.

Attracts useful insects

Bees are needed to pollinate the flowers.

Attractive fruits

Other uses of Acorn Squash

Culinary

Edible

The fruit, flowers and seeds are edible. The fruit when harvested mature needs to be boiled or steamed. When harvested with a soft skin they can be eaten raw or used in cooking and baking.