Growing a Bumper Crop of Spaghetti Squash

What is Spaghetti Squash?

Spaghetti squash is a winter squash variety that is known as a personal-sized squash because they are about half the size of a normal-sized squash. The Small Wonder Spaghetti Squash is a very productive hybrid variety that produces higher yields than any other spaghetti squash varieties. This spaghetti squash variety has a vining growth habit that produces 10-15 bright yellow fruits per plant. The best way to cook with this variety is to use it as an alternative to pasta and prepare it by cutting in half, bake or microwave, and tease with a fork to reveal the delicious strands. Then, you can simply enjoy the taste of this wonderful spaghetti squash.

Planting Spaghetti Squash

On this week’s episode, Travis is preparing a bumper crop of spaghetti squash in the vegetable garden. When planting spaghetti squash we recommend direct seeding every 12 inches along the garden row. Once plants emerge, thin plants to one every 2 feet. Since winter squash can be susceptible to plant diseases like downy mildew and powdery mildew if leaves receive excess moisture. We suggest using drip irrigation on winter squash to reduce plant moisture and feed plants more effectively throughout the growing season. Also, during periods of heavy rainfall, using a fungicide like Liquid Copper will help alleviate disease pressure as well. Since spaghetti squash is classified as a winter squash it is a crop that will produce a one-time harvest at the end of the growing season. You will know when to harvest squash because the plants will die back and the fruits have obtained their full color in the garden. Also, when stems become hard this an indication of fruit maturity and fruits can be harvested using pruning shears. Once all of the winter squash is harvested it can be stored in a cool, dry place for several months, depending on variety and sugar content. Usually, we can store winter squash for up to 6 months in proper storage conditions. It is also very important to remove the plants from the garden to prevent any fungal spores from overwintering and becoming a problem in future growing seasons. By implementing a proper crop rotation in the garden this will also help eliminate pest and disease pressures in the vegetable garden.

Popular Winter Squash Varieties

The Hai Kabocha is one of the tastiest winter squashes to grow and produces dark green fruits with gray speckling and a bright yellow flesh interior squash. The hybrid, Hoss Butternut Squash is a productive variety that produces large uniform fruits in the garden. This is another variety that has excellent flavor and texture. Another variety is the Delicata Winter Squash that contains a higher sugar content and sweeter flavor than other squash varieties. This variety produces fruits with a creamy-white color with green specks and stripes. Two new winter squash varieties we have available is Sweet Dumpling and Table Ace Acorn. The open-pollinated, Sweet Dumpling Squash variety is a delicata-squash type that has a sweet flavor profile and produces personal-sized fruits. With a look similar to pumpkins, the sweet dumpling has an ivory coloration with dark green stripes and light yellow flesh interior. The Table Ace Acorn Squash is known as the best tasting acorn squash on the market. This is a hybrid variety that produces maximum fruits in a little amount of space allowing you to save space in the smallest gardens.

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