Delicata Winter Squash is one of the sweetest winter squashes you can grow. Delicata has a vining growth habit that provides excellent ground cover for weed suppression during the lifetime of the plant. Plants produce fruits that have a creamy-white color with green stripes and specks. Cylindrical fruits will mature to 1-3 lbs and are usually 3″ in diameter and 6″ long. Delicata Winter Squash is known for its high sugar content, and the taste is often compared to sweet potatoes. Delicata Winter Squash was an All American Selections winner and has exhibited tolerance to powdery mildew.
Winter squash may be direct seeded or transplanted, although we highly recommend direct seeding. To ensure a good stand, we recommend planting seeds every 12″ along the intended row. Once plants emerge, thin plants to one every 2 feet. Winter squash can be susceptible to plant diseases like downy mildew and powdery mildew if leaves receive excess moisture. As a result, we recommend using drip irrigation on winter squash to reduce plant moisture and feed plants more effectively. During periods of heavy rainfall, using a fungicide like Liquid Copper can help to alleviate disease pressure as well.
Winter Squash are a crop that will produce a one-time harvest at the end of the growing season. Winter Squash should be harvested when plants die back and the fruits obtain their full color. Stem hardness is also an indication of fruit maturity. Once stems harden, fruits are ready for harvest using a set of pruning shears. Winter Squash can be stored in a cool, dry place for several months, depending on variety and sugar content. Once fruits are harvested, remove the plants from the garden to prevent any fungal spores from overwintering and becoming a problem in future years. Proper crop rotation is extremely important with all winter squash varieties to reduce disease and pest pressure.
Delicata Winter Squash Planting Information
Planting Method: direct seed
When to Plant: after last frost
Planting Depth: 1/2″
Seed Spacing: 18-24″
Row Spacing: 5-6′
Days to Maturity: 100
Disease Resistance: Powdery Mildew