Acorn squash is a winter squash that produces small fruits which have dark green on the outside, often with a single splotch of orange on the side or top. Matured fruit are 5-6 inches long by 4-4.5 inches in diameter with a thin hard shell. Its shape resembles an acorn. You can grow this vine indoors in a container or sow them into the backyard. Acorn squash typically weighs 1 to 2 pounds and are between four and seven inches long. The acorn squash vine makes yellow trumpet flowers that are edible. It is one of the most perishable winter squashes, lasting only a few weeks in storage.
Scientific Name: Cucurbita pepo var. turbinata
Common Names: Acorn squash, Pepper squash or Des Moines squash.
How to grow and maintain Acorn squash:
It prefers 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily.
It grows best in very rich, sandy, well-drained soil. It prefers a soil pH range of 6.0 to 6.8.
It prefers a normal temperature between 70 and 90 F.
Keep soil evenly moist and water deeply during hot weather. Water enough when you do water to get about 6 to 8 inches into your soil. To prevent mildew, water plants near the base, avoid over watering the foliage, as this will minimize the occurrence of opportunistic fungal infestations.
Fertilize them regularly with any organic fertilizer. Fertilize before planting and then again every 3 weeks until you harvest.
It can be propagated by seed. Begin the seeds around three to four weeks prior to having the last spring frost. It takes 7 to 12 days to germinate with a soil temperature of 70 F and adequate moisture.
Acorn squash can take up to 80 to 100 days to fully mature. You can collect the squash at any time, though, once it turns a mostly solid green color and the rind is hard. To harvest, basically utilize a sharp knife to cut the squash from the vines the vines carefully, leaving two inches of stem on the squash. Store in a dry building where the temperature is between 50 and 55°F.
Pests and Diseases:
Look for squash bugs, squash vine borers, and cucumber beetles. Powdery mildew often appears on leaves in late summer. Splash with an approved fungicide to help control most diseases.