Get to Know Your Squash
Mar 01, 2018 05:00AM ● Published by Justin Butts
Gallery: Gardening: Squash [6 Images] Click any image to expand.
SUMMER SQUASH VS WINTER SQUASH
There are several differences between summer and winter squash. Summer squash have thin, edible skins with seeds distributed throughout the flesh. Summer squash do not store well and should be eaten as soon as they ripen. Examples of summer squash are zucchini and yellow crook-neck. Winter squash have thicker, tougher skins. Butternut and acorn squash are good examples. The seeds are concentrated in hollow cavities in the center of the vegetable. The tougher skins allow winter squash to be stored for months, or even years, in a cool, dry place.
All squash plants will die in a frost or freeze. In olden days, the winter squash harvest was kept in root cellars and eaten late into the winter, which is why they are called “winter” squash. Grow your winter squash in spring and summer here in the Coastal Bend, then store them in a closet or under a bed to use throughout fall and winter.
SQUASH VARIETIES FOR EVERY OCCASION AND FLAVOR
Squash require a wide range of spacing depending on the variety. Read the seed packet or check the internet to find specific recommendations for your variety. Pumpkins have the biggest vine footprint; space the mounds or rows six feet apart. Our favorite summer squash varieties are Black Beauty Zucchini, Lemon Squash, Grey Zucchini, and Scallopini. Our favorite winter squash are Japanese Red Kuri, Butternut, Delicata, Blue Hokkaido, Baby Blue Hubbard, and Thai Rai Kaw Tok. For pumpkins, we love Rouge Vif d’Eetampes, Galeux D’ Eysines, Jarrahdale, South African Boer, and New England Sugar Pie.